RCR crewmembers suspended, fined after Richmond fight

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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.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).