Today it was announced that Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart would be placed on probation for the next 6 races as punishment for an incident that occurred during Friday night's practice for the Bud Shootout. To this amateur race fan, it appeared that Kurt came up high in front of Tony, and Tony hit him, and Kurt spun out. During the trip to pit road, Kurt came up behind and around Tony and hit his car in the right side at least 3 times. Tony pulled down onto the track apron in an apparent effort to avoid Kurt. Before going behind the wall, Tony stopped, and Kurt pulled his car up against Stewart once more.
That's what I saw. There were reports that later, in the Nascar hauler, Tony took a swing at Kurt. Those reports remain unconfirmed.
To me, it appeared that Kurt, understandably upset about the damage caused by his contact with Tony and the subsequent spin, was attempting to damage Tony's car on pit road in retaliation. I might be wrong. Perhaps if Nascar had inspected Tony's car more closely, they would have discovered the super magnets that Tony's team has hidden in the passenger side door of the number 20 car, causing the number 2 car, through magnetic attraction, to repeatedly strike the 20 car in the passenger side door. I'm still weighing those two possibilities before I make a decision on which way to think about this.
It's possible that Tony, in the Nascar hauler, was so enraged by Kurt's on track antics, that he resorted to violence. It's also possible that Kurt was so enraged by the realization that Tony had wrecked his car with super magnets, attempted to physically assault Tony's fist with his face. The jury's still out on that one too.
Over the last couple of years, Kurt has become a changed man, so the media tells us. On camera during interviews, he smiles like Ward Cleaver, and appears to be about as threatening as Mr. Rogers. Kurt is also always very presentable, clean shaven, hair neatly shorn, and he's even keeping his ears glued to the sides of his head these days.
Tony on the other hand, often appears with a stubbly beard, and lately, long hair. At times he appears to be unhappy during interviews, and has been known to give snide answers to such hard hitting questions such as "What do you expect to get out of the race today?" Indeed, Tony actually resembles a small football linebacker more than he does Mr. Rogers. Tsk Tsk.
Probation in Nascar is a very serious thing indeed, and I hope both of these drivers have learned their lesson. Having to stay after class and straighten the desks for six whole weeks is not a lesson either one of these fellows will soon forget.
I imagine we'll see no more tomfoolery out of Mr. Stewart and Mr. Busch again any time soon!