Saturday, November 5, 2011

NASCAR Parks Kyle Busch for Entire Texas Weekend

Associated Press

Kyle Busch will not be allowed to race in the Sprint Cup or Nationwide races at Texas after he deliberately wrecked championship contender Ron Hornaday Jr. in the Truck Series race.

NASCAR President Mike Helton announced the decision Saturday after a meeting with Busch and Joe Gibbs, his Sprint Cup and Nationwide car owner. Even under the policy of "Boys, have at it," NASCAR determined Busch went too far.

"The responsibility that over the past two or three seasons we've given back to the drivers came I think with a very clear understanding that there could be a line that got crossed," Helton said. "And as annoying as the comments that I've made personally in the past about we'll know it when we see it might have been, we saw it last night."

Busch left the NASCAR hauler through an exit away from the media.

"This is a tough situation for us and basically what we're trying to do is go through it the right way," Gibbs said. "Everybody here with our race team is trying to meet with everybody that was affected by this and obviously we've got a lot of work to do there and a lot of people to see. But we're going to be try to go through this and try to handle everything in the right way."

Gibbs said he met with Busch in the driver's motor home, but didn't share what was said.

"It's one of those personal conversations you have when a real tough situation like this comes up," Gibbs said.

Busch is the first driver since Robby Gordon in August 2007 to be parked for a Cup race for actions in another NASCAR race the same weekend.

Michael McDowell will take over for Busch in the Cup race Sunday, and Denny Hamlin took over the Nationwide seat Saturday.

Gordon wasn't allowed to drive in a 2007 Cup race at Pocono after an incident during the Nationwide race at Montreal.

Kevin Harvick, the owner of Hornaday's truck, was kept out of the Cup race in Martinsville in 2002 for actions related to a truck race there the previous day.

Hornaday was knocked out of Friday night's truck race on the 14th of 148 laps when Busch retaliated for contact between them by pushing the four-time champion into the wall. The trucks made contact after trying to go three-wide around a slower truck and both then brushed the wall.

Busch got behind Hornaday and kept pushing until the No. 33 truck wound up in the wall.

"I lost my cool, no doubt about it. I've been wrecked four weeks in a row, and I've had enough of it, and I retaliated," Busch said by his hauler after the wreck Friday night. "So it's certainly my fault for doing that. If everybody wants to say, 'Hornaday is racing for a championship, roll over,' that's not my fashion. That's not anybody else's fashion out here."

Hornaday dropped from third to fourth in points, his margin increasing from 15 to 48 with only one race left.

Busch and Harvick were fined and placed on probation for an altercation following the Cup race at Darlington in May.

The two made contact during that race and Harvick wrecked with teammate Clint Bowyer. Afterward, Harvick climbed from his car and threw a punch into Busch's window before Busch used his car to bump Harvick's out of the way.

Officials radioed each man's crew during a later race at Pocono, when Harvick forced Busch down the track while the two were fighting for position.

In May, Busch was ticketed in North Carolina for driving 128 mph in a 45 mph zone in a bright yellow 2012 Lexus. He later pleaded guilty to speeding and no contest to reckless and careless driving, and lost his driver's license for 45 days. He was fined $1,000, sentenced to 30 hours of community service and put on one year of unsupervised probation .

During the Cup race in Texas last fall, Busch was penalized three laps — the first for speeding on pit road and two more for flashing an obscene gesture through his windshield at the NASCAR official who signaled the infraction while standing in front of Busch's car.

Busch Wrecks Hornaday in Truck race

No comments: