NASCAR star Kyle Busch lost his licence for 45 days this week because of a speeding ticket he received in May.
Busch the Younger was at the wheel of a $400,000 Lexus and got himself a little carried away, going 128 miles an hour in a 45 zone.
He stopped immediately and cooperated with police. He was most apologetic
But here’s the rub.
In North Carolina, as is the case everywhere else, the officer cited Bush on two charges - for speeding and for reckless driving. This is a standard plea-bargain ploy: the defendant agrees to plead guilty to the first charge in exchange for having the second charge dropped. You see this sort of thing all the time. The prosecutors get their guilty pleas the easy way and don’t clog up the court system.
But that wasn’t the case this time and Bush’s lawyer spent most of the 30 minutes he spoke in defence of the driver by pointing out to the court how the particular prosecuting attorney in this case hadn’t given Bush that option, even though he’d offered that sweet little deal to all sorts of other people.
Now, Busch’s lawyer didn’t come out and say it but I will: that prosecutor is a NASCAR fan and he doesn’t like Kyle Busch and that’s why he let both those charges stand.
In any event, the judge passed sentence on Busch for the speeding infraction and simply ignored the more serious charge of reckless driving.
Want to bet that the judge is a Kyle Busch fan?
So you had a Kyle Busch hater and a Kyle Busch fan facing off. One a prosecutor and the other a judge.
Guess who won?
In the process, Kyle Busch won too. Kinda.
If you would like to read more about the cut and thrust that went on inside that courtroom, here's a link to the full story.
Here’s a surprise. African-American race driver Willy T. Ribbs is on the comeback trail. He’s going to get back into a race car – an Indy Lights car, to be precise – for the race at the Baltimore Grand Prix on Labour Day weekend.
The IZOD IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series will be racing through the streets of Baltimore then and the show will include support series like the Indy Lights.
Ribbs, 56, is an experienced road racer who raced in CART back in the 1990s. In fact, he was sponsored for a time by Bill Cosby. In recent years, he’s formed Willy T. Ribbs Racing with his friend and business partner Chris Miles of Starting Grid, Inc.
"Even though I have been out of the car for 10 years, I have never 'officially' retired," Ribbs said. "Chris said he got the idea for me to race again when he heard Wally Dallenbach say during an IndyCar broadcast that he was going to drive a Lights car in Edmonton.
"For whatever reason, Wally didn't do it, but the more Chris kept talking to me, the more I got pumped up about racing again and Baltimore is the perfect place to do it. I'm sure the consensus will be that I should not be racing against these young guns, but as Chris reminded me, when the [Sprint] Cup boys come down and race in the Trucks and Nationwide Series, no one seems to mind. So I told Chris, 'Done deal, I'm in!' "
Miles, a principal in Willy T. Ribbs Racing, facilitates opportunities for minority participation within all facets of the motorsports industry through his company, Starting Grid.
Finally, NASCAR announced Wednesday that the No. 11 team of Marty Gaunt out of Barrie, which competes in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, has been penalized as a result of rules violations committed last Saturday during the race at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal.
The team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20E-5.10.1A (Carburetor Eligibility: The carburetor must remain as supplied by the NASCAR-approved supplier – Unapproved carburetor modification; power valves.) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The violations were discovered during post-race inspection on Aug. 20.
Jonathan Davis, crew chief of the No. 11 car, has been fined $5,000, suspended from NASCAR until the fine is paid and placed on NASCAR probation until Sept. 21.
Car owner Gaunt and driver Jason Bowles of Ontario, Calif., who finished third in the race behind winner Andrew Ranger of Roxton Pond, Que., and second-place finish Alex Tagliani of Montreal, have been penalized with the loss of 100 championship owner and 100 championship driver points, respectively.