Kyle Busch issued a letter of apology to his team, sponsors, fans and the NASCAR community as a whole on Saturday evening, on a day that started with him being suspended from the weekend's NASCAR Nationwide and Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch was parked for the weekend after an on-track incident with Ron Hornaday during Friday evening's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, in which he retaliated for earlier contact by turning Hornaday into the wall under a caution.
I've had a lot of time today to sit and reflect, and try to put my thoughts into words as best I can.
I want to sincerely apologize for my actions during Friday night's Truck Series race at Texas.
I apologize to my fans, all my sponsors, everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports.
After talking with my team, it's great to have their support and encouragement to assure me that there are better days ahead. Even though this took place while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, I am sorry for how difficult this has been for everyone associated with Joe Gibbs Racing's Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series teams.
I'd also like to apologize to Ron Hornaday Jr., and everyone associated with the No. 33 team in the Truck Series.
I understand why I was taken out of the car for the rest of the weekend. NASCAR officials had to act, and I accept their punishment and take full responsibility for my actions.
As a racecar driver, the hardest thing to do is to sit on the sidelines listening to cars on the track when you know you should be out there competing. For this, I have no one to blame but myself.
Through a lot of support from the people around me, I feel like I've made a lot of strides this year, but this was certainly a step backward. Moving forward, I will do everything I possibly can to represent everyone involved in a positive manner. However, I know my long-term actions will have more of a bearing than anything I say right now.
Busch could still face further penalties from NASCAR, or from his team - Joe Gibbs Racing - which is currently publicly at least standing by him. Busch's seat in this Sunday's Cup race is being taken by Michael McDowell, who regardless of the circumstances is happy at least to get the chance to step up at Texas.
"This is an awesome opportunity for me, so I'm going to go have a lot of fun and maximize the opportunity," he said on Saturday. "I know that I didn't really do anything to deserve it. I just got the phone call."
Drivers and teams are still trying to figure out exactly what it was about Busch's actions on Friday night that crossed the 'line' NASCAR say exists between their hands-off 'Boys have At It' approach and the more aggressively interventionist line taken over Friday's incident.