Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

Should NASCAR allow Kyle Busch to drive with a suspended license? [Updated]

August 24, 2011 | 12:51 pm

Kyle Busch talks with reporters and photographers after his court appearance in Statesville, N.C.

Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss whether Kyle Bush, who had his driver's license suspended, should be allowed behind the wheel of a NASCAR stock car. Weigh in with your comment.

[Updated at 1:29 p.m.

Keith Groller, Morning Call

We all know too well a few folks who have been, uh, shall we say, “trapped” into a few tickets over the years. But Kyle Busch going 128 in a 45-mph zone borders on the insane — even for Busch.

Maybe the police that caught him should be offered a NASCAR opportunity since they did something Junior and others have trouble doing every Sunday — catch Busch.

NASCAR and Joe Gibbs Racing should send a message here and suspend Busch for the same duration of his other driving penalty.

But this being pro sports and being more about the money than anything else, that won’t happen. NASCAR needs the antagonizing Busch, smirking smile and all, front and center all the way through “The Chase.”]

Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times 

Yes. Any other citizen in Busch’s position would face the same challenge: arranging transportation to work. Once there, whether the job is pushing a broom or managing a hedge fund, they’d be allowed to put in their hours. It’s also worth noting that NASCAR ovals are not public streets, they are closed circuits. Furthermore, anyone else in Busch’s legal situation would also be allowed to drive a sit-down lawn mower or a tractor on their property or pilot a motorboat. Speeding over 100 mph is a significant traffic offense. But society views other traffic crimes far more seriously — such as a DUI. Busch is serving his penalty. As long as someone else drives him to work, let Busch do his job.

Shawn Courchesne, Hartford Courant

Kyle Busch should be allowed to continue in NASCAR because the racing body doesn’t require drivers to possess a state-issued driver’s license to compete.

Clearly Busch’s speeding infraction and the subsequent suspension of his driver’s license make for a unique set of circumstances because he drives a car for a living.

But beyond the fact that the infraction happened in a street car on a public road and Busch just happens to a drive for a living, there are no other correlations between his speeding on the road and his job. Would an NBA player be suspended from playing basketball, the way he makes his living, if he was caught speeding?

What Busch did on a public road has nothing to do with how he makes his living driving vehicles on closed racing circuits. Even if it is difficult to imagine that he was going 128 mph on the street.

Todd Adams, Orlando Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel

Kyle Busch was a dummy when he needlessly put lives in danger on the road during his crazy speeding incident, and he deserves to lose his driver’s license in the real world. Still, he also deserves to earn a living like anyone else, so he should be allowed to keep driving in NASCAR.

Lets just call it a work permit -- the same thing most any other driver with a suspended license could get if needed.

Busch should be subject to some discipline, though. Maybe a fine or a deduction of some points. Like the NFL has done under Roger Goodell, NASCAR can and should take action against drivers for bad things they do away from the track and this certainly applies (although some might consider having to deal with the DMV to get his license back punishment enough).

Still, NASCAR should let Busch keep competing at this point. It’s his career.

Photo: Kyle Busch talks with journalists after his court appearance in Statesville, N.C. Credit: Todd Sumlin / Charlotte Observer