Tuesday, August 23, 2011

No pulling hair in NASCAR

   NASCAR fined crew chief Jerry Baxter $5,000 on Tuesday and placed him on probation until Dec. 31 for pulling the hair of driver Steve Wallace as Wallace drove down pit road following Saturday's Nationwide Series race in Montreal.

   Baxter was crew chief for the No. 99 Toyota that competed in the race with driver Patrick Carpentier.

   As Wallace was driving down pit road after the race with his helmet off, Baxter reached into Wallace's car and had pulled Wallace's hair. The incident was caught on Wallace's in-car camera and shown on the ESPN broadcast.

   Wallace and Carpentier had been involved in an inicident on the track early in the race.

   On Monday, Baxter issued an apology for his actions.

   "I'm sorry for what happened after the race on Saturday and I take responsibility for my own actions," Baxter said in a statement. "I was just very frustrated and let my emotions get to me. That was Patrick's last race and we wanted to make it special.

   "We really thought he had a shot for the win and everything boiled over when that chance went away in the wreck. Everyone was just racing hard and there was no intent to wreck anyone. There's no excuse for what I did after the race and I apologize to everyone."