LONG POND, Pa. - Kurt Busch paid a hefty price for his fit in the pit.
The former Nextel Cup champion was docked 100 driver points Friday, fined $100,000 and placed on probation until the end of the year for reckless driving and endangering one of Tony Stewart's crew members on pit road.
“It's a bit surprising, but safety on pit road can't be compromised,” Busch said at Pocono Raceway. “I understand that. To me, it's a matter of making sure everyone is safe on pit road.”
Busch should consider himself lucky NASCAR didn't park him for Sunday's Pocono 500. Officials considered that idea after parking him near the end of Monday's 400-mile race at Dover International Speedway.
“We felt like we got everybody's attention,” Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition, said. “We felt like the 100-point penalty, the $100,000 was substantial.”
With the penalty, Busch fell from 11th to 17th in the Chase standings, moving Martin Truex Jr., who was eight points out of 12th place, into the Chase standings. The top 12 drivers are in the final 10 races for the title.