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Kurt Busch finished fourth in The Winston. Credit: Autostock/NASCAR Images
Kurt Busch finished fourth in The Winston. Credit: Autostock/NASCAR Images
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Busch fined for spinning Gordon in The Winston

By Marty Smith, Turner Sports Interactive

May 23, 2002
9:59 PM EDT (0159 GMT)

CONCORD, N.C. -- It wasn’t so much the action, more the reaction, that got Kurt Busch in trouble.

Busch’s remarks after spinning Robby Gordon in The Winston last weekend resulted in a $10,000 wrist slap from NASCAR Thursday. With five laps remaining in last Saturday’s all-star event, Busch admittedly spun Gordon’s Chevrolet to tighten the field.

Then, in discussing it, some felt he was gloating about it.

“We had a shot at the win and hated to use Robby Gordon as a yellow, but I think we needed a yellow there at the end,” Busch said Saturday night. "I bumped him, that's part of it. I think we needed a yellow so we could put on a good show there at the end.”

Those comments greatly angered Gordon and team owner Richard Childress. Gordon still wasn't appeased after the fine was announced.

“I’m still disappointed,” said Gordon said. “How can they put me on probation for six months, for an accident that happened at 3 or 4 mph, and he spins me on purpose at 180 and gets a little fine. I don’t think he got fair punishment.

“We’re disappointed in what Kurt said, that he did it on purpose. That’s pretty low. That’s not what most Winston Cup drivers would say on TV or how they should act behind the wheel. If he’s gonna play that game, we may have to roughen him up another way.”

Busch doesn’t see it that way. He felt the fine was excessive.

“It was a bit harsh for what happened in a non-points event, but that was Saturday and this is Thursday,” Busch said. “It was for the remarks after Saturday’s event.”

Busch was fined under section 12-4-A in the 2002 Winston Cup Series rulebook, which cites “actions detrimental to stock car racing…”

“They said it was for the remarks after Saturday’s event,” Busch said.

NASCAR Winston Cup director John Darby said that was only part of the formula.

“We can watch what happens on the racetrack and not think too much about it,” Darby said. “If a driver, then, puts the perception out to the world that he meant to do it, then it’s more than just a racing incident.

"All that does is help us add the two together to come up with the final answer to the question. That’s how this fine developed.”

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