Monday, March 27, 2023

Christie: Kyle Busch Declining to Answer Whether Spin Was Intentional is Smart Move

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 05: Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Cessna Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Bucked Up 200 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

In a sport with as many intangibles as to why something could have happened on the playing field, like in NASCAR, the only way some infractions can turn into actual penalties is if the competitors admit to the sanctioning body that they committed said infractions.

On Friday night in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Bucked Up 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch, who had driven from 29th starting spot in the 40-truck field to win Stage 2, had a tire go down in the Final Stage of the race.

As Busch, 35, attempted to limp his truck around the 1.5-mile track without shredding the tire, it appeared that the Las Vegas-native opted to spin his truck out in order to get a caution to minimize the time lost to the leader, and eventual winner of the race John Hunter Nemechek.

Thanks in part to the spin, which indeed brought out a yellow, Busch was able to only lose one lap and was back in the ball game when a rash of cautions came out late in the race. The end result was Busch driving his way back up to second, and finishing runner-up to Nemechek in what turned out to be a wild final Stage of the event.

Following the race, Busch was asked if he would explain what happened during his spin, to which Busch responded, “Nope.”

Before the topic was changed, Busch would answer, “Nope,” a couple of more times in reference to explaining what happened to cause him to spin.

FINALLY, a driver gets it. If you just don’t say anything about spinning yourself out on purpose, you cannot be fined or penalized in any way for spinning yourself out.

It has always baffled me as to why drivers would fess up to something that they originally tried doing in the race to skirt the rules. It’s like robbing a bank only to come back to the same bank an hour later and boast about your incredible robbing skills from earlier in the day. It doesn’t make sense.

Back in 2019, Bubba Wallace admitted to spinning out on purpose at Texas Motor Speedway in order to lessen the impact of a flat tire on his overall finish in the race.

Sure, it was an incredible moment of honesty and it’s always fun to take a peak behind the helmet and see what was going on in a driver’s head on the race track. But it wasn’t a smart move for Wallace.

Following the confession, Wallace was fined $50,000 and docked 50 points by NASCAR.

Bubba Wallace Docked Points and Fined For Intentionally Spinning at Texas

Needless to say, if there was ever any incentive to tell the truth about spinning yourself on purpose, that penalty alone should have quickly ended any aspirations of being truthful following a race manipulating caution.

For Busch, his No. 51 team is fighting for an owner’s title in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2021, and he had just scored his team their best finish of the young 2021 season. If Busch were to receive the same 50-point penalty that Wallace received in 2019 for intentionally spinning, Busch’s No. 51 truck would drop from sixth in the 2021 NCWTS owner standings to 24th.

While Busch is known for letting his words get the best of him in interviews sometimes, he smartly chose a perfect time to say absolutely nothing.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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