Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch has been suspended by his Roush Racing team after being charged by police for reckless driving.
Busch, who qualified 17th for Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, will be replaced by Kenny Wallace in the number #97 car for today's race.
According to NASCAR.com, police said that Busch was stopped on Friday night by police near the track after trying to avoid another car and running a stop sign. Busch was reportedly argumentative and the deputy who stopped Busch smelled alcohol on his breath, and he refused to take sobriety tests.
Busch did submit to a breathalyser test, which disclosed the presence of alcohol. He was then taken into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Busch was driven by police to the Sheriff's facility at Phoenix International Raceway, to take a further breathalyser test, however the machine there failed.
As a result Busch was not charged with any alcohol-related offence, but was charged with reckless driving and was subsequently released. He will face a court appearance in December.
With Busch joining Penske Racing next season, Roush have chosen to suspend the 27 year-old for the final two races of the season.
"It's the last straw for Roush Racing," said Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing. "The team has elected to suspend Kurt Busch for the rest of the season. We took this action following an evaluation of the circumstances surrounding Kurt's Friday night altercation with the Arizona Sheriff's office."
Busch released a statement. It said: "I regret the incident that occurred near the Phoenix International Raceway Friday evening where I received a traffic citation. It is important to understand that this citation is not alcohol related. I want to apologise to the Maricopa County Sheriff's department for my actions."
Team owner Jack Roush said that Busch's actions meant he had breached his contract, allowing the team to suspend him.
"All parties are in complete support that the action being taken today is necessary and appropriate under the circumstances," Roush said. "We felt that he was far enough out of line that it was a breech of his contract with me and that put me into breach with the contracts with my sponsors so we had to take action to alleviate the damage that was done in that relationship."