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Kurt Busch suspended over media comments

Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch has been suspended from this weekend's upcoming NASCAR events for comments he made to the media after Saturday's Nationwide race at Dover.
Controversial Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver Kurt Busch has been handed a one week ban from NASCAR competition, following comments he made to members of the media at Dover International Speedway after Saturday afternoon's race.

The ban means he will not be able to compete for Phoenix Racing at Pocono. He's also been placed on extended NASCAR probation through to the end of the year.

Busch had been involved in a long battle with Justin Allgaier during Saturday's 5-hour Energy 200 race which saw him make contact with the rear of Allgaier's car at the start of the race which Allgaier took as intentional. Allgaier went on to make it as difficult as possible for Busch to pass him for the rest of the race, and afterwards waited for Busch in pit lane. The two men went to examine the original damage at the back of Allgaier's #31 car with both asserting their views in an assertive but non-physical discussion.

However, this happened in the full glare of the media and reporters inevitably wanted to know what had been said between the two men. Allgaier was quick to brush off the matter: "The weather," he quipped when asked what they had discussed, adding: "We were both fighting for the same real estate and unfortunately ... just agreed to disagree."

But for his part when interviewed by ESPN's Dr Jerry Punch, Kurt Busch said: "He drove like a you-know-what all day and tried to door us and tried to do stupid things out on track ... There's clowns that wanna play, and we'll play," adding: "Race your car, kid, race your car. That's all there is to it, it's called a race, that's what we're doing out here."

Busch added: "I'm on probation, so I can't even pick my nose the right way."

So far no problem, but once the TV cameras moved away Busch was approached by Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass who wanted to know whether the fact that Busch was on probation over a pit lane incident at Darlington in May had left him feeling unable to fight back against Allgaier's tactics on the track. Busch's irked response was picked up on camera.

"It refrains me from not beating the shit out of you right now, because you ask me stupid questions," he said. "But since I'm on probation, I suppose that's improper to say as well. If you could talk about racing things, we could talk about racing things, Bob."

When Pockrass insisted that it was a legitimate racing-related question, Busch disagreed again: "It's not racing," he said. "You're in this just to start stuff. That's all you're out here for."

Pundits expected there to be some sort of reprimand for Busch for the comments, which subsequently aired on SPEED TV and went viral online. But a suspension is beyond what many had been prepared for given that the exchange was not done in an overtly hostile or aggressive manner.



Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch (right) announces the signing of his brother Kurt to race with him in the Kyle Busch Motorsports #54 Nationwide Series car in 2012. [Picture Credit: Kyle Busch Motorsports]
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Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cars race after a restart lead by Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet (L), Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet (R) during the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, crashes in the early part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)

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Texas Roadhouse

June 05, 2012 4:45 PM

Having watched various racing formats over here for some years, I still cannot get over the crass stupidity of some interviewers, both in their timing, and the inane questions they come out with. It never fails to amaze me how composed the interviewees remains, in such stressful situations. That Kurt Busch spoke his mind should not have attracted such a penalty. Maybe the various ruling bodies should also consider penalising those fools with microphones who ask the stupid questions, or interfere during racing to get comments. It's a 2-way street.

Marty - Unregistered

June 05, 2012 5:48 PM

Kudos to you Kurt. If NASCAR wants to be so strict and show favoritism to certain teams and one driver let them have at it. Nascar is has been will remain the same until all new faces are in place at the top. It's a shame a driver can't express himself anymore.



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