Carlos Eduardo Trocon Ortiz, or as he’s known in the NASCAR circles, crew chief Eddie Troconis, was arrested after he turned himself in to the Talladega County Sheriff’s Deputies Office on Wednesday, January 5th, after an arrest warrant was issued on December 21st on felony second degree assault charges following a confrontation with former NASCAR Cup Series championship spotter Clayton Hughes at Talladega Superspeedway on October 2nd.
The Talladega County Sheriff Department confirmed to TobyChristie.com that Hughes was the party that pressed charges on Ortiz.
Ortiz, 42, was released on a $7,500 bond, according to the Talladega County Sheriff Department.
The alleged assault occurred on the same day that Ortiz was competing as a crew chief for driver Kris Wright and the No. 02 Young’s Motorsports team at Talladega. The No. 02 truck finished 36th that day after their race ended with a crash on lap 57.
According to a report from AnnistonStar.com, which was the first report of Ortiz’s arrest, Talladega Chief Deputy Josh Tubbs states the incident that led to Ortiz’s arrest began with an argument over a woman.
Tubbs also says, in the report, that Ortiz is accused of “sucker punching” Hughes in the back of the neck to knock him down and then proceeding to kick the victim in the back several times.
Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore told AnnistonStar.com that Hughes is still undergoing extensive physical rehabilitation after several surgeries and is in the process of learning to walk again.
According to Polson & Polson, P.C., if convicted of the second degree assault charge, which is a Class C Felony in Alabama, Ortiz faces a penalty of imprisonment from between one year and a day up to 10 years.
On October 6th, the Wednesday following the Talladega race weekend, NASCAR announced the indefinite suspension of Ortiz (listed as Troconis in the NASCAR penalty report) for a violation of sections 12.8.1.c of the NASCAR Rule Book.
While NASCAR did not provide specifics at the time of what caused the suspension, the particular section of the rulebook that was violated pertains to member-to-member confrontation(s) with physical violence and other violent manifestations such as significant threat(s) and/or abuse and/or endangerment.
Ortiz, who won two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races as the crew chief for Ben Rhodes between 2017 and 2018 and served as the crew chief for Kris Wright for all but two races, due to suspension, in 2021 and served as Josh Williams’ spotter for 15 races during the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with DGM Racing, remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR.