FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Busch has pushed the patience of just about everyone in NASCAR since coming into the sport in 2004.
He pushed too far Friday night during truck series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
The sanctioning body “parked” Busch from Saturday’s Nationwide Series race and today’s AAA Texas 500 after he ran Ron Hornaday Jr. head-first into the third-turn wall during a caution period in Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 350K.
Busch learned he wouldn’t be allowed to drive for the rest of the weekend after meeting with NASCAR officials early Saturday. He left the meeting without comment.
Hornaday moved between trucks driven by Busch and Johnny Chapman while entering the first turn. His truck moved high in the turn and bounced off Busch and both trucks bounced off the wall to bring out a caution.
As Hornaday entered the third turn, Busch slammed him from behind and pushed him into a head-on into the wall. NASCAR ordered Busch off the track after the crash and on Saturday, it decided to extend the restriction throughout the weekend.
Busch admitted: “I lost my cool, no doubt” after the crash.
Hornaday suffered a shoulder injury in the crash. Witnesses also said he had to be restrained from Busch in the infield care center.
“The aggressiveness attached to that reaction led us to make the move that we made,” NASCAR president Mike Helton said.
Denny Hamlin replaced Busch during Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, and Michael McDowell will drive the No. 18 Toyota in today’s race.
“We understand not allowing Kyle to participate for the rest of the weekend is pretty severe action on his part. We felt like it was our responsibility in order for us to maintain control of the events to take the step we took,” Helton said.
Busch was driving a truck owned by his race team. The sanctions, however, affect the Nationwide and Sprint Cup teams owned by Joe Gibbs. The car owner also met with NASCAR early Saturday and made no excuses for his driver.
“We love our sport,” Gibbs said. “We think NASCAR does a great job of handling things. We all kind of talked that over and understood what their reasoning was. We trust them.
“Our situation now, it’s a tough situation for us and we just want to try and handle it the right way with all the people who are impacted by this. That’s what J.D. (Gibbs, team president) and I will be doing the rest of the weekend. You can guess how disappointed and upset we are.”
Busch became the fourth driver in 20 years to be parked for aggressive driving. The last was 2007 when Robby Gordon refused to accept NASCAR’s black flag at the end of the Nationwide Series race at Montreal, so NASCAR wouldn’t allow him to race the next day at the Pocono Raceway.