STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – NASCAR points leader Kyle Busch lost his driver’s license for 45 days on Tuesday for driving 128 mph on a road close to a day-care center and church in a nearly $400,000 car. His lawyer said his client was not treated “like any other citizen.”
Busch is coming off his Sprint Cup series-best fourth victory at Michigan on Sunday.
Busch, who doesn’t need a license to compete in NASCAR, also was fined $1,000, sentenced to 30 hours of community service and put on one year of unsupervised probation. He pleaded guilty to speeding and no contest to reckless and careless driving in North Carolina District Court in Iredell County.
Busch addressed the court before his sentencing by District Court Judge H. Thomas Church, apologizing again for driving 128 mph in a 45 mph zone in a bright yellow 2012 Lexus on May 24.
“I think you’ll be different in the future,” Church said.
“I sure will, your honor,” Busch replied.
Busch and his wife, Samantha, were in the car when he was pulled over on a two-lane road in an area near a subdivision, a day-care center and a church. The hand-built LFA sports car was on loan to Busch from Lexus for a 24-hour test drive.
Busch attorney Cliff Homesley argued that his client wasn’t being treated the same as other people in similar circumstances, citing a July case of a 21-year-old convicted felon who was caught doing 128 mph and received a $300 fine and no loss of license.
“In 25 years of practicing law I’ve never seen someone not being offered better than this,” Homesley argued before the court. “All I am asking is to treat Kyle Busch like any other citizen that appears before the court.”
Homesley, calling Busch one of the best drivers in the world, said: “He had full control of that vehicle at all times.
“That automobile in his hands was like a scalpel in the hands of a surgeon. Not a knife in the hands of a 5-year-old.”
Busch holds a 10-point lead over five-time defending NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson in the standings. His next scheduled race is Wednesday’s Trucks Series event at Bristol, where he’s won the last five races spanning NASCAR’s top three national series.