Kurt Busch will be absent from this weekend's racing action after being suspended for offensive comments made to a reporter last week, NASCAR announced today. The suspension applies to all NASCAR races, including the Sprint Cup Pocono 400. NASCAR also extended Busch's probation, originally set to expire on July 25, until the end of the calendar year. Busch received probation for a May 12 altercation with driver Ryan Newman's crew.
The official release, from NASCAR:
NASCAR has suspended Kurt Busch until June 13 and has extended his probation until Dec. 31 for his actions following the Nationwide Series race June 2 at Dover International Speedway.
Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing; violation of probation; verbal abuse to a media member) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. Busch had been placed on probation May 15 for his actions during the May 12 Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway. That probation was scheduled to end July 25.
Busch's suspension comes as a result of comments made to Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass over the weekend. Asked about driving while under probation, Busch hit back by threatening physical harm upon Pockrass. CBS Sports has video of the incident. The suspension and probation extension is the latest in a series of disciplinary dealings Busch has had with NASCAR. Busch was fined $50,000 for abusing ESPN racing commentator Dr. Jerry Punch and making an obscene hand gesture at cameras while pulling into a garage for repairs during a 2011 race at the Homestead. Busch also has a history of feuds with other drivers, for which he has been repeatedly fined.