Kyle Busch banned from Cup, Nationwide races at Texas
Kyle Busch finally went too far for NASCAR, even in the era of "Boys, have at it." The often volatile Busch was barred from driving in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races at Texas this weekend, a rare step taken by NASCAR after he deliberately wrecked championship contender Ron Hornaday Jr. during a caution in the Truck Series race there.
On Saturday night, Busch issued a letter in which he said he wanted to "sincerely apologize" to fans, his sponsors, Hornaday and his team, as well as everybody associated with Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports.
"I understand why I was taken out of the car for the rest of the weekend. NASCAR officials had to act, and I accept their punishment and take full responsibility for my actions," Busch wrote. "As a racecar driver, the hardest thing to do is to sit on the sidelines listening to cars on the track when you know you should be out there competing. For this, I have no one to blame but myself."
NASCAR President Mike Helton announced the decision Saturday after a meeting with Busch and Joe Gibbs, Busch's Sprint Cup and Nationwide car owner.
"The responsibility that over the past two or three seasons we've given back to the drivers came I think with a very clear understanding that there could be a line that got crossed," Helton said. "And as annoying as the comments that I've made personally in the past about 'we'll know it when we see it' might have been, we saw it last night."
Busch is the first driver since Robby Gordon in August 2007 to be taken out of a Cup race for actions in another NASCAR race the same weekend. Kevin Harvick, the owner of Hornaday's truck, was kept out of the Cup race at Martinsville in 2002 after an incident in a truck race there the previous day.
Michael McDowell will take over in Sunday's race for Busch, who was seventh in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings. Denny Hamlin, another Gibbs driver, took over Busch's Nationwide seat Saturday.
Helton didn't rule out more penalties for Busch after the weekend, but said not letting him race shows how serious NASCAR felt about what happened Friday night.
"The rarity of those times that we'd make a step like this speak to the uniqueness and the severity of the topic," Helton said.
Hornaday was knocked out of Friday night's truck race on the 14th of 148 laps when Busch retaliated for contact between them by pushing the four-time champion into the wall. The trucks made contact after trying to go three-wide around a slower truck and both brushed the wall. Busch, driving a truck he owns, got behind Hornaday and kept pushing until the No. 33 truck wound up in the wall. NASCAR immediately parked Busch.
"I lost my cool, no doubt about it. I've been wrecked four weeks in a row, and I've had enough of it, and I retaliated," Busch said by his hauler after the wreck Friday night. "So it's certainly my fault for doing that. If everybody wants to say, 'Hornaday is racing for a championship, roll over,' that's not my fashion. That's not anybody else's fashion out here."
There were no comments Saturday from Busch after he left the NASCAR hauler through an exit away from the media.
Bayne gets first Nationwide win at Texas
Trevor Bayne earned his first career NASCAR Nationwide victory after he passed teammate Carl Edwards following a tremendous restart with seven laps remaining Saturday at Texas. Bayne won the Daytona 500 this year but had never won in his previous 76 Nationwide starts in the series.
"It's been a long time coming," Bayne said. "That ending there was cool to get to go up against Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin. ... Right before that last caution, I didn't think we were going to have a shot because we were about half a track behind Carl. I thought the car was good, but I just didn't think we'd have enough time."
Former Penn State assistant, two school officials charged in child sex case
A former defensive coach who was integral for decades to Penn State's football success was accused Saturday of molesting eight boys, and two school administrators were charged with failing to tell police when a witness told them he saw a boy being sexually assaulted in the shower. Former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, 67, was arrested Saturday and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts, according to the office of the state attorney general, Linda Kelly. She called Sandusky "a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys."
Though reports surfaced months ago that Sandusky was being investigated, the case took on an added dimension Saturday when Penn State's athletics director, Tim Curley, 57, and vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz, 62, were charged with perjury.
Longtime head coach Joe Paterno, who has more victories than any coach in the history of Division I football, was not charged, authorities said, and the grand jury report did not appear to implicate him in wrongdoing. It said that when Paterno first learned of one report of abuse, he immediately reported it to Curley, but Sandusky was no longer coaching at the time and it's not clear whether Paterno followed up with Curley.
Sandusky, closely identified with the school's reputation as a defensive powerhouse and a program that produced top-quality linebackers, retired in 1999 but continued to work with at-risk children through the nonprofit Second Mile organization he founded in 1977, where authorities say all of the accusers first encountered him.
Blake in front in Champions finale
Jay Don Blake shot a 5-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the Champions Tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Championship in San Francisco. Blake, who snapped a 20-year victory drought this season when he won the Songdo IBD Championship in South Korea, had five birdies in his bogey-free round. He pulled ahead with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 and finished at 8 under.
■ Starting the third round with the lead, Fredrik Jacobson kept his mistakes to a minimum, knocked in long birdie putts on consecutive holes and wound up with a 5-under 67 and a two-shot lead in the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Jacobson broke the tournament 54-hole record at 16-under 200 as he tries to win for the second time this year.
Charity game canceled because of talks
A charity game involving NBA players scheduled for Sunday in New Castle, Ind., was canceled. A release from event organizers said that because of the "uncertainty" of Saturday's NBA negotiations in New York many of the players scheduled to participate were advised to prepare for a possible agreement.
The "King of the Castle" event was to pit the Knox Indy Pro-Am League stars against Mario Chalmers' Rio All-Stars. Washington's John Wall, Memphis' Zach Randolph and Los Angeles' Eric Gordon were expected to play.
Cole posts season's 13th perfect game
Matt Cole kept up local bowlers' torrid scoring pace with the 13th perfect game of the season. Cole's 300 was part of a 740 series in the James R. Wafford Memorial League at Collins Bowling Centers-Southland on Halloween.
The last word
Golfer Ian Poulter told The Associated Press:
"I used to fly coach and didn't like it. And then somebody told me I should try playing better."