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Stewart, Busch on probation after Daytona incident
Posted by mynameiscarol
Stewart, Busch on probation after Daytona incident

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch have been put on probation for the first six races of 2008 as a result of their actions on the track and off it Friday night at Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR officials announced the sanctions against the two former series champions Tuesday.
After an accident in Budweiser Shootout practice Friday, Busch rammed into Stewart's car three times as they slowed to enter the garage.
The two drivers met in the NASCAR hauler afterward, and sources allege that Stewart swung at Busch.
The drivers were placed on probation for "actions detrimental to stock-car racing - altercation with another competitor," NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter said Tuesday.
When asked if the probation was for on-track or off-track violations, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said: "It's all of the above. ... They're both responsible for their actions on and off the track. We had a closed-door meeting, and that will continue to be closed-door."
Pemberton called the accident a racing incident between Joe Gibbs Racing's Stewart and Penske Racing's Busch.
"How they conducted themselves after the accident and coming on to pit road and from there through the rest of the evening is why the penalties are equal," Pemberton said. "Both drivers were given the same penalty. They both have some responsibilities out there now [concerning] how they handle themselves, some of it on the track, some of it off the track."
Pemberton said that the drivers likely would have been fined for similar actions last year, but NASCAR is trying to be more lenient this year.
"We're still working into letting the drivers develop and vent in proper ways," Pemberton said. "We're giving them some more latitude. We said in the offseason that we would do that, and I think this is another step to letting you know this is what we mean.
"Going forward, if we were to get repeat offenders for similar offenses, whether it be crew members or drivers or owners or anything like that, we have the ability to escalate the penalties. [The penalty] probably would have been different [last year], let's put it that way."
Hunter said that both drivers should know that NASCAR is serious about this probation and that while NASCAR is trying to be more lenient in allowing drivers to show their emotions, it also doesn't want a pattern of behavior it deems unacceptable.
"We're going to redefine what probation means, and they clearly understand that," Hunter said. "A similar situation like this involving either of these drivers - they understand what might happen, without getting into nailing down for you guys [in the media] what we will do if that happens."
Probation covers all of their actions in any NASCAR event, whether it's Sprint Cup or another series, and the drivers could face stiffer penalties for similar actions in the future.
"If it's similar situations and it looks like a trend is starting to form, we will address that," Pemberton said.

credit: scene daily
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