10 Tough NASCAR Questions: Part 2

Part 2 in a five-part series addressing issues facing NASCAR in 2012

Why has NASCAR taken one of the fans’ favorite venues on the circuit at Lucas Oil Raceway, and replaced it with a track that typically does not host the most exciting brand of stock car racing?

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<p> <span>As the 2012 NASCAR season approaches, Athlon Sports examines 10 controversial issues alive within the sport in the annual five-part, 10 Tough Questions feature, running each day throughout the week.</span></p>

Richard Childress vs. Kyle Busch: Did Kyle have it coming?

Following Busch’s on-track and post-race pit road run-in with RCR driver Kevin Harvick at Darlington, Richard Childress made it clear to Kyle Busch and NASCAR that if Busch damaged his vehicles again, there’d be hell to pay.

Richard Childress, to no one’s surprise, is a man of his word.

When Busch got physical with RCR driver Truck Series rookie Joey Coulter one month later at Kansas Speedway, Childress made good on his promise, hunting Busch down in the garage, putting him in a headlock and force-feeding him a few knuckle sandwiches.

It’s important to remember that this “feud” has roots stretching back well over a year. Busch had been involved in other incidents with Harvick, the mild-mannered Jeff Burton and former RCR driver Clint Bowyer. Harvick had also mixed it up with Busch’s teammates, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin. So this episode may have been bigger than just Childress vs. Busch — indeed, it seems the 65-year-old team owner was sending a message to Joe Gibbs Racing.

The Kansas incident was the breaking point, though, and although Busch claimed to have not known of Childress’ declaration that he would tolerate no more, Busch took the brunt of the message.

Childress, who’s been in the sport since 1969, still appreciates the value of a buck. As Busch’s antics sent the fab bill in Welcome, N.C., higher and higher, Childress handled the situation in the same manner any number of rivals do on short tracks all across America every weekend.

Was it right? Probably not. Did Busch have it coming? Oh yeah. And NASCAR seemed to think so as well, as Childress got off with a $150,000 fine and probation.

Word is, donations were pouring in almost immediately.

Visit AthlonSports.com each day throughout the month of February for exclusive preseason coverage of the 2012 NASCAR season.