Notes: Sieg suspended; hairpulling apology; RCR change

Camping World Truck Series driver Shane Sieg suspended; Wallace crew chief apologises for pulling Steve Wallace's hair; Richard Childress Racing releases pit crew coach.
Notes: Sieg suspended; hairpulling apology; RCR change

Truck Series driver suspended

Camping World Truck Series driver Shane Sieg has been suspended indefinitely for violation of NASCAR's substance abuse policy.

Sieg was 24th in the championship after 12 starts in this season's 15 races to date with a season best finish of 12th at Darlington in March, and has 68 career starts in the series. He did not enter the weekend's race at Michigan.

He has been driving for his family-owned Sieg Racing CWTS team, and his younger brother Ryan also races in the same series and is currently in 19th position, having finished 17th at Michigan.

Shane Sieg, 28, will need to undergo NASCAR's "Road to Recovery" program before being eligible for reinstatement.

Sieg is only the second driver in NASCAR's three national-level championships to be suspended for substance abuse since random drug testing was introduced in 2009. Jeremy Mayfield was the first driver and is still suing NASCAR over the suspension.

Crew chief sorry for hair-pulling incident

Pastrana-Waltrip Racing crew chief Jerry Baxter has apologised for pulling the hair of Nationwide Series driver Steve Wallace following an on-track clash between Wallace and Patrick Carpentier. The hair-pulling incident happened after the race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Saturday.

Carpentier was making his final professional motor racing appearance, and his crew chief Jerry Baxter said that "we wanted to make it special", when Wallace tried a pass that spun out the Canadian through the last turn of lap 55.

"Me and Carpentier were racing really hard," Wallace said. "I got underneath him, I tried to outbrake him. He crowded me. I got loose, and I spun him out."

Carpentier responded, "I guess Steve Wallace hasn't learned how to brake, so he spun me at the hairpin."

When Wallace returned to pit road after the event, in-car footage from the #66 showed Baxter leaning in through the driver's window and pulling Wallace's hair, with Wallace later retorting that "Only girls pull hair."

"We really thought he had a shot for the win and everything boiled over when that chance went away in the wreck," said Baxter on Monday. "I was just very frustrated and let my emotions get to me ... There's no excuse for what I did after the race and I apologize to everyone."

Team co-owner Michael Waltrip said he understood Baxter's frustrations, but that the crew chief had been out of order.

"Jerry Baxter is very passionate about our race team, but what Jerry did after Saturday's race was wrong and he knows it," he said. "But you have to draw a line, and Jerry crossed that line. It's not what we are all about. I apologize to Steve Wallace and all his fans as well as all NASCAR fans."

Baxter has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until the end of the year for "actions detrimental to stock car racing - involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race," violating the NASCAR rule book.

Richard Childress Racing fires pit crew coach

It was reported on Monday that Richard Childress Racing are letting pit-crew coach Matt Clark, go after a frustrating performance by the pit team working on Kevin Harvick's #29 Cup car at Michigan International Speedway.

Clark, 40, had been Director of Human Performance and Leadership Development at RCR, which put him in charge of hiring and training the pit road crews of all RCR's Cup, Nationwide, Camping World Truck Series and ARCA entries.

Clark took the hit after a troubled performance by the pit crew working on Harvick's car at the weekend, which started with #29 receiving a penalty for a missing lugnut as early as lap 30 which proved impossible to race back from. Harvick ended up finishing outside the top 20 for the fifth time in the last six races and was audibly agitated on Sunday as the problems mounted up and the pit stops got slower, adding: "It just sucks bitching about the same stuff every week."

However, the #29 pit crew recently won the second $5000 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award of 2011, determined by a vote of each team's crew chief and given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in Cup competition. Previously, the pit crew Clark assembled for Jeff Burton in 2009 won that year's Sprint Pit Crew Challenge over-the-wall competition.

Clark has been with RCR since 2008, having previously spent nearly seven years with Hendrick Motorsports in a variety of positions.

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