Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart have been fined $50,000 and $25,000 respectively after a series of post-race incidents at Charlotte.
Fired up by a pair of in-race collisions, Keselowski attempted to spin Denny Hamlin on the slow-down lap before making contact with Matt Kenseth’s Toyota as the field headed back to pitlane.
Stewart was collected in the Keselowski-Kenseth contact and retaliated by reversing into the former’s Ford.
The drama continued as the warring drivers entered the garage area, with Keselowski reportedly continuing to drive recklessly before being put in a headlock by Kenseth once out of his car.
While the two Joe Gibbs Toyota drivers escaped sanction, Keselowski and Stewart were fined for “actions detrimental to stock car racing” and being “involved in a post-race incident”
“These penalties are about maintaining a safe environment following the race,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President Robin Pemberton.
“We knew that the new Chase format was likely going to raise the intensity level and we want our drivers to continue to be themselves.
“However, the safety of our drivers, crew members, officials, and workers is paramount and we will react when that safety could be compromised.”
Keselowski had been bullish about his actions in the immediate aftermath.
“I figured if we’re going to play car wars under yellow and after the race I’ll join too,” he told reporters.
“Those guys can dish it out, but they can’t take it. I gave it back to them and now they want to fight, so I don’t know what’s up with that.”
Stewart’s involvement in the drama has also raised eyebrows, with the three-time champion only recently cleared of possible criminal charges over the death of sprintcar driver Kevin Ward Jr in August.
A legal analyst from NBC Sports, Jack Furlong, has stated that Stewart’s actions at Charlotte could impact any civil case brought about by Ward’s family.
The family hinted at ongoing legal action when the grand jury decision was reached, declaring that the matter “is not at rest”.
“If I’m Tony’s lawyer, I’m saying to him, ‘Tony, run the other way, you cannot be in a confrontation, this will come back to haunt you and it absolutely could in this instance,” said Furlong.
VIDEO: Hamlin and Keselowski clashes after the race
VIDEO: Kenseth goes after Keselowski
VIDEO: Brad Keselowski speaks after the race