It’s another week, and another set of suspensions issued by NASCAR to a team.
The newly suspended in this case were the pair of Richard Childress Racing crewmembers, Thomas Costello and Michael Searce, after fighting with Nelson Piquet Jr. after last Friday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Richmond.
Each has been suspended for four races, fined $15,000 apiece and placed on probation until the end of the year.
This altercation between the crewmembers and Piquet occurred in a motorhome lot outside the track, and resulted in Searce (two counts) and Costello (one) both being charged with misdemeanors by Henrico County police.
Piquet and RCR driver Brian Scott engaged in a dustup after the race, and Piquet kicked Scott in the groin. They’ve both been placed on probation until June 26.
The suspensions follow the recent hammers dropped on Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing, respectively, for violations in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Penske’s appeal of its penalty after Texas will be heard Wednesday.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.