Kurt Busch learned more about the power of social media and viral videos on Friday when NASCAR fined him $50,000 for "actions detrimental to stock car racing."
Busch's now-infamous rant against respected ESPN pit reporter Jerry Punch at Homestead was not uncommon behavior for Busch, but it was the first time one of his tirades was seen by many fans.
In addition, NASCAR cited Busch's "inappropriate gesture" (flipping off an unspecified person), which was seen on his in-car camera at Homestead.
But most notable was the fan video which captured Busch cursing at Punch as he waited impatiently to be interviewed. The video quickly made its way through social media channels after being posted on YouTube.
Busch's tirade had been viewed more than 350,000 times as of Friday afternoon, and it resulted in statements of apology from both Busch and Penske Racing this week.
Now, NASCAR has weighed in as well.
NASCAR's penalty could potentially jolt Busch into treating people with more respect, but there's also a chance it could change nothing. This is the second time in three months Busch has had to apologize for actions toward media members, and a sudden attitude reversal seems unlikely.
Officials cited Busch's media "confrontations" earlier in the season as a factor in his fine.