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Kyle Busch caught speeding at 128mph

25 May 2011

It recalls the old British gag of two policemen pulling over a speeding vehicle and asking the driver, "Who do you think you are - Stirling Moss?"

This time, the Iredell County Sheriff's Office Deputy who pulled over a yellow Lexus LFA sports car near the North Carolina town of Troutman on Tuesday found that it was indeed southern America's equivalent to Sir Stirling behind the wheel - in the form of 26-year-old "Wild Thing" Kyle Busch.

Busch was allegedly found to have been going at 128mph in a 45mph zone. He was charged with careless and reckless driving as well as speeding, but was not arrested. If convicted, Busch could lose his license for a year and face $1000 in fines.

According to the authorities, Busch was targeted by a special unit of the Iredell County Sheriff's Department called the "Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team".

The local Record & Landmark newspaper reported that Sgt. Chris Stone said Busch was cooperative, and that "he wasn't arrogant or anything.

"He said 'this is just a toy,'" Sgt Stone reported Busch as responding when asked why he was going so fast. The Lexus was reportedly a concept car and a racing prototype on loan from the manufacturer, which may be the same model or car as the one that Busch's team mate Denny Hamlin tweeted a picture of on Monday.

In a subsequent statement, Busch said: "I was test driving a new sports car, and I got carried away. I went beyond the speed I should have been going on a public road.

"I apologise to the public, my fans, sponsors, and race teams for my lack of judgement. I take responsibility for my actions and I can assure you that something like this will never happen again. I thank the Iredell County Sheriff's Department and all law enforcement for the hard work they do every day to protect the public and to enforce the laws in a fair and equitable manner."

Officials from Joe Gibbs Racing - for whom he drives the #18 in the Sprint Cup championship - had no immediate comment on the incident, and nor did anyone from the Kyle Busch Motorsports team, which owns and operates the #18 in the Camping World Truck Series. Busch won the Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte on Friday, and went on to finish as runner-up in the All-Star Race coming in second behind Carl Edwards.

Busch has had brushes with the law twice before: in April 2006 he was issued a summons for the "chirping" (excessive squealing) of his tyres in a fast food parking lot in Richmond, Virgina; he pleaded guilty to improper driving and was fined $150 plus court costs. He was reportedly also cited for a more modest speeding offence (55mph on a 35mph zone) in Iredell County in 2008.

Busch is currently under probation with NASCAR after his pit lane altercation with Kevin Harvick at Darlington earlier in May, and it's not clear whether NASCAR officials may look into the incident and take action. Losing a regular driving license does not have any automatic repercussion on a driver's NASCAR license required to run in the championship.

However, NASCAR can take very seriously any public misbehaviour by drivers and team members that may reflect badly on the sport. Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett was recently put on probation for a year by NASCAR, after being caught driving four times over the legal limit in North Carolina in February.

Also on Tuesday, NASCAR announced that Gary Frost, a member of Jeff Burton's #31 pit crew, had been suspended indefinitely for violating the series' substance abuse policy.

The team subsequently followed up the NASCAR announcement with one of their own, stating: "Richard Childress Racing has zero tolerance when an employee fails a NASCAR drug test due to an illegal substance. As a result, that person's employment is terminated. It is important for our fans and our partners to know illegal drug use at RCR is simply not tolerated."


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