DARLINGTON, S.C. — Kyle Busch admits he’s concerned about security for drivers after his incident with a fan following the NASCAR Cup Series race Aug. 18 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
After Busch had walked through the tunnel and signed some autographs, a fan physically confronted Busch and struck him across the chest, according to BMS. Busch and the fan were chest to chest for a brief moment until a member of the sheriff’s department separated them. There was no arrest.
Busch was asked Friday if that incident makes him concerned for his safety.
“For me, yeah,” Busch said following practice at Darlington Raceway. “I’m the No. 1 guy that needs security from anybody else here. I’ll admit it.”
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver had been involved in an incident during the race where he accidentally took out Martin Truex Jr., which possibly raised tensions.
Both incidents went viral, and Busch worried that a fan looking for notoriety might see that and want a chance to be part of the social chatter.
“[A fan incident] happened to Denny at Martinsville, it happened to me at Bristol,” Busch said. “How far are people going to go … to get their name in the news? It’s pathetic.”
Busch is a member of the drivers council that meets with NASCAR on issues. Security is often a topic. Busch said some of the ideas suggested by drivers have not proven effective.
“Some of the initiatives that we have come up with that we tried to implement didn’t really take hold because you don’t have enough security personnel that are trained at every racetrack to be able to cover the protocol,” Busch said.
Busch said what happened at Bristol was a problem.
“The general public used to not walk through the area that drivers were allowed to go through,” Busch said. “When they started opening that gate, I think it was two or three years ago, where the people blend in with the tunnel traffic and exit out the gate where the drivers go through the walkway area to go across [to the driver motor home lot]. Once that started happening, we all started getting back on the golf carts because there are supposed to stanchions [separating the fans from drivers].
“That guy last week, he got through those stanchions.”
In its statement following the incident, Bristol Motor Speedway said it would work with NASCAR to see if any changes needed to be made.
“Bristol Motor Speedway appreciates the fan accessibility provided by NASCAR drivers, and we will work to ensure that fans and drivers continue to have great experiences together at BMS,” the statement said.