Busch drops assualt charges against Spencer

NASCAR driver Kurt Busch dropped his assault complaint against rival Jimmy Spencer, who punched him in the face after a race last month at Michigan International Speedway. A spokesman for Busch called the sheriff's department Wednesday, asking that the case be dropped, sheriff's Capt. Jack Welsh said Friday. Welsh said the representative told him NASCAR's penalties against Spencer were satisfactory.

Busch was left with a bloody nose and chipped tooth during the Aug. 17 fights between two of the more aggressive drivers in the Winston Cup series. NASCAR barred Spencer from driving in a NASCAR-sanctioned events for a week and fined him $25,000. Busch was fined $10,000. NASCAR placed both men on probation until the end of the year. Spokesmen for Spencer and Busch did not immediately return calls. Spencer approached Busch's car in the garage area following the race in Brooklyn, Mich., and hit Busch as he sat in his car. Tapes of radio chatter between Busch and his crew revealed he intentionally tried to flatten Spencer's bumper during the race. An in-car camera showed Busch provoked Spencer in the garage area, possibly leading to the punch. Less than a week after the race, Busch insisted he was not trying to harm Spencer when he bumped him. There isn't a race that goes by where someone doesn't employ a racing tactic like Jimmy and I did to one another last week at Michigan," Busch said. "You might try to take the guy's air off his spoiler or loosen him up, or you might try to knock his fender in to make his car push. "I have never intentionally tried to hurt Jimmy Spencer. It's an unwritten rule among the drivers to never overstep that boundary." The fight in Michigan was the latest episode in a conflict between Spencer and Busch. But despite on-track jockeying and harsh words there had been no previous physical confrontations. Spencer apologized Aug. 29 before the opening practice for the Southern 500. "I'm sorry for what happened and it's behind me, and I hope everybody learned from it. I know I learned from it," he said. "I respect everyone in this garage area. I'm sorry for what happened at Michigan." Busch was heartily booed after winning in Bristol, Tenn., on Aug. 23, and his sponsor, Rubbermaid Newell, lectured the 25-year-old driver and planned to set up a program to help guide his behavior. Could this change of heart come from a meeting that took place between Busch and his sponsor Rubbermaid? By Eddie911

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