DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR has suspended 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch until June 13 after Busch threatened a reporter at Dover Int’l Speedway Saturday.
Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing; violation of probation; verbal abuse to a media member) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. Busch will not be allowed to participate in any NASCAR sanctioned events until after his suspension ends. His probation has also been extended until the end of the year (Dec. 31).
Busch, who drives the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, had been placed on probation May 15 for his actions during the May 12 Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, where he was involved in a confrontation with members of Ryan Newman’s pit crew. That probation was scheduled to end July 25.
The suspension is the latest in a series of problems faced by the former NASCAR champion in recent years, which have included physical and verbal confrontations with various members of the NASCAR community.
Saturday’s incident took place when Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass asked Busch a question about his probation. Busch responded by saying, “It (probation) refrains me from beating the (expletive) out of you right now, because you ask me stupid questions. But since I’m on probation, I suppose that that’s improper to say as well.”
Busch issued the following statement late Monday afternoon:
“I accept NASCAR’s decision. I put them in a box, they had to take action and it’s my fault for putting them in this position. I apologize for the comments I made to Bob Pockrass.”