On Tuesday, NASCAR officials announced that Michael Hayden, a NASCAR Xfinity Series crew member, has been indefinitely suspended by the sanctioning body, for violating Section 2.14.A & 4.4.D of the NASCAR Rule Book.
According to the NASCAR Rule Book, Section 2.14.A, the first of two violations listed on NASCAR’s penalty report, reads as follows: “Any NASCAR Member charged with any violation of the law (misdemeanor and/or felony) shall notify NASCAR […] prior to the next scheduled Event or within 72 hours of being so charged, whichever is earlier.”
A representative from NASCAR has confirmed to TobyChristie.com that Hayden’s violations and subsequent suspension stem from the pit crew member not disclosing a September 2022 arrest in Platte County, Missouri to NASCAR.
According to Missouri Court records, a warrant was issued against Hayden, and the NASCAR pit crew member was officially arrested on September 11, 2022, on charges of Misdemeanor Domestic Assault, 4th Degree.
On October 31, 2022, Hayden pleaded guilty to the charges in court and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation on January 3, 2023. As part of the sentence, Hayden was required to complete Drug and/or Alcohol Treatment as directed and would be required to complete 40 hours of community service.
The initial arrest in September, led to Hayden missing the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway, which caused Jeremy Turner, the owner of The Pickle Gang Pit Crew LLC — a company that utilizes independent contractor pit crew members to fill pit crew rosters for NASCAR teams — to have to fill in on the Alpha Prime Racing pit crew for that event.
“[Hayden is] an independent contractor, so I knew something happened last year at Kansas because I had to fill in for him,” Turner said.
To start the 2023 season, Hayden had been serving as the tire carrier of the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro for Alpha Prime Racing, which has been driven by Ryan Ellis for the first seven events of the year.
The Alpha Prime Racing team that utilizes The Pickle Gang for its pit crews tells TobyChristie.com that they do not condone the activities that Hayden has pleaded guilty to.
In 2018, Hayden, who at the time was working for the now-defunct JP Motorsports, was suspended indefinitely after he and team owner Jerry Hattaway got into an altercation in the garage at Dover Motor Speedway, leaving Hattaway with a broken jaw.
About two weeks after the penalties were handed down, Hayden had his penalty amended at the hands of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel, which removed the indefinite suspension and instead left him with a $1,000 fine.
TobyChristie.com’s Toby Christie and Joseph Srigley contributed to this report.