Busch, a two-time series champion, finished second in Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway, but was still eliminated from further contention for the 2021 series championship.
In an interview caught on video by NBC Sports, Busch said a slur commonly used to refer to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities while describing his last-lap tangle with Brad Keselowski.
Sunday night, Busch posted a message on his Twitter account apologising for the use of a word he said “should never use.”
As a penalty for violating its conduct guidelines, prior to the start of the 2022 season, NASCAR will require Busch to take sensitivity training.
Keselowski responded to Busch’s comments via Twitter, stating that he simply “feels bad” that the two-time Cup champion felt the need to make it personal.
“I used to get mad when people said mean things about me and respond out of anger,” Keselowski wrote.
“Now I just feel bad for them. For their family’s sake, I have no desire to go any deeper than that.”
With one race remaining this season, Busch is ninth in the series standings with two wins, 14 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes.
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M’s Halloween, Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Dent Wizard
Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images
Busch paid tribute to Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Martin Truex Jr, who made it into the Championship 4 for the final round at Phoenix – where he will do battle against fellow JGR driver Denny Hamlin and Hendrick pair Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott.
“We just missed last week, that’s where we lost all the ground,” Busch told NBC Sports. “We could have come [to Martinsville] with 15 more points and we would have been fine for the cut, but it just wasn’t it.
“It wasn’t meant to be, it was Truex’s day. We had a Hail Mary opportunity at the end but it just didn’t materialise.
“All in all, proud of the effort. We slung anything and everything at this thing today and just couldn’t make it come alive.
“Any time you go into a season with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing, you expect to be in Championship 4 contention, and eligible. Anything other than that is a failure.”
NASCAR Truck Series rookie Hailie Deegan was also required to complete sensitivity training after using the same word in an online racing event in January, ahead of her maiden full season in the third-tier category.