Kyle Busch started his day at Texas Motor Speedway’s AAA Texas 500 fourth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Points Championship, just 230 points out of first place. Mathematically, Busch had every chance to make significant gains in the standings if he could run as well as he did in the Camping World Truck Series (first) on Friday night or Saturday in the Nationwide series race (second).
Once again, NASCAR’s newest bad boy is his own worst enemy. Busch had been driving a good race, staying in contention and running in the top ten for the first half of the run at Texas. He raced competitors hard, allowing teammate and title contender Denny Hamlin ample time to work on his car and make a run to the front.
On lap 159 the #18 Toyota Spun in a thick cloud of smoke, narrowly avoiding contact from a large number of the cars in the field. Busch managed to keep his car off the wall as well and make it back to his pit without any additional damage from disintegrating tires.
Busch raced his way out of the pits, changing just right side tires and beat the pace car to the line and keeping him on the lead lap. To Kyle’s detriment, he was caught speeding on pit road and NASCAR officials called the #18 back in for a stop and go penalty. Busch was now a lap down.
While being held in the pits by NASCAR to serve his penalty, Busch showed his frustration by, as NASCAR says it “digitally expressing his displeasure”. That’s right Kyle Busch flipped NASCAR officials off for their decision to enforce a rule that’s been around for a long time.
Busch served his penalty and returned to the track, but by lap 164 NASCAR had handed down a second penalty for NASCAR’s bad boy. Busch was docked two additional laps for ‘Unsportsmanlike Conduct’. Busch’s antics left him three laps down and his teammate Hamlin without much help in the top five except for junior teammate Joey Logano, whose car came to life as the sun set on the speedway.
Once again, Busch, who has proven over and over again that he is a racer to be reckoned with, has become his own worst enemy and has assured that he will have to wait til the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season to contend for the championship.