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NASCAR sitting Busch after intentional wreck

Kyle Busch, bottom, wrecks Ron Hornaday in Turn 4 of Friday’s trucks race. NASCAR forced Busch to park for the night, and for today’s Sprint Cup race and Saturday’s Nationwide event.

Associated Press

Kyle Busch, bottom, wrecks Ron Hornaday in Turn 4 of Friday’s trucks race. NASCAR forced Busch to park for the night, and for today’s Sprint Cup race and Saturday’s Nationwide event.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Everything is bigger in Texas.

Even, apparently, NASCAR's punishments.

For many who wondered whether NASCAR's "boys, have at it" edict had a line which couldn't be crossed, Kyle Busch helped the sanctioning body define it.

Busch — who was parked during Friday night's truck race after intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday under caution — was forced to sit out Saturday's Nationwide race and also will miss today's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Busch had no appeal available.

In announcing Busch's suspension for the rest of the weekend, NASCAR president Mike Helton said there was a limit to the on-track retaliation that would be tolerated.

"We saw it last night," he said Saturday.

Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin, took Busch's place in Saturday's race and finished second.

Michael McDowell, who has driven five races for Joe Gibbs this season in the Nationwide series, will drive the No. 18 Toyota during today's AAA 500.

Helton wouldn't say what, if any, additional penalties Busch faces. If there are any, they figure to be announced this week.

Busch is the first driver to be parked for an on-track incident since Robby Gordon in 2007. Kevin Harvick was parked in a 2002 Cup race at Martinsville, Va., after getting parked the day before in a Truck race.

Helton said the decision to park Busch, whose slim hopes for a Sprint Cup title end with this suspension, was not easy.

"It's not something we enjoy doing," Helton said.

Others feel little to no sympathy for "The Wild Child" for wrecking Hornaday, who was competing for a trucks title but saw his hopes end against the outside wall just 14 laps into the race. How angry were his rivals Friday?

• Hornaday: "If NASCAR doesn't do it, I'm going to buy Tommy Baldwin's (Cup car) and that guy will never finish another race. That's a promise. … He lives too close to me. So we'll see what NASCAR does. If they don't handle it right, I'll be at his house Monday morning."

• Harvick, who owns Hornaday's truck: "I think Kyle definitely showed his immaturity, and why he's just one of those guys that just can't stand to lose, and just a poor loser."

Busch, who had no comment Saturday, said Friday, "I lost my cool, no doubt about it. I've been wrecked four weeks in a row, and I've had enough of it, and I retaliated. So it's certainly my fault for doing that. If everybody wants to say, 'Hornaday is racing for a championship, roll over,' that's not my fashion. That's not anybody else's fashion out here."

Though Busch was driving Friday for his own team, JGR owner Joe Gibbs said Saturday he was ultimately responsible and agreed with NASCAR's decision.

"I take full responsibility for it," Gibbs said. "…This is a tough situation for us. We've got a lot of work to do and there and a lot of people to see."

Bayne takes victory

Trevor Bayne earned his first career Nationwide victory, passing dominating teammate Carl Edwards after a tremendous restart with seven laps left at Texas.

Bayne won the Daytona 500 this year but had never won in 76 starts in the second-tier series, where he is a regular for Roush Fenway Racing. Edwards, the Cup points leader, led 157 of 200 laps at the 1.5-mile track.

"It's been a long time coming," said Bayne, 21. "That ending there was cool to get to go up against Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin."

Points leader Ricky Stenhouse finished sixth and has is 17 points ahead of Elliott Sadler with two races to go. Sadler ran ninth. Tampa's Aric Almirola was 19th.

Sprint Cup points

With three races to go. Only these drivers are eligible in the Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts. Back

Carl Edwards 2,273—

Tony Stewart 2,265 8

Kevin Harvick 2,252 21

B. Keselowski 2,246 27

Matt Kenseth 2,237 36

J. Johnson 2,230 43

Kyle Busch 2,216 57

Kurt Busch 2,215 58

D. Earnhardt Jr. 2,200 73

Jeff Gordon 2,197 76

Denny Hamlin 2,193 80

Ryan Newman 2,184 89

Today's race

Texas 500, 3 p.m., Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth.

TV: ESPN

NASCAR sitting Busch after intentional wreck 11/05/11 [Last modified: Sunday, November 6, 2011 4:47pm]

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