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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.



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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, places the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, races to a third place finish Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A detailed view of the Brickyard 400 trophy prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, take the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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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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