NASCAR Fines Kurt Busch $50K
NASCAR has fined Kurt Busch $50,000 for his actions during the Nov. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
NASCAR determined that Kurt Busch, who drives the No. 22 car for Penske Racing, violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – inappropriate hand gesture; abusive language) of the 2011 NASCAR Rule Book.
The car was in the garages for repairs when Busch was approached by ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch. While Punch waited for to make his live report, Busch began berating the veteran motorsports reporter.
Amateur video and audio, a clip of which has made the rounds on YouTube, shows Busch repeatedly cursing Punch.
In issuing the penalty, NASCAR cited Kurt Busch’s “poor judgment in making an inappropriate hand gesture” when he drove his car into the garage early in the race after it experienced transmission problems. In addition, NASCAR said Kurt Busch showed “disrespect towards a media member,” an incident that followed similar inappropriate media confrontations earlier in the season.
Busch issued an apology for the incident earlier in the week.
The written apology read:
“Unfortunately, our result in the season-ending race at Homestead on Sunday was not what we had hoped for as a team. In my frustration with the loss of my transmission early in the race, I let my emotions get the better of me. I regret having done this and apologize to the sponsors of Penske Racing , to NASCAR, its fans, to the media and in particular, Dr. Jerry Punch.”
Penske Racing also issued a statement this week.
Penske Racing indicated there could be internal sanctions.
“Penske Racing extends its apologies to Dr. Jerry Punch, our media partners and our sponsors and fans for Kurt Busch’s inappropriate actions in Homestead on Sunday. These actions do not represent Penske Racing and are inconsistent with the company’s standards for behavior, respect for others and professionalism. This matter is being reviewed internally.”