NASCAR President Mike Helton: Why We Suspended Kyle Busch

NASCAR President Mike Helton addressed the media on Saturday morning at Texas Motor Speedway an informed reporters of Kyle Busch's suspension for the remainder of the weekend.

Here are some of Helton's selected comments as to why NASCAR elected to suspend Busch:

Why did this incident cross the line in the "Boys, Have At It" Era?

"The responsibility that, over the past two or three seasons, we've given back to the drivers, came with a very clear understanding that there could be a line that got crossed.

As annoying as the comments I've made personally in the past – about 'We'll know it when we see it' – might have been, we saw it last night. Obviously, after the event, a lot of folks put their heads together to decide what, if anything, we would do. What I'm telling you today is our reaction."

Did NASCAR consider all the fallout and the big picture that would result from this move?

"The volume of reactions like I'm talking about this morning, the rarity of times we make a step like this speak to the uniqueness and the severity of the topic. We understand the ramifications or the ripple effect in making this type of move. But we also take our responsibility very serious as to maintaining control of the event in all of the garages. And at the end of the day, we're the ones who have to make that decision and go on."

Does this send a message about where the line is for "Boys, Have At It?"

"I think the garage areas – the drivers, the team owners, the crew members – understand the difference between being responsible and crossing the line. I honestly believe they understand the difference, but we'll have to wait and see how the opinions react to this."

On whether Hornaday's position in the championship battle was a factor in the penalty:

"The implication of the 33 truck being in the points battle in the Camping World Truck Series probably had a small impact on the reaction, but I think the bulk of the action in its entirety and all the circumstances attached to it just accumulated in the action we made."

How is this different than Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski at Atlanta last year? And did Kyle's history factor into this?

"It's natural in our industry and our sport to watch the evolution of a policy or a procedure and learn from it and possibly react differently. I would remind you in the incident with Carl Edwards and Keselowski in Atlanta, there was a reaction from us. There was points and there was money involved in that reaction, so there was some reaction. There are lines that have been crossed – the 18 and the 29 (Kevin Harvick) at Darlington got a reaction from us.

"Today is the most severe reaction, but we felt like the circumstances came together to warrant the reaction we're talking about this morning. The question about the accumulation of incidents around the driver leading to the decision making process – I won't sit here and tell you it's not an influence, but it's not an overriding influence."

More on the decision:

"It's not an easy step to take. It's not something we enjoy doing. It's not an action we would want to do. But we do take our responsibility to maintain the garage areas and the unfolding of the events very serious, which led us to this action."

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