About Kyle Busch, too things are beyond significant debate:

€¢ One, Busch is one of the top drivers in stock-car racing, with 104 victories in the three national touring series at the top of the NASCAR hierarchy since 2004.

€¢ Two, he's one of the most controversial figures in American sport, perhaps the most hated man in auto racing since Dale Earnhardt at his menacing, intimidating peak.

At Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, the fiery 26-year-old from Las Vegas became the first driver to be suspended since NASCAR issued its 'Boys, have at it' decree at the beginning of the 2010 season.

Busch was barred from competing in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races on Saturday and Sunday because he deliberately wrecked Ron Hornaday Jr. in Friday night's Camping World Truck Series event at the 1.5-mile TMS track.

The wreck effectively ended Hornaday's long-shot chance of winning the Truck Series driving championship for the fifth time. And the suspension had the same effect on Busch's chances to win the Sprint Cup title, dropping him from seventh to 11th in the Chase for the Cup standings.

Early in the race, Hornaday tried to squeeze between Busch and a slower truck. The two tangled and both brushed the outside wall.

Furious, Busch chased down Hornaday as the caution flag waved. He slammed into the rear of Hornaday's truck and sent both vehicles slamming into the wall, doing heavy damage to both.

Busch was anything but contrite, suggesting that he'd been on the receiving end of rough driving too many times and was fed up with it.

The 53-year-old Hornaday, from Palmdale, Calif., was livid. If NASCAR didn't penalize Busch, he vowed to show up at Busch's house on Monday morning and/or to purchase a ride in the Cup Series and wreck Busch at every opportunity.

NASCAR pre-empted Hornaday's vigilantism and Busch turned contrite, issuing a statement taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing.

But the damage control did little to muzzle chatter about the incident, with sentiment heavily against Busch. M&M-Mars, primary sponsor of Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Cup Series, released a statement expressing the company's disappointment in Busch's actions. Some observers have questioned whether Busch's job may be at risk.

Busch was already on probation for a run-in with Kevin Harvick earlier this year at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Coincidentally or not, Harvick is the owner of the No. 33 truck Hornaday was driving Friday night.

In August, in a truck race at Bristol, Tenn., Busch retaliated against Elliott Sadler after a tangle between the two. Sadler drives for Kevin Harvick Inc. in the Nationwide Series, but wasn't driving a Harvick-owned truck at Bristol.

Busch is hardly the first NASCAR driver to be suspended for roughhouse driving. Harvick was ousted from a Cup race at Martinsville, Va., in 2002 after he wrecked another driver during a truck series preliminary. His victim was Coy Gibbs, son of Joe Gibbs.

But he's the first to be parked since NASCAR ruled that drivers can, for the most part, police their own behavior.

Busch and several other drivers have taken the 'have at it' policy as a license to whale away at competitors, especially if they feel that have been mistreated.

But at the same time, some others have demonstrated commendable restraint. Two Sundays ago, Tony Stewart passed Jimmie Johnson to take the lead with two laps to go on the tight, rough-and-tumble half-mile Martinsville Speedway. Johnson could easily have dumped Stewart and claimed, 'That's just short-track racing.'

Instead, he raced Stewart clean and finished second.

Sunday at Texas, while Busch sat on top of the pit box and Michael McDowell substituted for him in the AAA 500, Stewart and Carl Edwards waged a duel for the race win and the top spot in the Cup Series standings, managing never to come close to wrecking each other.

Hopefully, Busch was taking notes.

No question, he has the talent to race in this series, and probably in any other he might choose to try. But his feisty, short-fuse attitude is proving to be as much of a liability as his talent is an asset.

The weekend's results:

€¢ Friday ' NASCAR Camping World Truck Round 24, Fort Worth, Texas: Kevin Harvick

€¢ Saturday ' NASCAR Nationwide Round 32, Fort Worth, Texas: Trevor Bayne

€¢ Sunday ' NASCAR Sprint Cup Round 34, Fort Worth, Texas: Tony Stewart

€¢ Saturday ' NASCAR Camping World Truck Round 23, Martinsville, Va.: Denny Hamlin

€¢ Sunday ' NASCAR Sprint Cup Round 33, Martinsville, Va.: Tony Stewart

€¢ Sunday ' NHRA Full Throttle Round 21, Las Vegas: Del Worsham, Top Fuel; Ron Capps, Funny Car; Mike Edwards, Pro Stock

€¢ Sunday ' Formula One Round 17, Delhi, India: Sebastian Vettel

Next weekend's schedule:

€¢ Saturday ' NASCAR Nationwide Round 33, Avondale, Ariz.

€¢ Sunday ' NASCAR Sprint Cup Round 35, Avondale, Ariz.

€¢ Sunday ' World Rally Round 13, Cardiff, Wales

€¢ Sunday ' NHRA Full Throttle Round 22, Pomona, Calif.

€¢ Sunday ' Formula One Round 18, Abu Dhabi, UAE

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