The Busch-Stenhouse fiasco has entered the annals of NASCAR history. The well-documented fight must have reached the far corners of motorsport, titillating gearheads. But the consequences of the brawl are not so exciting for one of the parties involved. The severe outcome has shocked Dale Earnhardt Jr as well.

The monotonous All-Star Race sparked with life when Kyle Busch earned Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s wrath after wrecking the latter. Then the No. 47 driver waited till the end of the race to pounce on Busch. His companions also joined in, and in the process enrolled themselves along with Stenhouse in NASCAR’s penalty list. But fans and Dale Jr called out NASCAR for the punitive measures while Kyle Busch was left scot-free.

JTG Daugherty team’s fate rattles Dale Earnhardt Jr


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Three days after heavily banking on the metrics of the popular Busch-Stenhouse fight, NASCAR finally gave its answer. Experts had predicted it, and it is an ugly response for the JTG Daugherty Racing team. Ricky Stenhouse Jr, the initial aggressor, was slapped with a hefty fine of $75,000 for sucker-punching Kyle Busch.

Stenhouse Jr’s father grappled with Busch long after his son withdrew. So Stenhouse Sr has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR races. Additionally, mechanic Clint Myrick got suspended for eight Cup races through the July 14 race at Pocono Raceway, and engine tuner Keith Matthews for four Cup races through the June 16 race at Iowa Speedway.

These heavy punishments sent veteran driver Dale Earnhardt Jr reeling under shock. Always sporting a soft spot for underfunded, grassroots racers, Dale Earnhardt Jr could not help sympathizing with the single-team driver. He tweeted: “Wow, I’m surprised by the severity of all these penalties.”


All this occurred while Kyle Busch, who many argued to be the first aggressor, was let off. On lap 2 of the All-Star Race, Busch unleashed his vengeance and deliberately wrecked Ricky Stenhouse Jr, akin to previous crashing incidents. Yet his team owner Richard Childress swore to personally “whoop Ricky’s a**” if the latter tried to harm Busch’s car in Charlotte.

But echoing Dale Earnhardt Jr’s sentiments, fans are far from impressed with NASCAR’s response to the brawl of the year.


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Fans react to NASCAR’s partiality


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The NASCAR community was furious about the penalties handed to the Stenhouse party. One fan pointed out Kyle Busch’s seemingly vile mid-race intentions which officials chose to ignore. “Kyle Busch admitted to wrecking RSJ on purpose as an act of retaliation. There’s a precedent set for suspending drivers for this act. I, personally, wouldn’t fine/suspend anybody in this scenario, but if you’re gonna penalize RSJ and 47 crew members there has to be something for KFB!”

Another fan also chimed in with a similar opinion, pointing out Busch’s glaring fault. “I don’t understand why Kyle didn’t receive a penalty then for intentionally wrecking someone, wouldn’t that follow under “altering a race”?”


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Then came another aspect of the fiasco: The brawl saw an uptick in user engagement and fan reactions. NASCAR banked on this heavily, releasing various angles of the fight for people to enjoy. Yet even after all this, Ricky Stenhouse Jr was punished. One fan said accordingly: “You promote it over and over and over and then penalize him. 🙄. It was the only thing that saved the race from being a complete snooze fest.” Another fan agreed with this point, suggesting a cut of the pie for Stenhouse. “BUT they’ll use the videos endlessly for promos. Stenhouse should get an envelope under the table.”

First Kyle Busch’s intentional wrecking and now fans calling for NASCAR to punish him: these are clear hints that Rowdy is regaining his villain status.