Busch dodges fine for crit­i­ciz­ing rules pack­age

The Sudbury Star - - SPORTS - JENNA FRYER

Kyle Busch was not sur­prised he dodged a fine from NASCAR for rant­ing about its cur­rent rules pack­age.

Busch’s ex­ple­tive-rid­dled as­sess­ment after Mon­day’s rain-post­poned race in Delaware in years past likely would have drawn a hefty fine. But, NASCAR let Busch’s crit­i­cism go this week, and he said Wed­nes­day dur­ing a pro­mo­tion for the up­com­ing Coca-Cola 600 at Char­lotte Mo­tor Speed­way that he did not ex­pect a fine.

“I’m not sure I said any­thing wrong,” Busch said. “I just spoke my opin­ion. Ev­ery­body has got an opin­ion.”

Tony Ste­wart in 2016 was the last driver fined for crit­i­ciz­ing NASCAR when he was pe­nal­ized $35,000 for ques­tion­ing safety over miss­ing lug nuts. For years, NASCAR se­cretly is­sued fines for crit­i­cism un­der the “con­duct detri­men­tal to NASCAR” pol­icy, but be­came more trans­par­ent over the last decade.

Busch said he had a good dis­cus­sion with NASCAR head of rac­ing de­vel­op­ment Steve O’Don­nell since air­ing his com­plaints.

“We’re all try­ing to make ev­ery­thing bet­ter for ev­ery­one as a col­lec­tive in­dus­try,” Busch said. “There are cer­tain vote-get­ters that get their wish more than others. And it’s frus­trat­ing at times and for us driv­ers that, you know, we tend to voice our opin­ions whether it’s with the own­ers or whether it’s with NASCAR. We don’t seem to get very far. So that’s where it be­comes most frus­trat­ing at times.”

Busch fin­ished 10th at Dover while team­mate Martin Truex Jr. drove from the back of the field to vic­tory. With 750 horse­power and more down­force, the rules pack­age is de­signed to in­crease sideby-side rac­ing and man­u­fac­ture com­pe­ti­tion.

Driv­ers have com­plained pass­ing has be­come too dif­fi­cult, while fans have pointed to the lack of cau­tions through 11 races and a gen­eral let­down be­cause of all the hype sur­round­ing the new rules.

After the Dover race, Busch blasted the pack­age while com­plain­ing NASCAR does not care about his in­put. Kevin Har­vick echoed that sen­ti­ment Wed­nes­day dur­ing his weekly Happy Hours show on Sir­iusXM NASCAR Ra­dio.

Kyle Busch

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