NASCAR on Tuesday suspended driver Kurt Busch until June 13 for verbally abusing a reporter after a Nationwide Series race in Dover, Del.
That means Busch, who mainly drives in NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series, will be grounded for this weekend's Cup race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
NASCAR already had placed Busch, 33, on probation following an incident at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway last month. After Saturday's race in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series, reporter Bob Pockrass of SportingNews.com asked Busch if the probation was affecting how he raced.
Busch, who was on camera, replied that it kept him from beating up the reporter "because you ask me stupid questions. But since I'm on probation, I suppose that's improper to say as well."
After NASCAR announced Busch's latest penalties, which also included extending his probation to Dec. 31 from July 25, Busch said in a statement that "I accept NASCAR's decision."
"I apologize for the comments I made to Bob Pockrass," Busch said.
Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, has publicly lost his temper several times in the last year, notably at the 2011 season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway in which his profanity-laced rant to an ESPN reporter was caught on video.
That led to his departure from Penske Racing after six years, prompting Busch to sign with the small team Phoenix Racing this year. His younger brother is NASCAR driver Kyle Busch.
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