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NASCAR penalizes Harvick and crews

Kevin Harvick was fined $35,000 and put on probation Monday, and two of his crew members were suspended for one race for their roles in the melee at Richmond International Raceway.

In all, NASCAR penalized Harvick and five members of his team, along with Pat Tryson, Ricky Rudd's crew chief, for "actions detrimental to stock car racing."

Harvick was placed on probation until Dec. 31, while crew members Mike Scearce and Gene Pasquale were suspended until Sept. 17, meaning they will miss Sunday's race in Loudon, N.H.

Harvick crew members Kirk Almquist and Ken Barber were each fined $2,500 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, and Tryson was fined $5,000 for their parts in the fight Saturday night in Richmond, Va.

With nine laps to go in the Chevrolet 400, Harvick was running second but hit the wall after being nudged from behind by Rudd, who went on to finish third.

Harvick, who lost a possible sixth straight top-five finish, was furious after winding up 16th. He drove his battered car to pit road and banged into the side of Rudd's car.

Several of Harvick's crew members also ran onto pit road and began banging on Rudd's car, mangling the hood. Harvick climbed on the roof of his car and began shouting at Rudd, who remained in his car.

Officials quickly calmed the situation, eventually ushering both teams to NASCAR's hauler.

Rudd acknowledged he hit Harvick's car but insisted he did not wreck the other driver on purpose.