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« Here’s why parking Kyle Busch was a good move by NASCAR | Main | Losing Kyle Busch would be bad for NASCAR »

Here’s why parking Kyle Busch was the wrong thing for NASCAR to do

By admin | November 6, 2011

By Richard Allen


It is said that there are two sides to every story. In the spirit of that statement I am writing two separate columns to address the parking of Kyle Busch by NASCAR following his actions during Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway. In one of those columns I will attempt to explain the positives of the sanctioning body’s police action against the driver and in the other I will attempt to explain that the wrong decision was made.

On lap 15 of the WinStar World Casino 350 driver Ron Hornaday got inside of Busch and essentially muscled his way around as the two raced through turns one and two of the 1.5 mile track. The pass by the Kevin Harvick, Inc. driver forced Busch’s Toyota to go high up the banking and brush the wall.

Clearly, Busch was angered by the move and pursued Hornaday down the back stretch as the yellow flag waved. When Hornaday slowed in observance of the caution, Busch latched his truck onto Hornaday’s rear bumper and began pushing him wildly through turns three and four until he finally hooked the right rear of the #33 and turned it head on into the outside wall.

Busch was then ordered by NASCAR to take his machine behind the pit wall and park it for the rest of the night. The next morning, the sport’s governing body announced that the often controversial driver would not be allowed to participate in either the Nationwide Series race scheduled for Saturday nor the Sprint Cup event set for Sunday afternoon on that same track.

Here’s why that decision was the wrong thing to do.

Most obviously, NASCAR told drivers a couple years ago to “Have at it”. As anyone who works in a position of authority or who raises children knows, consistency is the key to effective discipline. It is confusing to tell employees or children one thing and then act contrary to that mandate.

As a father of three small children, I can’t give permission for my kids to run wildly through the house then be upset when a lamp gets broken. I am getting the result I encouraged.

That’s what has happened here. And yes, I do realize I am expecting consistency from the most consistently inconsistent organization in sports.

In Busch’s mind, he was just “Having at it” as he was told to do by those who make the rules.

Certainly, some will argue that a line was crossed in this instance. There are boundaries for any edict and in this case Busch went too far. But, have those boundaries ever been defined? “We’ll know it when we see it” is not exactly the definition of ‘etched in stone’.

I’m no lawyer but if this were a court case instead of a sporting judgment call, the decision to park Busch would be very difficult to defend in light of the policy NASCAR has lived by for the better part of two seasons.

And to add to that confusion, consider that a somewhat similar incident in July of 2010 did not result in similar punishment.

During a Nationwide Series event at the now defunct Gateway International Raceway located just outside of St. Louis, Carl Edwards hooked Brad Keselowski in the right rear and turned him head on into the wall as the two raced for the checkered flag. Edwards was not parked for any race, much less any races contested in a series outside that in which the incident occurred. He was only assessed a minor fine and had points taken away in the Nationwide Series.

By parking Kyle Busch, NASCAR sends a mixed message. ‘Have at it, but we’ll bench you if you do so in a way that we don’t like. And by the way, we reserve the right to not tell you where the boundaries are and to contradict previous rulings.’

In the end, this was a tough call for NASCAR to make. Either way they would have been criticized by fans, media and other competitors. And consider that there is much more to it than the discipline of a single driver. Sponsors, crew members, car owners and fans are all impacted when one of the sport’s stars in benched. However, the call could have been made much more easily, or might not have had to be made at all, had clear guidelines for driver behavior been detailed and those guidelines been enforced regularly and consistently.

Please consier this opposing view

Topics: Articles |

18 Responses to “Here’s why parking Kyle Busch was the wrong thing for NASCAR to do”

  1. PrimeTimeChuck Says:
    November 6th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I can’t help but disagree. “Having at it” still has to be within reason….. wrecking someone while under caution may have been acceptable had this been a spin at 50 mph…. but… Busch drove Hornaday into the wall at a high rate of speed. He didn’t use ANY sort of proper judgement. He chose to attack out of PURE ANGER…. he didn’t even ask his spotter what happened…. he reacted with NO understanding of the fact that Hornaday had bounced off of the car at the bottom…. He showed poor judgement not only in retaliating, but also in the WAY he chose to retaliate.
    The punishment should have been worse in my opinion, all things considered.

  2. Russ Edwards Says:
    November 6th, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    You are right, while I dont think you can predict and legislate every move that a driver can make in a car this was taken to a new level.

    AND, it has always and continues to depend on who is crossing the line. When Dale Sr. was running roughshod through the series, his behavior was celebrated, and became the stuff of legend. Today, depending on who does it, its either: “OMG!” or “real racing.”
    Go figure.

  3. Andy D Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 2:10 am

    No matter how hard you’re racing, there should never be intentional contact between cars. These dirty tactics bgean with Earnhardt and we were fortunate that the incidences lessened after he died. As the TV ratings tanked, NASCAR decided that “beatin’ & bangin’” might bring back the wrestling fans that used to support Dale.

    There will always be contact in a tight road race, and maybe 25% less at Martinsville or Bristol. At a 1.5 mile or larger track, it should be negligible.

  4. Bill Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Check the St Louis video again. Carl Edwards hooked Brad Keselowskin in the LEFT rear which turned Brad toward the infield, not the wall. Once Brad’s car had turned 180 degrees the car became airborne and flipped vertically onto its top before striking the wall. This was not Carl’s intent and Carl was clearly shaken up and immediately remorseful for the outcome. At the time NASCAR was far more concerned with the physics of why the car became airborne than it was with actions of Carl Edwards.

  5. Bill Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Sorry, it was at Atlanta, not St Louis when Brad got airborne.

  6. zhills fan Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Lets not kid ourselves, Kyle is out of control with a temper second to none. I’m sure Gibbs will make the correct decision.

  7. Bill B Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 7:30 am

    If you tell your kids to have at it and they break a lamp then you’re right maybe it’s partly your fault for sending the wrong message. But if they burn down the house…?

    Come on a line has to be drawn somewhere.

    And everyone saying that Carl should have received the same penalty for send Kes airborn are right on, but they didn’t. Much like the refs miss calls in football NASCAR blew that call. But that is not a defense for Kyle that is a black mark on NASCAR for it’s lack of consistency, which we all can agree on.

    As I said in the other column I think history has to be weighed into the decision. Kyle has done many controversial things and has been warned and told to straighten up and fly right, but he refuses to change his behavior. The judge finally had to give him a sentence with some teeth.

  8. Matt Ogilvie Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Kyle’s actions were over the line and worthy of some sort of punishment. Having said that, I firmly believe that, given similar actions by other drivers over the years that resulted in little or no punishment, Kyle was parked mainly to appease JuniorNation.

  9. Josie Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 7:59 am

    As a grandmom to a 3 1/2 year old boy who loves NASCAR and especially Kyle and the M & M’s been tough to explain why Kyle did wrong and why he was put in a “time out”. He sees wrecks weekly and hasn’t grasped the concept of a “whoops” or a deliberate drilling. I have no problem explaining good and bad’s part of life’s lessons…but for a sport that’s supposed to be family friendly..this one went over the line. So I would like to say to Kyle..and hope someone passes it on to him….I know fans, sponsors, your team, your family, other teams, friends, and probably yourself are very disappointed with your actions and that’s a hard lesson to learn….but I think if you would have heard the questions sunday and seen my grandsons reactions to you sitting on the pit box and not in your beloved M&M car maybe you would have thought twice..disappointing a child is unforgivable.

  10. Bill B Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 9:18 am

    If what you meant by “appeasing Jr Nation” was really “appeasing everyone that isn’t a blind Kyle Busch fan” then you are right.

    I know plenty of fans that aren’t Jr fans that would only have been appeased with a suspension penalty.

    So if you want to force this into having anything to Jr Nation knock yourself out. I just wanted to make sure you knew that this has nothing to do with Jr Nation.

  11. jerseygirl Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    “parked to appease JrNation”? Huh? I don’t get that since Hornaday drivers for Harvick, not Jr.

    I agree that NASCAR’s intentional “non definition” of what the lines were certainly have allowed for a lot of interpretative wrecking on the part of the drivers, but KyBu and Edwards have both been doing a lot of intentional wrecking of other drivers, usually when they are competing in a series they have no business being in against teams and drivers with less experience and less funding.

  12. tyler west Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Man, if it was someone else there would not even be an issue. So what if Hornaday was involved. He tries to get away with running Kyle up to the wall. He got what was coming. Nascar can say what eve they want, but there are certain drivers that they DO NEED!! They can deny it all they want but racing needs to be colorful!! PERIOD!! The clean image and fancy tracks are not doing the trick. ENOUGH SAID!!!

  13. Moe Foe Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I don’t think anyone outside of a troll, or as demented as Kyle was (we HOPE it was temporary), can say this was right. It wasn’t just wrong on the racing side, it was wrong on EVERY SIDE. If a basketball player started jumping on a competitor’s head, it wouldn’t be the sport that chastized him. What Kyle did was tantamount to assault, or even attempted murder anywhere but in sports. There are lines for a sports violation, and lines for a moral issue. Kyle crossed BOTH. This is NOT about who it is…it’s about using your car as a weapon. In most sports, this is throwing the ball at someone, hardly a dangerous action. But Kyle threw his whole CAR! Big Difference. NASCAR must add that caveat to “have at it”. Other instances have happened that should have drawn a penalty; Vickers/Smoke, Montoya/anybody, and the famous Edwards/Keselowski. Stop using your car as a weapon. It isn’t allowed at your local track and shouldn’t be allowed in NASCAR

  14. Charles Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I think the proper thing for Nascar to do is “up the fines” I am talk $250.000 or more not just little fines..

    But I think penaltys should be for “the series” in which it happen in… I mean if happen in Nationwide let the fine be in Nationwide.. or if happend in Sprint the fines be for that series as well! Alot of Kyle Busch fans who paid to go to Sprint Race bought a needless ticket… it has to worse that this incident to ‘park a driver’!

    Nascar has a habit of picking on favorites and Ron Hornaday is no saint as well, Just like Brad K, he was the driving force and he repeadly kept hitting Carl Edwards, Edwards seen nascar wasnt doing anything, he got tired of it so he toke it in his own hands!

    Dale Sr could get away with it, never forget him sending Rusty Wallace for a ride in 93 Talladaga race… but ‘thats just good old hard racing”..yea right!!!

  15. Andrew Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    It was a lot harder to write this article than the other one, wasn’t it? ;) I do indeed applaud your efforts to be balanced tho!

  16. Mr. Tony Geinzer Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Please,Rich, I beg you for Mercy that M and M’s FIRE Kyle Busch and go for a Family Friendlier Driver who would have been otherwise unemployed next Spring.

  17. Steve Says:
    November 8th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    People like Charles who support a particular driver and feel jipped when he doesn’t race because they get suspended really disgust me. You aren’t really a racing fan or a Nascar fan.

    So what you are saying is because you bought a ticket and your boneheaded driver did something to get himself suspended it’s Nascars fault? And because you bought a ticket to see him, he shouldn’t be suspended because of it? No wonder Nascar is going down the crapper.

    Here’s a tip for you Charles. Learn the other drivers and learn to love the racing itself. That way, regardless of what happens, you won’t be disappointed if your favorite driver isn’t racing that day.

  18. Charles Says:
    November 9th, 2011 at 12:16 pm


    Let me give you a tip Steve…I have been going to Nascar since 1963 …I dont need you to tell me about how to judge actions of the sport!!!!!

    I give you the facts and just because you cannot seem to take it thats your problem.!!!!!

    Repeat I am not a Kyle Busch fan, but when I seen others get away with things just as serious as thing, I will not give it a past!

    The Nascar press has a past history of giving a nod and a wick to some and demonize others and I will call them out on it when I can!!