Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kyle Busch's Expensive Bird: NASCAR Penalizes Driver for Obscenity

Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Finishing 32nd place in the AAA Texas 500, it is evident the Kyle Busch and the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing did not experience a noteworthy third-last race of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. However, actions conducted by the #18 Toyota team's driver would not allow this poor finish to be forgotten. Tuesday following the event, Kyle Busch was assessed a monetary penalty of $25,000. Along with probation for the final two races, an incident deemed by NASCAR Rule Book as a violation of section 12-1 called actions detrimental to stock car racing comes as a result of an obscene gesture.

On the 159th lap of the 500 mile race, the #18 Toyota of Kyle Busch was spun on track. Without suffering any damage but requiring pit road service, Busch attempted to beat the pace car who was coming up to lap the M&Ms Toyota. Racing off pace car for what originally appeared to be a small victory for the Joe Gibbs Racing team, NASCAR determined the #18 car was speeding out of pit road. Unhappy, Kyle Busch and Co. was called back to the pit stall to receive a 1-lap penalty. It was in serving this penalty  In actions many saw as brazen show of disrespect, Kyle Busch flipped off a NASCAR official while serving a pit road penalty during Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motors Speedway. Unimpressed, NASCAR handed the driver a 2-lap penalty within the race. Without the concept of double jeopardy, NASCAR proceeded to reprimand Busch two days later with this recent fine.

Known by the nickname of "Rowdy" after mirroring the firey, fictional character in Days of Thunder years ago racing a #51 truck at Charlotte, Kyle Busch's 'play-to-win' persona has brought art to life. Such a driven racer, the younger Busch has shown at times lacking patience with other competitors and on occasion being discourteous particularly to media. However as of late, the 27-year old Joe Gibbs Racing was showing a more mature side up until the Sunday afternoon incident.

On Kyle Busch's Facebook page, the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing driver issued a statement calling himself out for his actions.

“I accept NASCAR’s penalty and realize what I did during Sunday’s race at Texas was inappropriate.

“Even in my relatively short time here in NASCAR, it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Sometimes that passion has allowed me to find that little something extra I needed to win, and other times it’s made me cross the line. Sunday at Texas was one of those days.

“I lost my cool, plain and simple. It’s not acceptable, and I know that. I apologize to NASCAR, its fans, all the partners who support Joe Gibbs Racing, and all the people who work so hard to give me a racecar that’s capable of winning races every week. All of those people deserve better from me, and I owe it to them to keep my emotions in check.”

While the driver has sufficiently spoken on his conduct, the Joe Gibbs Racing website neglected to share any details of the actual incident. Kyle Busch's race team's post race report for Texas merely called the incident "Subsequent penalties imposed by NASCAR..".

As NASCAR has encouraged drivers to maintain their personalities, incidents such as the one present with Kyle Busch's public and profane display are not going unwatched by the stock car sanctioning body. In fact, it has been rumoured that multiple NASCAR drivers were secretly fined for their conduct on and off the track. Even comments made on social networking site like Facebook and Twitter are under NASCAR scrutiny.

All monetary intake from NASCAR fines are directed to the NASCAR Foundation charity.

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