NASCAR Says Kyle Busch's Actions, Prison Sentence Do Not Violate Conduct Policy
NASCAR says that Kyle Busch's conviction in January on a gun charge from an incident at an airport in Mexico does not violate the series' Member Conduct policy.
Busch, a two-time Cup Series champion, was detained at an airport in Quintana Roo, Mexico, for possessing a firearm in his baggage while returning home from a vacation in Cancun with wife Samantha on Jan. 27. The official report from Mexico stated that a "caliber pistol-type firearm was detected inside .38 with magazine stocked with six useful hollow point cartridges."
Busch, who tweeted that he has "a valid concealed carry permit," apparently didn't know where his gun was, as in a tweet on social media Monday he claimed that he made a mistake "by forgetting it was in my bag."
Mexican authorities sentenced Busch on Jan. 29, to 3 1/2 years in prison and fined him the equivalent of $1,098 (20,748 pesos). Busch "was credited with his full responsibility in the commission of the crime of carrying a firearm without a license and possession of cartridges for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces."
It is unclear in the Mexican report how Busch was able settle the prison sentence portion of the judgement.
The case is reminiscent of WNBA star Brittany Griner's arrest and subsequent nine-year sentence for forgetting that she had vape canisters and cannabis oil in her luggage in a Moscow airport last year. Unlike Busch, Griner spent 294 days in confinement for her forgetfulness in bringing something illegal to an airport checkpoint.
NASCAR said Tuesday that Busch will not be suspended or otherwise punished by the sanctioning body. He raced in the NASCAR Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 5. He finished third behind race-winner Martin Truex Jr. and RCR teammate Austin Dillon.
"We do have a Member Conduct policy," said a NASCAR spokesman when asked by Autoweek about a possible punishment from NASCAR for Busch. "With the information we received, we did not feel that this warranted any disciplinary action."
Busch said in his social media post this week that "My family and I consider this issue closed."
The media, however, may not be quite ready to close the book on this one. Busch has scheduled interview times as part of next week's Daytona 500.
"Kyle will be at media day," NASCAR told Autoweek. "As long as drivers are present for media obligations and respond to the questions (even if it’s no comment), they are not in violation of the driver agreement."
The 37-year-old Busch, who is driving for Richard Childress Racing this season, has 60 career NASCAR Cup Series victories. He has yet to win the Daytona 500.