Steve O’Donnell said NASCAR officials “will probably” take action against the Team Penske crew member who pulled Denny Hamlin to the ground Sunday night at Martinsville Speedway.
Hamlin and Joey Logano traded words after the First Data 500 before a shove from Logano set off a physical altercation. In the scuffle, Hamlin was grabbed from behind and yanked to the ground by an unidentified Penske crew member. That individual, along with the organization’s competition director Travis Geisler, and crew chief Todd Gordon, were called to the NASCAR hauler.
“As we always say, we know emotions are going to run high especially at this time of the season,” said O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The drivers, we don’t encourage it, but we know they’re going to address each other after the race when they have an incident; you saw that happen.
“Then, unfortunately, kind of breaking up a fight what we saw was an aggressive move by a crew member. … I think in this case you’ve got a crew member who was maybe trying to break it up, but certainly, an aggressive move that we viewed on our part and unfortunately will probably have to take some action to address that later today or tomorrow.”
Neither Hamlin or Logano were called to the hauler.
NASCAR did not penalize the crew members who were involved in a post-race altercation at Kansas Speedway between Xfinity Series drivers Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer. O’Donnell said officials spent a lot of time reviewing that video, and while it’s always a judgment call and Kansas and Martinsville were viewed as different incidents, officials didn’t see anyone escalating that situation.
“I think in this case you had a crew member who honestly I don’t think realized the force with which he made that move,” O’Donnell added. “We’ve got some lite drivers and some big crew members, and unfortunately, and that’s what happens when those situations take place. So, I think [Team Penske] understands what’s coming, and it’s not something we want to see or encourage, but we’ll have to address it.”