Citing a need to maintain a safe environment on pit road, NASCAR fined Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch $25,000 apiece on Tuesday and put both drivers on probation for all NASCAR races through June 15.
The slight penalty stems from a post-race Darlington altercation between Harvick and Busch, which saw Busch use his car to push Harvick's unmanned car into the pit road wall.
As I wrote yesterday, this is an acceptable penalty for both drivers. By putting the drivers on probation, NASCAR issues a warning that the drivers need to cool it for a few weeks and also maintains a standard that pit road safety is particularly important.
The penalties were not because of the on-track incident between the drivers; rather, the fine and probation were specifically targeted at the pit road issue.
Busch is likely hoping to move on from the incident, but the probation likely won't stop Harvick from harassing Busch on the track, beginning in Friday's Truck race at Dover.
Harvick announced his entry into the Dover Truck race after Busch angered him at Darlington, so expect Harvick to try and mess with Busch throughout the event. It's unlikely Harvick would blatantly wreck Busch now, though, with NASCAR paying extra close attention.
As for $25,000 fine? For multi-millionaire drivers, it won't sting too much. It's likely the equivalent of getting a speeding ticket on the interstate for the rest of us.
The probation is technically a four-race penalty, but it will last for five weeks (until June 15). That's because the wording of the penalty is for the next four Sprint Cup points races (the non-points All-Star race is next week).
Still, don't expect the All-Star event to be a free-for-all with no rules; NASCAR says the probation extends to all NASCAR-sanctioned races.