Kyle Busch knows how to use mechanical brakes better than almost all; indeed, his many wins prove he is perhaps more skilled on how to not use brakes—but that’s on a racetrack.
Recently Busch was radar-clocked at 128 mph in Troutman, N.C. in a 45-mph zone.
Although apologetic he has been in the news too for his on-track behavior.
The speeding story will end up in court, but NASCAR has stated his actions were outside of a racetrack and won’t have consequences on Busch’s recent probation for pit-road infraction.
But this could be a B.R.A.K.E.S. story too, a youth driver safety organization (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) founded by NHRA drag racer Doug Herbert after his two sons died in a head-on car crash.
Busch was caught speeding on Perth Road in Troutman, N.C. and Herbert’s two young sons died on Jetton Road near Lake Norman, N.C. in 2008—a distance of about 20 miles.
Doug Herbert talked about the aftermath of his personal tragedy:
“I really had no idea that there are actually over 5000 teenagers a year killed in car accidents and is the number one cause of death for teenagers,” Herbert said. “I really didn’t know that before my two boys were killed in a car accident. I just felt I had to do something about it. What we tried to do with B.R.A.K.E.S, is to make a difference.”
The school and its instructors teach teenagers who are soon to get driver’s licenses the mechanics of automobiles and the reasons for safety on the highways.
“One of the things we try to get across with B.R.A.K.E.S is there is a place to go fast and that is at a racetrack,” Herbert said. “That’s obviously the first important thing that we always try to get across. We’re going 320 to 330 miles an hour in a Top Fuel dragster, that’s made to go that fast. There’s an incredible amount of safety equipment, an incredible amount of engineering that’s put into it to allow it to perform at that speed.”
Another NASCAR celebrity, Kyle Petty, lost his son, Adam, in a racing crash on a New Hampshire track in 2000. Petty turned his tragedy into Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C., honoring Adam and serving disabled children. Herbert considers Petty his mentor.
Among other talents, Petty is an accomplished commentator and a motorcycle enthusiast. When asked his opinion recently on high-speed dare-devil motorcycle tactics between vehicles on Interstate highways, Petty was swift to comment.
“The highway is a public area,” Petty said. “It’s supposed to be used responsibly. I don’t care if you’re in a car, a big truck or a motorcycle. It doesn’t make any difference. It’s not your personal playground. It’s not to come out and do stunts on. It’s not to come out and run 100 in a 55 anything like that. That’s not what it’s for. If you want to go do that, then go to a track. There’s plenty of tracks around and plenty of safe places to go play and have fun, if you want to have fun on a bike or a car. It doesn’t make any difference what you’re in.
“All you can say about it is that it’s totally irresponsible.”
Responsibility is one of the key driving traits that B.R.A.K.E.S. tries most to get across to teens.
“We have a video that we play,” Herbert said. “I talk to them. I mention that my kids were killed in a car accident. I get some celebrities to come out and talk to them about experience they’ve had with car accidents and how important it is to pay attention. We have the ability to make a difference because they think it’s cool.
“They’re talking to stars and a professional race car guy. I may have more influence on them than their parents, principal or police officers just because they hear about who I am in drag racing and doing the things I do and then they find out about my story.”
Kyle Busch has a new story to tell, one that went at least 128 mph before stopping. His story could have great meaning to teens.
Busch should contact B.R.A.K.E.S. and offer to volunteer time that will be sure to make a difference in the lives of teenagers.
It’s suspected that same volunteer time by Busch has a solid chance of also making a difference within.
Photo Credit: Dwight Drum @ Racetake.com