Bristol Motor Speedway brought the tempers on the track in addition to team radio communications
Last Thursday, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series rolled into Bristol Motor Speedway. The 0.533-mile concrete oval is known for bringing out the tempers. That’s exactly what we got, all weekend.
Stewart Friesen and Matt Crafton were in a side by side battle on the race track. As they raced for position, together they sliced through lap traffic.
With a lap car running the bottom lane, the top drivers went into the corner side by side. Friesen was in the top lane, Crafton was on the bottom.
Friesen moved to the middle. His plan was to pin Crafton behind the lapper. However, Crafton also went for the middle, expecting Friesen to leave him room for them both to roll around the lap truck.
They met in the middle. Friesen was sent around. He make contact with the outside wall as a result.
The caution flag came out. Friesen then drove up to Crafton, pulled alongside and gave him a light door rub under the caution.
Stewart Friesen vs Matt Crafton
After the race
After the race, the truck collectively pulled onto the pit lane for post-race inspections. Matt Crafton calmly walked over to the window of Friesen’s truck as he climbed out. The two drivers had a conversation in good spirits.
“I just wanted to make sure we were all good and moved on,” Crafton told Fox Sports.
“There’s a lot of other ways we can do this. Instead of tearing up each others equipment. I just wanted to make sure he was on the same page as me.”
“Let it be water under the bridge. I cut him a huge break the lap before that. I got a run on him, got under him in [turn] three and didn’t know if I was going to wreck us both so I lifted.”
“The #45 ended up getting by me, on that incident. Then I got alongside him pretty good. He just tried to peel me off on the #02. I couldn’t check up.”
“But, I think it’s water under the bridge now. I sure hope it is,” Crafton concluded.
“That was just good hard racing,” Friesen said of the on-track contact.
After the interviews, the two drivers both met again outside of their cars with a smile.
Homophobic radio communication
Bristol Motor Speedway was the opening round of the NASCAR Playoffs in the Truck Series. Both of these drivers are in a battle for the championship.
During the heat of the on-track altercation, Matt Weaver reported radio communication via twitter. The tweet has since been removed.
It’s unclear who stated the following over the team radio. However, multiple members of NASCAR teams have access to a radio button. Additionally, any NASCAR fan has access to live streams or at-track frequencies of team radios.
“Fucking pussy,” the radio communication was reported as a voice from the #88 crew (Matt Crafton).
“Fucking queer. That fucker should have been crashed four laps ago. Fucker is coming down here. Tired of these fucking queers… You should have wrecked him two laps ago.”
Two lap prior, Friesen threw a block on Matt Crafton.
NASCAR on homophobic comments
In a statement, NASCAR said they were “reviewing the matter.”
The NASCAR rule book specifically addresses comments of this nature.
NASCAR Code of Conduct: “Members shall not make or cause to be made a public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.”
On Tuesday, NASCAR released their weekly penalty report. No members of the ThorSport Racing camp were listed in the report. However, that does not mean that NASCAR has finished their investigation or that a warning wasn’t issued.