Richard Childress Racing crew suspensions upheld

Streeter Lecka

The suspensions of two Richard Childress Racing crew members accused of assaulting Nelson Piquet Jr. were upheld by a NASCAR appeals panel.

The suspensions of two Richard Childress Racing crew members for allegedly assaulting Nelson Piquet Jr. and a friend were upheld during an appeals hearing Friday.

Thomas Costello and Michael Scearce, members of Brian Scott's No. 2 RCR Nationwide Series team, were suspended four races and fined $15,000 apiece for their role in an altercation April 26 at Richmond International Raceway following an incident where Piquet kicked Scott in the groin post-race.

Costello and Scearce were arrested and charged with misdemeanor assaults by Henrico County authorities and face a June court date.

RCR argued that since the crew members were facing criminal charges, they were being penalized twice for the same offense. A three-member National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel disagreed and upheld the original penalties issued by NASCAR.

Costello and Scearce will begin serving their suspensions next week at Dover. RCR has the option of filing a final appeal but has yet to decide whether to do so.

The three members on the appeals panel consisted of broadcaster Dr. Dick Berggren, Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark and Iowa Speedway CEO Doug Fritz. Their decision was unanimous.

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