Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No excuse for Busch going 128

When you go 128 mph in a 45-mph zone, there’s really no excuse.

Kyle Busch was test-driving a new sportscar Tuesday – a yellow Lexus, with his wife Samantha in the passenger seat -- and said in a statement he got “carried away.” An Iredell County Sheriff’s Deputy clocked Busch driving 128 mph in a 45-mph zone – a staggering 83 mph over the speed limit.

Put it another way -- that’s almost three times the legal limit.

Busch, 26, is a race driver of stunning talent. And this is a mistake of stunning magnitude. I know no one got hurt, and thank God for that. But please… don’t discount this as “Just speeding.” Getting caught going 68 mph in a 60-mph zone is just speeding.

This was Busch recklessly endangering lives – including his own and the life of his wife. I know he's used to danger -- it's part of his job. But what about those he might have met on that road?

Busch released a statement Tuesday that read in part: “I went beyond the speed I should have been going on a public road. I apologize to the public, my fans, sponsors and race teams for my lack of judgment. I take responsibilities for my actions and I can assure you that something like this will never happen again.”

Now I’m glad Busch is apologizing, but that’s not enough.

Joe Gibbs, who employs Busch as the owner of Joe Gibbs racing, is one of the most decent and honest men I’ve ever met. He needs to make a statement here – that driving 128 mph on a public road can’t and won’t be tolerated.

If I’m Gibbs, I would at least suspend Busch for one weekend of Sprint Cup racing. (A spokesman for JGR told The Observer Tuesday that the organization was aware of the incident and looking into it).

I’d give Busch more than a slap on the wrist. Surely all the relevant sponsors would agree – the driver nicknamed “Rowdy” needs to be made aware that that sort of rowdiness must be confined to the track.

We all know that speed can both thrill and kill. Here’s a teachable moment, ready for the taking. Time for Gibbs to teach not only Busch a lesson, but also to help young, impressionable drivers understand how wrong what Busch did was.

I hope there won’t be a next time, as Busch assures us there won’t be. But that doesn’t absolve Busch from being punished this time.

It doesn’t sound like NASCAR will do it. Even if Busch loses his driver’s license, he is eligible to compete in NASCAR races. So Gibbs must.

For if Busch had hit anybody or anything at 128 mph on a public road, we at The Charlotte Observer wouldn’t be debating the punishment for a speeding ticket right now.

We’d be working on some obituaries.


Kylesajerk said...

Gibbs won't do anything to Busch except make him speak to some teenagers' safe driving classes...great p.r. with little other impact. BUT I'm hoping the traffic court judge will make him pay with no driver's license for a good while. That kind of speed should be automatic revocation.

Anonymous said...

You know, as a race fan I was indifferent to him until this, but now he's firmly in my dislike column. Either Gibbs or NASCAR or both should give him some kind of penalty with real teeth - sitting out this weekend sounds about right. This is most certainly an action detrimental to the sport.

Given his name and connections, he could certainly have arranged a safer place for a high-speed test drive that wouldn't have put others on the road at risk. And with his wife in the car? That's a leap beyond poor judgement and into complete selfishness.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Park him for the weekend. He owns his own trucks, but Gibbs can certainly park him for Nationwide and Cup. This is moronic behavior. As a racecar driver, he of all people should know the dangers of high speed. This wasn't a track with a SAFER barrier, and he wasn't in a car with a sturdy roll cage and a HANS device. Take a weekend off, Rowdy.

Anonymous said...

Your all jelous that boy can drive

Anonymous said...

I've had drivers pass me doing over 80 on I-77 in the middle of Charlotte......many times. Which is the most dangerous? It makes me angry that people will drive this fast on public roads, but I think what Kyle did is no worse, given his skills. I say let the law handle it, it has nothing to do with his job.

Anonymous said...

Let the state authorities and court system handle Busch on the public roads. Dont worry. They know what to do.
NASCAR is a privately owned totally separate entity and has nothing to do with public roads and laws.
Double punishment is stupid.
Apples and oranges.

Anonymous said...

He needs a meth test. Another Jeremy Mayfield in the making. He's too ugly to be compared to Tim Richmond.

Anonymous said...

Even though it was a rare $375,000 Lexus LFA, Perth road is not the place for this.

If it were on 77 or 485 (north side) and there wasn't any traffic, it might be a different story, but a 2 lane road with curves is nuts.

Anonymous said...

I'm firmly on the NO NASCAR punishment side. Let the law do it's job, but that has nothing to do with competitive performance. I'm sure Coach Gibbs will speak to Lexus about lending his drivers any future high performance cars. Denny had an identical car, you don't think he wasn't "playing" with it?? Then why have it?
So I ask the question, how else are you supposed to try out the capabilities of this kind of street car when it's SOLE purpose is TO GO FAST??

GK said...

@Anon 12:05pm - have you ever been to Virginia International Raceway? Road Atlanta? Beautiful tracks and lovely facilities. Busch wouldn't blink at the cost of renting one for a private outing one day, and that's the perfect habitat to push a LF-A to superlegal speeds, not a public road in Iredell County.

For conduct detrimental to the sport, his team and his sponsors, I think Rowdy should be watching from home on Saturday and Sunday.

Hoagie58 said...

What all you "park him for the weekend" morons fail to realize, is that parking him for the weekend could ultimately cost him a shot at the championship. Does that seem fair? Do you feel YOU should lose a commensurate amount if YOU received a speeding ticket?

I really feel like this is all about hating on Kyle. If Earnhardt Jr had gotten a ticket for doing 128, would it have been such a big deal? Oh wait- he cant even get a stock car going that fast, so...question answered!

DJTet said...

His 'skills' such as they may be won't help him on MOST roads going 128 mph. I hope at least he knew the road was a long straightaway otherwise he just got lucky. He could have vaporized a deer or a bicyclist before he even had a chance to react at that speed, depending on the road.

Nick said...

I know alcohol wasn't involved in this one, but... Rob Moroso, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Nascar have put people on probation for DUI's before, so doing something over this wouldnt be stretch. 128mph is not acceptable on any public road.

Racecar drivers should be setting the keep speed on the track example (No matter who you are)

Anonymous said...

Park him for a weekend. NASCAR rules "..actions detremental to the sport.." Rowdy is currently on probation as it is with NASCAR. He is a public figure that for some is a role model. He should be held to a higher standard. Just because he did not hit anything, or kill someone from driving at that speed does not give him a free pass. Maybe he might grow up somewhat.

GK said...

@Hoagie58 - what you fail to realize is that his actions could have cost him HIS AND HIS WIFE'S LIVES. Potentially losing a championship is a small price to pay in comparison to his life (or worse, and innocent bystander's).

Besides, sitting out one weekend probably wouldn't hurt a guy like Busch, because he'll probably get in on wins if he doesn't make it in points. NASCAR or JGR needs to send out a message that this is not acceptable behavior, doesn't matter that if it's Busch, Earnhardt, Logano, Gordon or Mark Martin. All should be equally penalized if they had done the same thing, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

If say Cam Newton did this on Charlotte road then, he'd been persecuted!! As he should be if he had done that. Why should Busch get a pass cause he drives professionally? On public roads; he's no different from anyone else; a citizen. This is not Busch first time traveling at high speeds on North Carolina roads. He has to be suspended to show that you just can't endanger the lives of the public as well as your wife.

Anonymous said...

Another rich jerk with more dollars than sense, who doesn't believe the rules apply to him. You'd be kidding yourself to think that Bush doesn't have contempt for the officer that pulled him over or the public outrage being expressed. "I got carried away", what a ridiculous excuse. I'm sure Bush is truly sorry ... that he was caught.

xl pharmacy said...

He shouldn't be doing that stuff, he is an idol to some fans, what are they going to think after that of him.