NASCAR suspends Kyle Busch for crashing Hornaday

Mike Helton talks to the media about Busch's suspension
Getty Images for NASCAR

NASCAR took an unprecedented step Saturday morning at Texas Motor Speedway when it parked Kyle Busch for his remaining two races for "aggressive driving" in Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race.

Even though NASCAR has a small history of parking drivers across two series' lines for egregious actions, a penalty affecting all three national series has never been levied.

The penalty also was unique in that on Friday night, Busch was driving for his own Kyle Busch Motorsports team, while earlier Friday, Busch qualified Joe Gibbs Racing cars 17th for Sunday's Sprint Cup race and second for Saturday's Nationwide race.

NASCAR president Mike Helton met with the media for a little more than 10 minutes just after 8:45 a.m. local time and said a group of NASCAR officials had met "15 or 20 minutes ago" in the NASCAR office trailer with Busch and his Cup and Nationwide series owners, Joe and J.D. Gibbs.

Michael McDowell, who previously has driven Nationwide cars for JGR, practiced Busch's car in Saturday's opening Cup practice. Josh Wise, who will start 42nd in the Nationwide O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, practiced McDowell's regular Cup car, the No. 66 Toyota of HP Racing.

Friday night's incident began when Busch and Truck Series championship contender Ron Hornaday, while racing for second and third positions on Lap 14, made contact in Turns 1 and 2. The caution flew and Busch ran into Hornaday in Turn 3, then turned Hornaday head-on into the outside wall.

* Video: Busch parked after wrecking Hornaday under caution

NASCAR immediately parked Busch and continued that process Saturday morning by invoking Section 9-12 in its rule book, which states, "A NASCAR Supervisory Official may direct a Competitor to cease competition, to leave the racing premises, or to bring the car to the pit and/or garage area for a specified number of laps, and/or a specified time penalty, for the balance of the Race, or future NASCAR Races, if it is necessary to do so in order to promote the orderly conduct of the NASCAR Event(s). Such a directive will be given only in extraordinary circumstances, as determined by the NASCAR Supervisory Officials. It will not be deemed or construed to be a disqualification, suspension or other "penalty" within the meaning of Section 12 and is not appealable under that Section."

The two most notable previous occurrences of cross-series sanctions were in 2002, when Kevin Harvick was parked from a Sunday Cup race at Martinsville Speedway for actions in Saturday's Truck race. In 2007, Robby Gordon was parked for a Sunday Cup race at Pocono Raceway for his actions in Saturday's [Nationwide] event in Montreal.

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