In announcing Busch's suspension from driving the rest of the weekend, Helton said NASCAR's edict of “boys, have at it” did have a clear line.
“We saw it last night.” he said.
Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin, will take Busch's place in Saturday's Nationwide race and Michael McDowell is scheduled to drive Busch's No. 18 Toyota in Sunday's AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Hornaday saw his chance at a fifth series championship disappear Friday night when Busch intentionally wrecked him under caution after the two got together racing three-wide for position. Hornaday ended up 34th.
Busch was called to the hauler after the race. He met with series officials approximately three minutes and left without comment. He was told to return Saturday morning for another meeting and again left without comment.
By that time, however, Hamlin and McDowell were already seen getting fitted in Busch's Nationwide and Cup cars.
Busch was unrepentant after the race.
“It’s two guys racing for tight real estate and there’s only two lanes of race track out there right now. I’m racing for a win just as much as Ron Hornaday,” Busch said Friday night. “It’s Lap 15. He wants to make it three-wide with a lapped car and knowing you always get loose when you’re on the inside.
“I retaliated. It’s certainly my fault for doing that. For everybody who wants to say that Hornaday is racing for a championship, just roll over. That’s not my fashion.”
Hornaday admitted he got into Busch on the track but said the retaliation after the caution was displayed was unwarranted.
“It was a racing deal. That crap he pulled down there, they parked Harvick for the same retaliation at Martinsville. If they don’t park (Busch) on Sunday, I’ll be really upset.”