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Monday, July 4, 2022
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Will Kyle Busch be back for the 2022 season?


Late last year, NASCAR revealed that Kyle Busch needed to complete sensitivity training ahead of the 2022 Cup Series season.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch was left frustrated with how October’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Martinsville Speedway, the final race of the semifinal round of 8, ended.

Busch finished the race in second place behind Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman, who was no longer in title contention at the time.

But based on where the other playoff contenders finished, a runner-up finish wasn’t enough to get Busch back into Championship 4 for the first time since 2019.

Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski was in a similar spot. He, too, did not advance.

He finished in third place behind Bowman and Busch after trying to spin Busch out in the final turn, presumably to take second in case Bowman’s # 48 Chevrolet failed post-race inspection, as second would not have been good enough for him, either.

More contact between Keselowski and Busch after the checkered flag flew certainly did not help matters.

The frustration was evident in Busch’s post-race interview.

And because of an offensive word he used in that interview, NASCAR informed him that he needed to complete sensitivity training prior to the start of the 2022 season.

Here is what Busch had to say during that interview.

“Have [Keselowski] drills my ass coming out of [turn] four for no reason. I mean, where was he going? What was he going to do? Spin me out? He was trying to do a [Kevin] Harvick is what he was trying to do. For what? For second place? To do what? He was not going to transfer through with that!

“Just fricking retarded man. So stupid. I do not understand these guys. I should beat the shit out of him right now is what I should do, but that does not do me any good either. … I’ve already had to pay enough fines in my lifetime. I’m sure I’ll get another one. ”

Busch later apologized for using the r-word, though NASCAR still required him to complete sensitivity training for saying it.

He was not suspended for the season finale at Phoenix Raceway like some thought he would be, though he was instructed to complete the training at some point during the offseason. With just one race to go at the time, it made sense to push it back and give him the entire offseason.

Now we know that Busch has, in fact, completed the sensitivity training, and according to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, those who conducted the session – which Busch said he was looking forward to – were “pleased” with the 36-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native’s responsiveness during it.

So while the punishment could be perceived as an “indefinite suspension” of sorts, depending on the timing, Busch is set to be back for a 15th season behind the wheel of the # 18 Toyota in 2022 without having missed a race.

His punishment ends up looking similar to the punishment handed to Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan for using the same word, but without the “-ed” on the end, last January. She was able to complete sensitivity training before the 2021 season began, and she also did not miss any races.

The 2022 season is scheduled to begin with the 64th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 20, though the Busch Light Clash is unofficially scheduled to open up the Next Gen era on Sunday, February 6 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.





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