The recent Southern 500 at Darlington marked a regrettable start to the NASCAR Playoffs for Kyle Busch. He was relegated to a 35th place finish after a crash a third of the way through the race. Also regrettable were his actions immediately following the crash, which have now cost him a significant amount of money.
On Tuesday, NASCAR fined Kyle Busch $50,000 for the way he entered the garage area following his accident at Darlington, classifying it as a safety infraction under Sections 12.1.a, 184.108.40.206.a, and 12.8.a of the NASCAR rulebook.
Busch turned into the garage area at an opening in the pit road wall where several cones had been set up, knocking them over and causing nearby spectators and crew members to scatter as he drove through at a considerable rate of speed. Of note is Section 220.127.116.11.a, which states that "Any violations deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators, or others are treated with the highest degree of seriousness."
"It was a situation that could have been bad," NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday. "Fortunately nobody got hit or anything like that and it all worked out. But putting people in harm's way for no reason is something that we take very seriously. So we're taking a hard look at it."
Busch was racing Austin Dillon for position on Lap 125 when he tried to clear himself from the outside line, cutting across the nose of Dillon's car and sending himself hard into the outside wall on the exit of Turn 2. Busch's frustration after the accident was not with Dillon, but rather with what he felt like was a lacking car attributable to issues within Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18 team.
"We were running like s---, we got wrecked. So it's what you get when you run like s---," Busch told NBC Sports. "Just shouldn't be there. I don't know what our problem is. Every time we go to a new sim and think we have a good sim session, we go to the racetrack and we suck."
Busch's accident left him 14th in the Playoff standings, two points below the cutoff line to advance to the Round of 12. The two-time Cup Champion still has time to rebound from his Darlington outing as two races remain in the opening round of the Playoffs.