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Kyle Busch sentenced for 128mph drive

NASCAR owner-driver Kyle Busch has been to court and received his sentence for being clocked doing 128mph in a 45mph zone in May in a high performance sports car.
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 coupé 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.




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Kyle Busch on the grid for the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway - June 2011. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with a burn-out Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Busch is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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pcxmac

August 24, 2011 2:09 AM

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fan - Unregistered

August 24, 2011 1:17 PM

Although his lawyer makes a good argument about sentencing, the fact remains that as a professional he should know better. As a professional he should know that that speeds are dangerous, even on a closed track.



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