NASCAR has suspended two National Series crew members indefinitely, following their arrests in North Carolina on charges related to sex crimes. The cases in which each is charged do not appear to be related.
John Byrd, a former Front Row Motorsports truck driver, was arrested Nov. 22 in Caldwell County on charges of “child abuse by authorizing sexual assault on (a) minor”, a felony, report says arrest from the sheriff’s office.
An arrest warrant accuses Byrd, 53, of Lenoir, North Carolina, of sexually touching a 13-year-old girl on November 21, according to public records obtained by The Charlotte Observer on Monday’s show.
The Observer is not including certain details from the police records in this case in order to protect the identity of the child.
Byrd was recently listed in the NASCAR roster system as the truck driver for the # 34 Ford team of FRM, which won the Daytona 500 last season. FRM told The Observer on Monday that Byrd was no longer employed by the organization.
In addition to Byrd, NASCAR announced on Friday that Xfinity Series Car Chief Austin Zivich has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct.
Zivich, 26, was arrested in Mooresville on Nov. 29 and charged with three counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, according to records from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office. Zivich lives in Mooresville and was employed by BJ McLeod Motorsports at the time of his arrest, according to police records. Further details on what led to Zivich’s arrest were not disclosed.
In the same staff sanctions report released on Friday, NASCAR said Cup Series crew chief Johnny Roten has been suspended indefinitely under NASCAR’s drug addiction policy. Roten is the team leader of the No. 13 MBM Toyota team. It’s unclear what led to Roten’s suspension, but public records show no recent arrests in North Carolina.
This story was originally published 6 December 2021 7:50 pm.