Busch League

AVONDALE, Az. - What a difference a year has made for Kurt Busch.

Last season he was in the middle of the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" championship battle and his picture was in newspapers from coast-to-coast as he battled for the coveted title.

This year, Busch's image is in newspapers again. Unfortunately it's a mugshot.

It's easy to make light of what happened here in Arizona on Friday night when Busch was stopped by local law enforcement officers for speeding and a possible alcohol-related offense. Yeah, we know - Busch was sponsored by Crown Royal and now will drive the Miller Lite-sponsored car next year. Ha ha.

But if alcohol is indeed part of this story, it will be no laughing matter - for Busch, for his teams and sponsors and for NASCAR.

NASCAR has always prided itself on the fact that its athletes were above the sordid activites that permeate other professional sports. No drug abuse, police altercations, alcohol-related mishaps or domestic violence problems - the staples of the NFL, the NBA or Major League Baseball's bad boys - were part of the NASCAR family.

Until now.

Busch issued a statement - finally - late Saturday addressing the story:

"I regret the incident that occurred near the Phoenix International Raceway Friday evening where I received a traffic citation. It is important to understand that this citation is not alcohol related. I want to apologize to the Maricopa County Sheriff's department for my actions."

While the statement quickly denies that alcohol was involved in the offense, talk around Phoenix Sunday morning points otherwise.

But let's not condemn Busch until all the facts come out. He's due in Maricopa County Court on December 22nd and until then, we'll hold judgement.

But however this turns out, it's still a black eye for the reigning NEXTEL Cup champ, who hasn't exactly demonstrated actions befitting a champion this year.

Remember Darlington, when Busch sat on pit road for a penalty after criticizing NASCAR over his radio and then throwing a water bottle at a NASCAR official?

How about Martinsville when after an on track altercation with Jeff Gordon, Busch came back out of the pits and intentionally rammed into the No. 24?

Busch has always had the reputation of being aggressive and edgy, not a totally bad thing in this current world of politically correct NASCAR drivers who are more interested in reciting their sponsors than giving an honest answer to a question.

But if Busch's actions leaked over from the insulated world of NASCAR to the real world, he needs to pay the consequences. The police officers on the scene of Friday night's incident reported Busch being uncooperative and angry. "I'm Kurt Busch," was his reported response to the police when he finally stopped after being chased through three stoplights.

He should have realized that he wasn't dealing with Jimmie Spencer, but the real life law. And running afoul of those rules, unlike in NASCAR, will be a lot more than a simple two-lap penalty.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2005

Photos

  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • STP 500
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • From the Archives: Martinsville
  • Auto Club 400
  • Auto Club 400
  • Auto Club 400
  • Auto Club 400
  • Auto Club 400
  • Auto Club 400
  • Auto Club 400
  • Auto Club 400

Advertisement

Find FOX Sports 1 on your TV
  • © 2015 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites