NASCAR driver Cole Custer was not penalized for tackling fellow driver John Hunter Nemechek following Sunday's Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ont.
Custer was leading entering the final corner on the 9-turn road course when Nemechek pushed him aside and dove underneath him. The contact sent Custer into the grass and bouncing off the outside wall, while Nemechek appeared to lose control and again body-slammed Custer's truck. They then drag raced to the finish line with Nemechek narrowly edging Custer for the victory.
Afterward, as Nemechek stood underneath the flag stand waiting to be handed the checkered flag, Custer charged at Nemechek and tackled him. Crewmembers and officials quickly separated the two teenagers.
Drivers are usually penalized for physical altercations, but in this instance NASCAR took no action against the 19-year-old Custer, though officials did speak with him at the track.
As for Nemechek's controversial actions, NASCAR typically does not penalize drivers who crash a competitor while racing for the lead. NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell, during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday, described Nemechek's move as aggressive but nothing that crossed a line.
"It was certainly an aggressive move," O'Donnell said. "We've always said that NASCAR is a contact sport and when drivers are racing, we expect that there could be contact.
"In this case, we said it was a very aggressive move, but made the determination at the race track to declare John Hunter the race winner."