By admin | November 6, 2010
By Richard Allen
In April of 2002 NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick was suspended from a Sprint Cup Series race in Martinsville, Virginia for actions that occurred in a truck race on that same track the day before.
The punishment of Harvick stemmed from an incident involving him and Coy Gibbs. After the two had made contact several times throughout the day, Harvick spun Gibbs and was then instructed by NASCAR to park his truck.
Had Harvick simply brought his truck to the garage area and walked away he would have most likely raced the next day. But that was not what happened. He decided it would be best to show up NASCAR by wheeling his truck right up behind the NASCAR trailer and leaving it there as a demonstration of protest. As he learned, no one shows up NASCAR and gets away with it.
On Saturday after the Nationwide Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch seemed to go out of his way to express his displeasure with NASCAR in an unacceptable way.
Busch believed that Carl Edwards had jumped the final restart and gained an insurmountable advantage as a result. He also believed that Edwards should have been black flagged for his actions or at least that the restart should have been waved off. Busch has frequently complained about the ‘go’ spot on restarts.
Earlier in the year it was revealed that NASCAR had secretly taken action against at least two drivers for their public criticism of the sanctioning body. So, the precedent has been set for such actions.
However, this situation went further than just a driver criticizing NASCAR. In this case, Busch chose to use particularly profane language while being interviewed by a radio network whose broadcasts are heard nationwide as well as over the public address speakers at the facility itself. And more, Busch used the same language in the media center even after he had had a moment to cool off.
We know that NASCAR can suspend drivers for actions to have occurred in a support race the day before. We know that NASCAR will take action against drivers who are openly critical of them in a public forum. For that matter, NASCAR has taken action against those who have used offensive language in the past.
In this case, all three of the reasons for reprimand occurred at one time. So, should Busch suffer the same fate as Harvick did at Martinsville in 2002? Was what he did enough to get him sent home before the start of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race in Texas?
I am often a supporter of Busch because of the fact that he does bring excitement to the sport and he often gives us something to talk about. However, in this case I believe he went too far. I have small children, one of whom calls Busch his favorite driver, who I would not want to hear such language. I believe NASCAR would be justified in parking him for this race.
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