Kyle just killed his chances at a Sprint Cup Title.
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FORT WORTH, Texas — A spat that turned blatantly ugly between Camping World Truck Series drivers’ championship contender Ron Hornaday and owners’ championship contender Kyle Busch definitely altered both races — plus the potential outcome of the WinStar World Casino 350K.
With both trucks permanently in the garage only 15 laps into the race, Kevin Harvick Incorporated’s No. 2 Chevrolet, which the owner won with at Texas, clinched the owners’ championship. It had come to Texas leading Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 18 Toyota by 72 points.
Hornaday, who’d won twice and finished second twice in the four races preceding Texas, came into Friday night’s penultimate race in the series tied for third with Johnny Sauter, just 15 points behind leader Austin Dillon.
Less than 10 percent of the way into the event that was extended to 148 laps by a green-white-checkered finish, Busch and Hornaday were racing for second, side-by-side with Busch on the outside when they encountered Johnny Chapman‘s lapped truck in the middle of Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 14.
Hornaday moved up slightly to avoid Chapman and when he did, his truck “loosened-up” and slapped Busch’s truck, knocking it slightly into the outside wall. Hornaday also grazed the outside wall, but both trucks continued without slowing much as the race’s first caution flew at Lap 15.
Busch’s truck caught up to the back of Hornaday’s No. 33 KHI Chevrolet and rammed into it, upsetting its balance but not spinning it out. After traveling some distance, Busch moved out to the right, then speared Hornaday’s truck in the right-rear corner, turning it abruptly — and head-on — into the outside wall.
Busch — whose truck was heavily damaged after contacting Hornaday and, after it spun Hornaday’s truck, hit the wall itself — was sent to the garage by NASCAR officials in the control tower “for aggressive driving.” After the race, Busch and his crew chief, Eric Phillips, met briefly with NASCAR officials at the Truck Series’ office trailer. A NASCAR spokesman said “we’ll revisit the situation [Saturday] morning.”
After he exited his truck, on SPEED’s broadcast Busch was asked, “Did you just lose your mind for a few seconds there and did you consider that Ron was in the championship?”
Busch, whose TV demeanor was calm, answered at length.
“If you consider Ron was in the championship maybe Ron could’ve played it a little bit smarter on Lap 15 and checked-up a little bit and given room to everybody around [him],” Busch said. “Obviously if you make it a three-wide situation — I can’t go up in the dirt. I’m already on the outside lane and there’s not three lanes out here right now. It’s the first race here this weekend.
“So If I just lay over and give up everything for Ron Hornaday, that’s not Kyle Busch’s fashion. I’m out here to win a race just as much as anybody else is. When he races up on my inside, gets loose and takes me up to the fence — I ended up losing my cool.
“I’ve been wrecked four weeks in a row [including two Sprint Cup races] and finally I’ve just had enough of it. Sorry it was Ron Hornaday and he’s going after a championship, but the fact of the matter is you can’t place all the blame on one person — there was two people that got into it to begin with and there’s two people that ended it.”
When Hornaday came out of the track’s care center, he obviously was beside himself in his TV interview.
“I don’t know, we just touched a little bit, I guess — I don’t know,” Hornaday said before going off on a tangent. “He knows I’m going for a points deal, I don’t know why he would do it. Anybody got a Cup car? He’ll never win another championship again.
“This is just stupid. He knew what I was going for and he knew I was there [to the inside]. Oh, my God. He had to lift too, and if I had lifted I would’ve hit the back of that slower truck and it would’ve caused a big wreck.
“He just drove me in the fence. I mean, he just ruined a perfectly good race car.”
Hornaday finished 34th, one spot behind Busch and is unofficially 48 points out of the lead, in fourth. Dillon finished second to Harvick and can now clinch his first Truck Series championship by finishing 16th or better in the Homestead finale, 17th or better if he leads one lap or 18th or better if he leads the most laps.
NASCAR to meet with Kyle Busch Saturday morning: – Busch parked: Tempers flared early in Friday night’s truck race at Texas Motor Speedway. As they ran three-wide early in Friday’s race, Ron Hornaday moved up the track, causing Kyle Busch, running on the outside, to hit the wall. Hornaday also hit it. As they slowly went around the track, Busch ran up on the rear of Hornaday and caused Hornaday to smack the wall head-on in what was hard contact. Hornaday was uninjured. NASCAR called Busch to the hauler to meet with officials after the race. NASCAR met with Kyle Busch for less than five minutes on Friday night after the race. They will meet with Busch before Saturday morning’s Cup practice (which is at 8:45am/et) to discuss the incident. Hornaday went to the NASCAR hauler (he wasn’t called there by officials) after Kyle left and said: “If NASCAR doesn’t (park Busch), I’m hanging around, and I’m going to buy Tommy Baldwin’s ride and that guy will never finish another race. That’s a promise. He’s got to be parked. They did it to Harvick at Martinsville.” Hornaday was reminded that the Harvick parking was in 2002, which Hornday said: “So, let’s have at it? So I can go over and beat his ass and let’s have at it? He lives too close to me. We’ll see what NASCAR does. If they don’t handle it right, I’ll be over at his house Monday morning.”(Virginian-Pilot)(11-5-2011)
NASCAR announced Saturday morning that they have parked Kyle Busch for the remainder of the Texas race weekend. He will not be allowed to participate in the Nationwide or Cup races. He will be replaced in the Cup race by Michael McDowell and by Denny Hamlin in the Nationwide race. Further penalties against Busch could be announced early in the week.(11-5-2011)
As much as I usually am a fan of Kyle Busch most of the time, what he did in the Truck race last night was very stupid. Perhaps he thought Hornaday was going to purposefully wreck him early, but even after that happened they could have just kept racing. Had they just kept racing instead of Busch intentionally wrecking Hornaday (causing him to lose out on his own championship) then Kyle could have competed the rest of this weekend instead of being parked for the rest of it.
I originally didn’t think it was fair for NASCAR to park Kyle Busch for the rest of the weekend as it was just a truck series incident, but after reading about it and watching the video afterward, I can understand why they did it.
Kyle Busch was not racing for points that night in the Truck race as he is a contender for the Sprint Cup Series championship (you can only collect points in one NASCAR series). Ron Hornaday WAS racing for the Camping World Truck Series championship. Busch ruined Hornaday’s chances to run for the truck championship, so I guess NASCAR is dishing out to Busch, what he dished out to Hornaday. Since Hornaday’s shot at the Truck championship was ruined, they want to ruin Busch’s shot at the Sprint Cup Championship…just to keep things fair.