Special to Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
STATESVILLE, N.C. - Kyle Busch had his driver's license suspended for 45 days and was fined $1,000 Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to speeding.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who won Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan, was charged May 24 for speeding and reckless driving for driving 128 mph in a 45-mph zone in a residential area in Mooresville, N.C., according to his citation.
He appeared in N.C. District Court for Iredell County on Tuesday for a hearing that lasted about 35 minutes. He pleaded guilty to driving 128 mph in a 45-mph zone and no contest to careless and reckless driving.
For the speeding guilty plea, Judge H. Thomas Church gave Busch a 30-day suspended jail sentence with a year of unsupervised probation. As long as Busch doesn't violate the law over the next year, he won't have to go to jail.
He had his license suspended for 45 days (with no limited driving privileges), was fined $1,000 and ordered to do 30 hours of community service with the B.R.A.K.E.S. teen safe-driving program. Sentencing for the reckless driving charge was continued, so there will be no penalties for the no contest plea.
Busch, 26, was driving a 2012 Lexus sports car when he was stopped during Charlotte race week. He told Sgt. Chris Stone of the Iredell County Sheriff's office "it's just a toy," according to the citation.
"Obviously I had a lack of judgment and just made a mistake," Busch said two days after being cited. "And I'm sorry for making that mistake. ... Fortunately there was no one hurt, but that doesn't make any kind of an excuse for what happened and for my lack in judgment for what I did."
Busch faced a maximum punishment of up to 60 days in jail and a suspension of a driver's license for up to 12 months for the second-class misdemeanor if he had been convicted of speeding and reckless driving, which he avoided with the no contest plea.
A conviction of reckless driving and speeding results in a license suspension of 60 days by the department of motor vehicles.
Last month, Busch announced he would be taking an active role in the B.R.A.K.E.S teen safe-driving program developed by drag racer Doug Herbert, whose 17-year-old and 12-year-old sons were killed in a January 2008 accident that resulted from speeding.
The Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe program teaches teenagers how to handle cars in adverse conditions as well as general safety guidelines for driving.
Busch, through his foundation, has agreed to sponsor 10 days of the safe-driving schools for 300 students, who volunteer to take the course with their parents. He also will participate in some of the sessions.
His role in the program is part of his public service required by Joe Gibbs Racing.
Any other sanctions issued by the team will remain confidential, JGR President J.D. Gibbs said Sunday.
"Doug Herbert, his sons went to my boys' school," Gibbs said. "And so it was just, for me, it just made sense because he could use the extra exposure anyway. Kyle gets that.
"We told Kyle he could pick whatever he wanted to do, he didn't have to (do Herbert's program). I think it's going to be good for him to be a part of. The rest of the stuff, we'll probably keep some of it confidential and hopefully we can move on."