Kyle Busch will be required to take sensitivity training ahead of the 2022 NASCAR season.
Busch was eliminated from the Cup Series playoffs on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. After tangling with Brad Keselowski late in the race, Busch used the R-word as an adjective to describe how he felt about his longtime rival's actions in an interview with reporters after the race.
“He was trying to do a Harvick is what he was trying to do," Busch said (via NBC) of contact from Keselowski on the last lap. Kevin Harvick tried to spin Busch a year ago at Martinsville to advance to the final round of the playoffs. "For what? For second place? To do what? He wasn’t going to transfer through with that. Freaking [R-word]. So stupid. I don’t understand these guys.”
Busch and Keselowski were among the four drivers eliminated from title contention at Martinsville. They needed to win to advance to the championship race next weekend and restarted second and third behind Alex Bowman for the race's final two-lap shootout.
Neither driver was able to catch Bowman, however. Keselowski tagged Busch on the final lap, though getting to second place ahead of Busch wasn't going to be enough to get Keselowski into the final round.
Busch apologized for what he said in the interview on Twitter after the race.
In one of my post-race interviews I used a word I should never use and I want to apologize for it.
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) November 1, 2021
Busch and Keselowski have never been friends throughout their NASCAR careers as they've been the top drivers in the series for the past decade. The Cup Series champions have had various well-documented run-ins throughout their time in NASCAR.
Since some people are copying me on social media with other’s comments I’ll say this in response-
I used to get mad when people said mean things about me and respond out of anger. Now I just feel bad for them. For their family’s sake, I have no desire to go any deeper than that.
— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 31, 2021
Busch is the second NASCAR driver required to take sensitivity training for publicly saying a variation of the R-word. Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan used it on a live stream to describe someone she was racing in a a simulated race in January. Deegan later apologized on Twitter to "everyone who was offended by it," and NASCAR ordered her to get sensitivity training before the season began.
Like Deegan, Busch will not face an on-track penalty for what he said.