Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Threw a Punch at Kyle Busch After the All-Star Race

"I felt like Kyle and I have always raced each other really hard back to the Nationwide Series when we were competing for wins week in and week out."

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May 20 2024, Published 11:34 a.m. ET

Even before racers start swinging at one another, NASCAR is already one of the world's more violent sports. It features tons of car crashes, and while those crashes aren't often lethal, they can be. Following the 2024 All-Star Race, though, things got heated off the track.

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. threw a punch at Kyle Busch, and things escalated from there as both of their crews got in on the action. Here's what we know about what happened between the two of them, and why that first punch got thrown.

Ricky Stenhouse at a pit stall during the All-Star Race.
Source: Getty Images
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What happened between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Busch?

In just the second lap of the All-Star Race, Kyle punted Ricky's car, causing him to go head-on into the wall. The North Wilkesboro track where the race was being held doesn't have a way for drivers to get out until the race is over, so Ricky had to wait until the end of the race before he could leave.

Before he left the track, though, Ricky decided to confront Kyle over what he saw as a pretty dirty move.

In a video of the confrontation, the two are seen talking to one another in heated tones before punches start getting thrown.

"I felt like Kyle and I have always raced each other really hard back to the Nationwide Series when we were competing for wins week in and week out, never had any issues," Ricky explained after the fight.

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"I wrecked him one time at Daytona and he's kind of badmouthed me ever since then," Ricky continued. "I feel like we get along with each other OK outside the race track, I talk to him quite a bit and I'm not sure why he was so mad that I shoved it three-wide but he hit the fence and kind of came off the wall and ran into me and I don't know, when I was talking to him he kept saying that I wrecked him."

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"So definitely just built up frustration with how he runs his mouth all the time about myself but I know he's frustrated because he doesn't run near as good as he used to and I understand that," Ricky added. "We're a single-car team over here and working really hard to go out and get better each and every weekend."

Members of Ricky's crew seemed to tackle Kyle following their initial encounter, and the fight didn't escalate much beyond the initial punch. Kyle's crew made it clear that they didn't want things to go beyond that, and so both crews went their separate ways.

Even before the fight broke out, Ricky had made it clear that he would be waiting for Kyle after the race. He parked in Kyle's pit stall and said that he was ready for Kyle. It's unclear whether anything more will come of this incident, but Ricky and Kyle don't seem to be the best of friends at the moment. That frustration seems to happen regardless of whether or not they're on the track.

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