Kyle Busch once again finds himself at the center of controversy, but this time, it’s for something entirely different than we’re used to seeing.
Busch was arrested last month in January after a handgun was found in his luggage. The NASCAR star issued a statement Monday in an attempt to clarify the situation.
“In late January, Samantha and I enjoyed a several-day vacation in Mexico. When departing the country, my handgun was flagged during routine screening at the airport,” Busch said in a statement posted to Twitter. “I have a valid concealed carry permit from my local authority and adhere to all handgun laws, but I made a mistake by forgetting it was in my bag.”
He continued: “Discovery of my handgun led to my detainment while the situation was resolved. I was no aware of Mexican law and had no intention of bringing a handgun into Mexico. When it was discovered, I fully cooperated with the authorities, accepted the penalties and returned to North Carolina. I apologize for my mistake and appreciate the respect shown by all parties as we resolved the matter. My family and I consider this issue closed.”
The Mexican courts might disagree with that last sentiment. Or, at the very least, things have been cleared up since the Jan. 27 arrest. The Mexico Prosecutor General’s Office released a statement on Feb. 3 announcing a 3 1/2-year prison sentence in addition to a fine.
Busch, entering his first season as a member of Richard Childress Racing, competed and finished third in the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum in Los Angeles on Sunday. Assuming there’s no issue, he’d be lined up to make his official RCR debut at the Daytona 500 next weekend.
NASCAR doesn’t seem overly concerned with Busch’s situation, either. It is aware of the situation and said the “issue did not warrant a penalty from NASCAR,” according to The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi.
Busch, no stranger to making on-track headlines both good and bad, has had himself an eventful few months. He coincidentally was at the Mall of America in August when a shooting took place that obviously left him and his family a little shaken up. Luckily, there were no victims in that incident that put the massive shopping center on temporary lockdown.