DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR has fined Kurt Busch $50,000 for poor behavior during the Sprint Cup finale last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Busch was penalized Friday for both making an obscene gesture in his car and being verbally abusive toward a reporter.
Busch had a transmission problem early in Sunday's race. As he and his Penske Racing Dodge headed to the garage, his in-car camera caught him making an obscene gesture. While his team made repairs, Busch waited to be interviewed by an ESPN reporter, and a fan videotaped Busch being verbally abusive while waiting to go live.
That video was posted on YouTube, and both Penske officials and Busch have apologized for his behavior.
SB Nation post from 11/22:
The Twitter world is abuzz today about the viral video of Kurt Busch cursing at respected ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch as the driver waited to be interviewed during Sunday's NASCAR race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In the video, Busch reacts angrily to Punch's presence and yells about having to wait to answer questions. Punch then walks away and cancels the interview.
The whole situation is very surprising to me – but not for the reasons you think.
Personally, based on my experiences trying to interview Busch, this kind of behavior from him is not unusual at all. In fact, I would dare say the vast majority of NASCAR media regulars have had at least one run-in with Busch similar to the one in the video.
But typically, reporters simply grumble to one another when such incidents occur. Unless a driver crosses the line – as Busch did when he threatened NASCAR.com reporter Joe Menzer after a race in September – stories about media/driver altercations typically aren't written.