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NASCAR Star Kurt Busch Arrested for Reckless Driving

Kurt Busch, NASCAR’s defending champion, was arrested last night for drunk driving.

NASCAR Star Cited for Reckless Driving (AP)

Kurt Busch was detained on suspicion of drunken driving and cited for reckless driving after a confrontation with police near the track where the NASCAR champion is to race Sunday. Busch was stopped Friday night after trying to avoid another car and running a stop sign about 2 miles from Phoenix International Raceway, said Lt. Paul Chagolla.

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Busch was spotted driving about 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, Chagolla said. A deputy tried to pull Busch over but there was some delay, Chagolla said. When he did stop, Busch was argumentative and uncooperative, Chagolla said. The deputy then called for a supervisor. “This is Maricopa County and our streets are not to be used as raceways,” sheriff Joe Arpaio said. “He ought to confine his speeding to the racetrack. And I don’t like anybody being abusive to my deputies — I don’t care who they are.”

Busch, the reigning Nextel Cup champion, is in Phoenix to race in Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500. Busch, eighth in points for the season, qualified 17th for the race. His team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said: “It’s a traffic ticket as far as we know.”

Busch’s truculent behavior on and off the track has gotten him in trouble with NASCAR and other drivers in the past. The 27-year-old driver from Las Vegas was punched in the face by Jimmy Spencer for trying to deliberately wreck him. He was called “an arrogant punk” by Kevin Harvick and is booed by fans who dislike his aggressive driving.

Busch got into trouble with NASCAR again at Darlington in May when he refused to go where he was told after returning to the track following a crash. He then was called into the pits for a penalty and responded with expletives directed at NASCAR officials over his car radio. He also tossed a water bottle that hit the NASCAR official in his pit. NASCAR officials said his behavior was not “befitting of a champion.”

The man is a race car driver who shares a name with a brewery. This is destiny.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.