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Why Kyle Busch was punched in the face by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Credit: © Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Why Kyle Busch was punched in the face by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. (BVM) – Kyle Busch was punched in the face by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. following the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday night, shown below. 

Tensions began when Stenhouse Jr. ran Busch against the wall, causing him to scrape it. Busch retaliated by sending Stenhouse Jr. into the wall, resulting in a wreck. 

The debate over who ran into whom – and just how much room there actually was – escalated into an argument between the two drivers after the race. 

“When there’s a million dollars on the line, I think all the rules go out the window,” Joey Logano told Fox about his win – ironically as Stenhouse Jr. and Busch started fighting on live TV. 

“You hit the fence yourself,” Stenhouse Jr. said after he approached Busch. “I didn’t touch you.” 

“We all hit each other,” Busch replied. 

“You hit the fence and then you hit me,” Stenhouse Jr. responded. 

“I don’t believe you,” Busch replied. 

“Go back and watch it,” Stenhouse said seconds before throwing a punch at Busch. 

Both drivers fell separately to the ground; Busch tripped over a tire and ended up in a tussle with Stenhouse Jr.’s father. Meanwhile, Stenhouse Jr. had to be held back as a much larger brawl broke out between the drivers’ teams.

“Dad! Dad!,” Stenhouse Jr. shouted. “Can you get my dad?” 

Stenhouse Jr. explained why he punched Busch during a post-fight interview.    

“Was this pent-up anger from just this moment or does it go back beforehand,” Fox asked Stenhouse Jr. during a post-fight interview.  

“I felt like Kyle and I have always raced each other really hard back to the Nationwide Series when we were competing for wins week in and week out and never had any issues,” Stenhouse explained on Fox after the altercation. “I wrecked him one time at Daytona and he’s kind of badmouthed me ever since then. I feel like we get along with each other OK outside the race track. I talk to him quite a bit and I’m not sure why he was so mad that I shoved it three-wide. But he hit the fence and kind of came off the wall and ran into me, and when I was talking to him, he kept saying that I wrecked him.

“Yeah, just definitely built-up frustration with how he runs his mouth all the time about myself,” Stenhouse Jr. continued about the fight. “But I know he’s frustrated because he doesn’t run near as good as he used to, and I understand that. We’re a single-car team over here. We’re working really hard to go out and get better each and every weekend, and we had a really good game plan coming in. Our car was really strong Friday in practice. I was looking forward to running to the front. I think we had passed a couple cars there and I was excited for the rest of the night, and he ruined it.”

Notably, Busch declined a post-fight interview with Fox. Busch could face a penalty if NASCAR determines that he deliberately caused the wreck, while Stenhouse Jr. could face a suspension for starting the physical altercation.  

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