Created on Thursday, 31 October 2013 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR indefinitely suspended the Richard Childress Racing crew member who threw a hammer at driver Kevin Harvick's truck during a race at Martinsville Speedway.
Adam Brown was suspended Thursday for "throwing an object at a competitor's race truck." Crew chief Paul (Marcus) Richmond was fined $10,000 because he assumes responsibility for the entire team. Both work on Ty Dillon's truck for RCR.
Dillon spun Harvick late in Saturday's race as both were racing for position. Harvick hit Dillon's truck under caution, then drove into Dillon's pit stall as he returned to pit road. Brown then threw the hammer at the truck.
Harvick is leaving RCR at the end of the year after 13 seasons to join Stewart-Haas Racing. He said after the race his departure was because team owner Childress was too focused on the development of grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon, whom he claimed were undeserving of their advancement in the organization.
"I don't care what they throw at me," Harvick said after he got out of his truck. "Exactly the reason why I'm leaving RCR because you've got those kids coming up and they've got no respect for what they do in this sport and they've had everything fed to them with a spoon."
Harvick, who apologized the next day for his remarks, has three races remaining with RCR.
Austin Dillon, in his weekly appearance Wednesday on SiriusXM Radio, said he's forgiven Harvick.
"My grandfather has given my brother and I both a great opportunity to go out and take advantage of those opportunities. If anybody out there doesn't think that I should go after something that is in front of me, I don't know what to say," Austin Dillon said.
"Things are said in the heat of battle. I've learned that it's better to forgive someone for what they've said. I've forgiven him already."
Childress was not so forgiving and staunchly defended the opportunities he's given his grandsons during an interview before Sunday's race at Martinsville. Austin Dillon races in the Nationwide Series and is expected to move up full-time to the Sprint Cup Series next year, and Ty Dillon is going from the Truck Series to Nationwide in 2014.
"These aren't spoiled rich kids," Childress said Sunday. "These are hardworking young men that believe in what they're doing. They knew they've got to go out and prove themselves. They've got to race up front to keep a job."
Childress could live with the on-track incident between Harvick and Dillon, but felt Harvick crossed a line the personal attack.
"I'll never apologize for giving my grandsons an opportunity, just like the France family, the Earnhardt family, the Wood brothers. You go down the list of the people that have been given opportunities, all of them didn't make it," Childress said. "You've got to go out and earn what you've got, the opportunity in life to succeed. And these boys earned it."