Rudd hits out at 'absurd' fine for fighting

NASCAR Winston Cup star Ricky Rudd has said that being fined $5,000 by the sanctioning body for a fracas with one of his pit crew in the garage at Richmond at the weekend was "the most absurd thing I ever heard"

Rudd hits out at 'absurd' fine for fighting

Robert Yates Racing employee Larry Lackey - who works in Yates' engine shop - was fined $10,000 for punching Rudd in the eye after the star driver reportedly criticised his engine. Rudd then retaliated by throwing a water bottle that hit Lackey in the face.

NASCAR called their behavior "detrimental to stock car racing". Rudd, however, said: "I just found out I am going to be fined and that's the most absurd thing I ever heard. I believe it's NASCAR's job to keep the drivers safe and that guy just sucker-punched me. I didn't do anything wrong in this deal, that's all I'm going to say.'"

Winston Cup director John Darby said Rudd was being penalised for throwing the water bottle, just as Lackey was being punished for throwing a punch.

"In every fight, there has to be an aggressor and a retaliator,'' said Darby. "The incident between Larry and Ricky took place in the garage area and we, as a sanctioning body, govern the pits and garage. We will not tolerate people hitting each other in those areas.''

Rudd, who is still in the running for this year's Winston Cup title, is quitting the Yates team at the end of the season to drive for Wood Brothers Racing.

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