Just a week previously, NASCAR seemed happy to allow Brian Vickers to continue racing despite his involvement in multiple cautions during the Martinsville race that culminated in his attempt to retaliate against Matt Kenseth for an earlier incident; Vickers succeeded only in wrecking himself but the resulting caution changed the outcome of the race. Vickers received no penalty or warning for any of the incidents.
Drivers felt that Busch's unpopularity with large sections of the sport's fanbase had either enabled or forced NASCAR into a more pro-active stance this week. The last time a Cup driver was parked for a race for on-track issues was Robby Gordon in 2007, after ignoring NASCAR orders during a Nationwide Series race in Montreal.
"I feel like NASCAR felt probably a little pressure from fans and things like that to make a decision," said Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing team mate Denny Hamlin. "There's not much different from what happened last week. There were a lot of incidents very, very similar that took guys out."
Championship leader Carl Edwards didn't want to get distracted from his own race by the incident, and sidestepped the question when asked about it: "I didn't hear anything that [NASCAR President] Mike Helton said, so I don't know the exact reason or anything like that," he said. "I haven't had a chance to talk to him, so I don't know yet."
Edwards' team owner Jack Roush said that he hoped the 'line' being tentatively drawn with Busch's suspension was about retaliating under cautions. "“Anybody that wrecks one of these cars or creates a problem after a caution or after a checkered flag really does so at their own peril,” he said. “I'm sure NASCAR will do something that's reasonable in the broad scheme of things.”
Meanwhile Kevin Harvick - who owned the #33 truck that Hornaday was driving on Friday - was still unhappy with Busch but insisted that as far as he was concerned "NASCAR has taken care of it," adding: "I wish my truck was still racing for the championship and still not totalled.
"I'm glad I was in my truck, and I had good people around me to make me understand that this situation was going to get handled and didn't make it worse than it already was.”
Harvick himself knows what it feels like to be on the wrong end of NASCAR disciplinary action, having been suspended for a Cup race for actions in a 2002 Truck race at Martinsville. "I guess you could call it a defining moment," he said of that incident. "Fortunately, I had sponsors that stuck around, and that was one of those moments where you know that you have to get your stuff together and realize that it's not just about you."