Following in the footsteps of other major professional sports leagues, Nascar has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards violence by its athletes. As such, Kurt Busch became the first driver suspended by the sanctioning board, after video evidence surfaced of him viciously hitting the commitment cone.
|An undated photo of the cone and its family|
"We have zero tolerance for this sort of behavior", Nascar President Mike Helton said at a post-race press conference. "Conemestic Violence is an issue that we've dealt with for years, but after enough people complained, we finally decided to do something about it--just like the NFL."
Public outcry may have influenced the indefinite length of Busch's suspension, but it apparently did not affect the original issuing of the suspension itself.
"Once we heard about what happened, we immediately suspended Kurt Busch for two weeks. Then, when the video surfaced, however, we decided to react. Again, we take our lead from the NFL."
The Stewart-Haas Racing team has not yet acted on Busch's contract with the team, although they did agree to meet with the media post-race.
"We were disgusted when we saw what Kurt did to that cone", said team co-owner Gene Haas, "but we were totally shocked that someone like Kurt could do such a thing. Wait--no we weren't. Kurt has a pretty short fuse, and he's taken out his anger on inanimate objects--cups, helmets, Jimmie Johnson. Quite frankly we're surprised that he hasn't put a fist through the vending machine at the shop yet."
Helton said that while the zero-tolerance policy is in effect for everybody, they will still approach each incident on a case-by-case basis.
"Yes, this sort of thing has happened before--Mark Martin attempting to beat a pit wall to death, Matt Kenseth beating on a water barrel--but we still leave the ultimate decision on whether to race or not up to the teams themselves, thus making the zero-tolerance policy meaningless. Again, we take our cues from the NFL."
Kurt Busch was unavailable for comment, as per usual.