Andy Petree Humbly Admits He Was Wrong in Treatment of Sheldon Creed After Martinsville
Andy Petree has been around NASCAR a long time. He knows tempers sometimes flare due to the intense beating and banging on the track. That happened on Saturday night at Martinsville, and the Richard Childress Racing vice president of competition was right in the middle of it. Petree confronted driver Sheldon Creed and exchanged words with him on pit road moments after the race.
It was a bad look for RCR because Petree wasn’t the only one upset with the No. 2 driver. Childress and driver Austin Hill didn’t hide their displeasure with what happened on the last laps of the race. After several days of quiet on the matter, the former crew chief humbly admitted he was wrong.
Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill both miss out on Championship 4
Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill knew what was on the line in the final restart at Martinsville. Based on the points, both drivers were in must-win situations.
After starting on the front row in the overtime restart, both made their way around the half-mile circuit and were battling side-by-side down the backstretch on the final lap when the No. 21 made contact with his teammate going into Turn 3. The No. 2 car surged ahead, but his momentum appeared to send him up the track heading into Turn 4 in front of Hill. This allowed Justin Allgaier to slip by on his inside.
It was a drag race to the finish line, with Allgaier narrowly edging out Creed. Hill, who got spun from behind, finished 21st. Both RCR drivers failed to advance.
Richard Childress and team not happy with Creed after race
A few minutes after the race ended, Richard Childress spoke with NBC Sports. He didn’t attempt to hide his frustration with the situation and placed blame on one particular driver.
“I’ve had drivers drive for me before, but nobody as stupid as Sheldon Creed,” Childress said. “You don’t do that as a team player. What else do you want me to tell you?”
Childress wasn’t alone. RCR Vice President of Competition Andy Petree was also seen on pit road confronting Creed and having heated words with the driver. And Hill had a few choice words of his own about his teammate.
“Neither of the RCR guys make it to the final four,” he told the media. “It’s just frustrating. Pretty excited for him to go to his next adventure over at [Joe] Gibbs, and I don’t have to put up with him no more. I can have Jesse Love as my teammate, and hopefully, he races me better. Races me cleaner.”
Andy Petree expresses regret and admits he apologized
Petree has been a regular guest on NASCAR Race Hub all season. He appeared this week, and viewers had to wonder if he’d avoid the sensitive subject or address it. He chose the latter.
“I was really frustrated and probably should have handled it a little better than I did after the race,” Petree acknowledged as the broadcast showed footage of the two drivers battling on the final lap. “It’s not what you think you see. I thought that’s what it was, but as it turns out, they got together and bent the bumper bar on Sheldon Creed’s car, going into three, on the the last corner. And when he got down there, he actually couldn’t turn the car left. And you see the tire smoke come off of it, and that’s what ran him up in front of Austin Hill.
“That’s why you should keep your mouth shut until you really understand all the facts. And that’s not what I did. I wasn’t real proud of the way I handled that after the race.”
Petree was then asked about his communication with Creed on pit road and since, as the broadcast aired the video of him walking up to the driver after the race.
“Well, I reached out to Sheldon. I walked up, and I’m old enough to know better, right?” he admitted. “I shouldn’t have done that. I did reach out to Sheldon and apologize to him even before I realized what had happened. I really shouldn’t have done that, regardless of the situation. Those guys were putting it all out there, racing for their lives, their championship. It’s kind of up to them to work it out.”
Petree realized his mistake and apologized to Creed. Did Childress?