Jake Crum has been suspended by NASCAR through the remainder of the season following his arraignment for an incident that took place on May 20 during a Late Model Stock feature at Hickory Motor Speedway.
The details of that incident can be reviewed here, but the short version is that Crum got into a physical altercation with Robert Huffman on the spotters stand as a result of an incident between his wife, Annabeth Barnes-Crum and Huffman’s son, Landon.
The elder Huffman pressed charges against Crum, who was arrested in Alexander County and extradited to Catawba County and released on bail after the arraignment. NASCAR notified Crum and its member tracks of the suspension in a letter while also noting that he was spotting without either an annual or single day competition license.
The email reads as follows:
Dear Mr. Crum:
It has been brought to our attention that you were participating in a NASCAR event as a crew member without a NASCAR license. In addition, we have been made aware that you were involved in an incident at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday May 20 2023. You engaged in a physical act (inflicting bodily harm) towards another competitor, which is a violation of the NASCAR rules. This letter is to notify you that you are prohibited from participating in any NASCAR sanctioned events for the remainder of 2023. In addition, based on your conduct at Hickory Motor Speedway and for participating in a NASCAR sanctioned event without a license — you are ineligible to apply for a NASCAR license until 2024. NASCAR will reconsider your membership eligibility upon receipt of your license application in 2024.
Meanwhile, Hickory Motor Speedway has still issued no comment on the matter and has deleted comments on Facebook inquiring about the incident and blocked numerous users in the same fashion as what happened after the rule book dispute in March publicized by Doug Barnes Jr. and Landon Huffman.
Track operator Kevin Piercy has a longstanding policy of preferring to keep any punitive decisions in house, not making them public, and is believed to have issued his own sanctions against Barnes-Crum for her on-track retaliatory action against the younger Huffman.
This is what the Hickory Motor Speedway rule book has to say on the matter:
HITTING OR DAMAGING ANOTHER COMPETITOR’S CAR/TRUCK UNDER PACE LAPS, CAUTION OR AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THE RACE: 1st Offense will result in a fine (based on severity) and /or disqualification and/or loss of finishing position and/or loss of points and /or suspension and/or probation. 2nd Offense – Minimum $300 fine (base on severity) and/or disqualification and/or loss of finishing position and/or loss of points and /or suspension and/or probation.
However, Barnes-Crum is still shown as having retained her finishing results from the Twin 40s that night and is listed as fourth in points, where she was when the night ended. So whatever actions Piercy took on Barnes-Crum did not affect championship points or the finishing order.
As for the penalty against Crum, the letter was sent to NASCAR home tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region for them to enforce, but many tracks often fail to check spotters for licenses. It would prevent him from racing this season as he has still been a sporadic entrant in the major Late Model Stock races in the region.
Crum also made a start in the SMART Modified Tour earlier this season.
Also occurring last week was that Crum filed charges in Catawba against Huffman. It is understood that it took two magistrate judges to accept the charges, but Huffman was arraigned under the same simple assault charge that Crum was arraigned over. Crum was hit in the face during the scuffle with Huffman on the spotters stand.
Both have court cases set for next month for their respective simple assault charges. The charges against Crum are set for a June 5 hearing and the chargest against Huffman are set for a June 12 hearing.