Kyle Busch has had his drivers license revoked for 45 days, been fined $1000, handed community service and put on a 30-day suspended jail sentence with a year of unsupervised probation after attending a court sentencing hearing over the 128mph drive he took in a 45mph zone in May.

Busch was stopped by an Iredell County Sheriff's Office Deputy on May 24 after being clocked at nearly three times the legal speed limit while driving a $400,000 2012 Lexus LFA high performance sports coup? through residential streets close to his home in North Carolina. He was charged with speeding and reckless driving and faced a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and the loss of his license for 12 months if convicted on all counts.

Busch's attorney Cliff Homesley complained that the NASCAR star faced being treated more harshly because of his sporting fame, and called for him to be sentenced just the same as anyone else.

"The policy changes when one of the best drivers in the world walks into the courtroom," said Homesley. Only 2.4% of speeding cases in the region are convicted at the maximum penalty, with the vast majority significantly pleaded down for quick resolution: in July, a convicted felon on supervised probation kept his license and was handed only a $300 fine by the same court after being charged with doing the same speed.

"How can that be?", Homesley had asked, complaining that the district attorney's office had never entertained a plea bargain in Busch's case as had happened in every other case of over-100mph cases.

In a lengthy address to the court pleading mitigation, Homesley stated that the Lexus - which was on loan to Busch from the motor company at the time - was higher performance than regular cars and that therefore the speed of 128mph clocked by Busch wasn't as reckless as it might have appeared. He pointed out that it could brake from that speed in 300 feet - the same distance a normal street car takes to slow from just 60mph.

Homesley also made the case that Busch was not an ordinary driver but a skilled professional capable of handling a car at high speed. "An automobile in his hands is like a scalpel in the hand of a surgeon, not a knife in the hand of a 5-year-old," he said.

"I have no doubt Mr Busch is an extraordinarily talented driver," responded assistant district attorney Scott Cranford dryly. "The problem is the rest of us aren't."

Busch ultimately pleaded guilty to the speeding offence and no contest to careless and reckless driving, which meant that he avoided conviction on the latter counts which could have led to more serious punishment. Busch also made the point of attending the court hearing in person rather than just have his attorney represent him.

"We've gone through this as diligently as we could and as respectfully as we could," said Busch, apologising to the court for his offence. "That's why I am here in person to do it myself and accept responsibility for my actions and to just try to continue on."

"We're appreciative the judge recognized that Kyle should be treated at least as close to how he would treat anybody else here in society," said Homesley after the sentencing, insisting that he wasn't trying to raise a "big stink" about any unequal treatment now the matter was settled. "We understand that when you're in the public eye like Kyle is that your actions are going to be scrutinised more closely than those of other people.

"There's a lot of privileges from being an outstanding race car driver," he said outside the courthouse. "You also have to take the downside."

Busch will not serve the 30-day jail time unless he commits another crime in the next year. However he will not be able to drive a road car for the next 45 days, although the loss of his drivers license will not stop him from driving in NASCAR events during the suspension.

Busch is also required by both the court to perform 30 hours of community service with the BRAKES (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) teen safe-driving program developed by drag racer Doug Herbert, whose young sons were killed in a speeding-related accident in January 2008. Busch's Cup team Joe Gibbs Racing had already required Busch to sponsor 10 days of the BRAKES safe-driving schools for 300 students.

JGR said that any further punishments from the team would remain confidential; Busch has not been sanctioned by NASCAR over the speeding incident.

"This is closure," Busch said. "This is it. Today is done. We move on tomorrow and try to go win a truck race at Bristol." Busch won the NASCAR Cup race on Sunday to book his place in the Chase.

The hearing lasted over 35 minutes and included the unusual matter of a sizeable earthquake hitting the region during the proceedings.