Article first published as Kyle Busch is Fast in the Wrong Places on Technorati.
Kyle Busch has been called reckless many times. Now he has the traffic citation to prove it.
On Tuesday, Busch was observed by officers of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department, driving a yellow Lexus sports car recklessly on congested country rounds. They clocked the vehicle doing nearly three times the posted speed limit at 128 mph in a 45 zone. Talk about the need for speed.
He was stopped and cited for careless and reckless driving, and speeding. Busch was ticketed and immediately released. (If it was me I would still be looking for a bail bondsman.)
The Toyota was a prototype concept car on loan to the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. With an estimated sticker price of $300,000, Busch described the car to the officers as a “Toy.”
That part of North Carolina is somewhat congested at that time of the day. Many residents were outraged that Busch seemed to get preferential treatment due to his celebrity status. The sheriff’s department defended their handling of the traffic stop saying the officer was within policy to cite and release the NASCAR driver.
Later in the day Busch released this statement: “Today I received a traffic citation in Iredell County. I was test driving a new sports car and I got carried away. 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 responsibility for my actions and I can assure you that something like this will never happen again. I thank the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department and all law enforcement for the hard work they do every day to protect the public and to enforce the laws in a fair and equitable manner.”
Thank you for the apology Mister Busch, but this isn’t over. Although still a misdemeanor, the excessive speed involved should garner some penalties in line with the excess. Busch will have to appear in court and faces the possible suspension of his driver’s license for up to 12 months and pay a fine of up to $1,000. Driving a stock car does not require a legal driver’s license.
If history is a guidepost, celebrity traffic stops usually are nothing more than a nuisance for the parties involved and rarely translate to heavy penalties. I hope the county court system sees this as an opportunity to send a message that recklessness has its price and will not be tolerated regardless of celebrity status.
At this time NASCAR has stated the citation will not impact the driver’s racing eligibility. Joe Gibbs Racing has stated they are aware of the event and are investigating internally. I wonder what they are investigating? Maybe it’s so they can sign the officer who caught Kyle to a big fat racing contract.
In other news there are a couple of pretty big races this memorial day weekend. The Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte.