Crew members suspended for fight with Piquet Jr.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - NASCAR has suspended the two Richard Childress Racing crew members arrested for fighting with Nelson Piquet Jr. at Richmond.

Thomas Costello and Michael Searce were both suspended for four Nationwide Series races and fined $15,000 each. They were also placed on probation until the end of the year for the altercation in the motorhome lot after Friday night’s race.

Henrico County police charged Searce with two counts of misdemeanor assault, and Costello with one count of misdemeanor assault. NASCAR cited “actions detrimental to stock car racing. Involved in an altercation with another competitor after the race had concluded,” as reason for their punishment.

The altercation happened long after Scott and Piquet tangled on the track and then on pit road after the race. Scott approached Piquet, and Piquet shoved him and kicked Scott in the groin.

Piquet tweeted on Saturday night a friend of his hurt his shoulder in the fight with the RCR crew members, whom team owner Richard Childress claimed “were walking to their cars and words were exchanged with members from another team, which led to an altercation.”

Piquet also made light of kicking Scott.

“Afterwards on pit road, my first reaction was to defend myself. I had no intent to break the code,” he posted on Twitter. “With that kick, no wonder I race cars and not play soccer. I look forward to moving on and racing again.”

Piquet and Scott are on probation, until June 26, for slamming their cars into each other on the track. Also on probation are Piquet crew chief Chris Carrier and Scott crew chief Phil Gould.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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