On lap 125 of Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Kyle Busch wrecked with Austin Dillon. Rather than heading to pit road to assess the damage, Busch elected to go directly to the garage and retire from the race. Heading to the infield at high speeds, he knocked over orange cones and forced passersby to get out of the way.
While certainly expediting his trip to the garage, NASCAR was less than pleased with the blatant safety concerns created by his speedy exit. The lone entry on Tuesday’s penalty report indicated that Busch has been fined $50,000 for the act. Specifically, Busch broke Sections 12.1.a, 184.108.40.206.a, and 12.8.a of the rulebook, which address personnel conduct and actions detrimental to stock car racing.
Busch was officially classified in thirty-fifth after his DNF. He was one of seven retirements, with all but one being for crash damage (Erik Jones exited with an engine failure).
He did not blame Dillon for the wreck and commented in an interview with NBCSN that “we were running like shit and we got wrecked, so that’s what you get when you run like shit. […]
“I don’t know what our problem is. Every time we go to the sim, a new sim, and think we have a good sim session, we go to the race track and we suck. I’m done with that.”
The matter was addressed by NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller while speaking with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday morning, who described it as “a situation that could have been bad. Fortunately, nobody got hit or anything like that. It all worked out, but putting people in harm’s way for no reason is something we take seriously.”
Although he entered the playoffs as the fourth seed, the finish dropped him ten spots to fourteenth in points. Despite such a fall, he is a six-time winner at the upcoming track Richmond Raceway, and he has eight victories at the Round of 16 elimination circuit Bristol Motor Speedway.