AUDIO: NASCAR PRESIDENT MIKE HELTON ANNOUNCES KYLE BUSCH SUSPENSION
NASCAR has suspended Kyle Busch for both Saturday's Nationwide Series race and Sunday's AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Also see: Kyle Busch issues letter of apology
The decision came in the aftermath of Busch's incident with Ron Hornaday in Friday night's truck series race when he intentionally wrecked the Kevin Harvick Inc. driver under caution as a response to earlier contact on the track between the two.
NASCAR president Mike Helton announced the ruling to the media Saturday morning at Texas Motor Speedway.
“The responsibility that over the past two or three seasons we’ve given back to the drivers came with a very clear understanding that there could be a line that got crossed,” Helton said. “And as annoying as the comments that I’ve made personally in the past about, ‘We’ll know it when we see it’ might have been, we saw it last night.”
Denny Hamlin will drive Busch's Nationwide car in Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge and Michael McDowell takes the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in Sunday's Sprint Cup race.
Team owner Joe Gibbs also met with the media and said the decision by the anctioning body was the right one but a difficult situation for his racing organization.
"We met this morning with NASCAR and they explained their situaton and decision, and after that sometimes in life you have to deal with real tough things," Gibbs said. "This was a tough situation for us.
"I met with Kyle in his motorhome this morning, I think it was one of those personal conversations you have when a real tough situation like this comes up."
Gibbs commended NASCAR for taking the action they did despite how it impacted his team and driver.
"They always do a great job to manage the sport and it has grown because of them and the way they handle it," Gibbs said. "I have great faith in the decisions they make. We've been a part of this for a long time and love it, love being a part of it and love the sport. I think this sport is where it is because of NASCAR and the way they handle things.
"This was a tough one for us. Sometimes life gives you tough things and you don't like it, but we're certainly going to try and work our way through this one and do the right thing and handle it the right way."Busch explained his thought process after what took place between he and Hornaday on Friday night.
“My truck was hurt," Busch said after the incident. "I brushed the wall. My truck was hurt where I don’t think we could have won after that. If you’re a guy racing for a championship you need to be smart enough to understand that you can’t go three wide on lap 15 and knowing how bad the trucks are when you’re on the inside of somebody and not expect to get loose. Yeah, it was my fault after the fact, but who is going to fix my truck after it wrecked in turn 2 the first time?’’
Hornaday, who had his hopes for a fifth truck series title erased in the crash the knocked both drivers out on lap fifteen, vowed to tak ematters into his own hands had NASCAR not acted to his liking as did his team owner and Friday night's truck race winner Kevin Harvick.
"Kyle Busch is going to get his ass whipped shortly, I hope,'' Harvick said. "He better sit his ass in his motorhome or I'm going to come find him and he's going to have to hold my watch because I'm going to whip his ass. He's the biggest whining little piece of (expletive deleted) I've ever seen in my whole life.''
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