Sheldon Creed Taking Shot at Richard Childress Racing in Front of Fans Likely Contributed to Owner’s Post-Race Anger at Martinsville
Richard Childress was angry with Sheldon Creed after the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway, calling his driver “stupid” for the aggressive battle with teammate Austin Hill in the final laps that ultimately eliminated both from Championship 4 contention.
While most think the team owner was not necessarily angry about the move on the track as much as the recent announcement that the 26-year-old is moving to another team, a live interview with the driver and his comments on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio in front of fans the day before the race likely intensified the Hall of Famer’s reaction.
Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill battle on final laps
After months of racing, it all came down to the final lap at The Paperclip on Saturday.
Austin Hill, who was the leader on the overtime restart, was in position to advance to the title race in Phoenix on points. Creed, who started on the outside of the front row next to his teammate, needed a win.
The two RCR cars battled side-by-side down the backstretch on the final lap, with the No. 21 of Hill initiating contact going into Turn 3. The No. 2 car moved ahead coming out of the turn, but his momentum sent him up the track heading into Turn 4, allowing Justin Allgaier to get on his inside.
Hill drove into the back of his teammate and also got hit from behind, which sent him for a spin into the wall. Creed drag-raced Allgaier to the finish line and came up short, finishing second. Hill finished 21st and failed to advance.
Richard Childress and team not happy with Creed after race
After the race, Richard Childress was understandably unhappy with both of his cars, which had realistic chances of advancing at the start of that final trip around the half-mile track but ultimately failed to do so.
“I’ve had drivers drive for me before, but nobody as stupid as Sheldon Creed,” Childress told NBC Sports. “You don’t do that as a team player. What else do you want me to tell you?”
But that wasn’t all. RCR Vice President of Competition Andy Petree was seen confronting Creed on pit road after the race, exchanging words with the driver.
Austin Hill also joined in.
“Neither of the RCR guys make it to the final four,” he told reporters. “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.”
Creed took shot at RCR in front of fans the day before race
Anyone objectively watching the final laps of the Xfinity Series race recognized it was typical hard short-track racing at Martinsville, and Creed didn’t do anything wrong — certainly not enough to warrant such a visceral reaction from two of the top men at RCR.
Hill’s post-race remark about his teammate going to Gibbs, which hasn’t officially been announced, was more telling of the team’s mindset. What makes it all the more interesting is what Creed had to say about that move the day before the race during fan day at RCR headquarters.
“I’ve been signed to something for a few weeks now,” the driver said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I’m really excited about it. Honestly, maybe it’s my best opportunity yet. So, really looking forward to next year and excited to share those plans with you guys within a week or two after Phoenix.”
Creed suggesting a move to Gibbs is his best opportunity yet couldn’t have sat right with Childress or Petree. And they made that clear a little over 24 hours later.