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UPDATE: Piquet involved in altercation at Richmond

Apr 27, 2013, 3:26 PM EDT

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UPDATE (3:26 p.m. ET): Turner Scott Motorsports has confirmed that driver Nelson Piquet Jr. was involved in last night’s altercation at Richmond International Raceway. A statement issued by the team says:

“Turner Scott Motorsports can confirm that an incident occurred near the Driver/Owner parking lot of Richmond International Raceway following the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, April 26th. Several members of another race team confronted a group that included Nelson Piquet Jr., resulting in the arrest of two individuals from the other race team. TSM will have no further comment on the incident as the matter is an active case with the Henrico Police Department.”

USA Today’s Jeff Gluck reports that NASCAR is also withholding comment on the incident, citing the ongoing police investigation.

UPDATE (Sat., 11:45 a.m. ET): Local police have identified the two Richard Childress Racing team members that were arrested following a Friday night altercation at Richmond International Raceway.

Michael Scearce, 50, and Thomas Costello, 35, are members of RCR’s No. 2 NASCAR Nationwide Series team that features Brian Scott as the driver. Scott was involved in a post-race confrontation on pit road with Nelson Piquet Jr. shortly after the completion of the NNS event on Friday night, and was kicked below the belt by Piquet in the fracas.

According to a Henrico (Va.) Police release, Scearce has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault and Costello has been charged with one count. They were both released from custody this morning.

Late last night, the police disclosed that an incident took place at the track at approximately 11:15 p.m. local time. According to them, what began as a verbal argument in the infield turned into a physical altercation near the track’s driver/owner lot and that two adult males were taken into custody.

Shortly afterwards, RCR confirmed that members of its team were involved. In addition, Bob Pockrass of The Sporting News relayed word from multiple sources that personnel from Turner Scott Motorsports and its driver, Nelson Piquet Jr., were talking to police in the track’s motorhome lot.

Scott and Piquet had been battling hard for position in the final laps of the race, and after Piquet kicked Scott on pit road, both drivers were subsequently summoned to the NASCAR hauler. Piquet later apologized for his actions.

  1. drylake - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    And NASCAR brass is saying “Thanks guys for helping with the ratings.”

  2. drylake - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I still say you have to invoke the Paul Tracy rule. If you’re going to have fisticuffs, you have to take your helmet off.

  3. heddly - Apr 27, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Update: Nelson Piquet Jr. wins Yellow Belt title @ Richmond

  4. convincedofthehex - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Childress’ entire organization is a joke. He has his no talent grandsons driving for him and his Cup operation is in decline. Scott gets upset because Piquet put a legitimate move on him at the end. Then like a tough guy with everyone around he comes over to push Piquet. Shut yer yaps and just race. This redneck garbage gets old quick.

  5. seanb20124 - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Police should have given them summons

  6. apexassassin - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Lol… I don’t follow Nascar but this is just funny to me. I love that Piquet Jr at least learned one thing from his father and didn’t waste anytime punching a helmet! Straight to kicking, just a like a little girl would. (no offense to little girls everywhere!)

  7. techmeister1 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Had they done this at the track there would be no charges and it would have been forgotten. Hopefully the police decide to drop charges and advise the combatants to duel it out on the track.

    NASCAR would much prefer this at the track so that they can milk it for all it’s worth.

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