Road where NASCAR’s Kyle Busch did 128 mph getting a safety roundabout – Charlotte Observer

The country road at Lake Norman near Mooresville where NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was caught driving 128 mph is getting a roundabout to slow speeders and cut the number of wrecks.

The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday about its proposed roundabout at Perth Road and Cornelius Road. The meeting will be at Troutman Town Hall, 400 North Eastway Drive .

Residents can drop by any time during the two hours to ask questions and give comments to DOT officials. No formal presentation will be given.

During its most recent 10-year study of the intersection, the state recorded 37 crashes, including two severe-injury crashes and 15 other injury crashes, DOT Project Manager Bryan Sowell said. Thirty-one were frontal impact crashes, including 20 angle crashes.

“The department has determined that a roundabout at this intersection would greatly reduce the number and severity of these crashes,” Sowell said in an email reply to the Observer. “Roundabouts are particularly helpful at intersections with a pattern of angle crashes because of the greatly reduced number of conflict points.”

Nobody was injured as Busch sped down Perth Road in May 2011 with his wife, Samantha, in the passenger seat of yellow Lexus LFA high-performance car. The road has a 45-mph speed limit. The Hendrick Lexus car dealership let him try out the car for 24 hours.

An Iredell County deputy stopped him near a Lake Norman subdivision, not far from a day care, a church and several neighborhoods.

Busch pled guilty to driving 128 mph, was placed on probation for a year and fined $1,000.

His lawyer, Cliff Homesley of Mooresville, said at the time that Busch agreed to sponsor 10 driving schools that will benefit 300 teenage drivers through Top Fuel drag racer Doug Herbert’s B.R.A.K.E.S. program, a hands-on educational program at ZMax Dragway in Concord and other racing venues.

The defense attorney said Busch’s foundation “has given tens of thousands of dollars to places around the country trying to help people.”

“The citizens of Iredell County are blessed this individual has come to Iredell County to live,” Homesley told the judge. “He made one mistake.”

The judge told Busch: “I’m very impressed with what you have done in the past and what you will do in the future. I think you’ll be a different person.”

“Sure will, your honor,” Busch, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and dark tie, replied.

Nearby residents were incensed that the millionaire race car driver might have put them at risk and somehow avoided going to jail.

Busch was ticketed for speeding and reckless driving. He wasn’t jailed at the discretion of the officer.

Officials said they did not give Busch preferential treatment when they let him go with a citation instead of jailing him.

Then-Iredell County sheriff’s Capt. Darren Campbell said Busch “had the proper ID. He was from the area. He was a low risk to flee.” Campbell is now sheriff.

In a statement released the day he was ticketed, Busch said he was test driving a new sports car and “got carried away.”

“I went beyond the speed I should have been going on a public road,” he said. “I apologize to the public, my fans, sponsors and race teams for my lack of judgment. I can assure you that something like this will never happen again.”

Busch reportedly told the officer who stopped him the $350,000 sports car was “just a toy.”

“It wasn’t that it was a toy, it’s a high-performance vehicle and that shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Busch said later. “It should be driven with caution. Obviously I didn’t have caution. There’s probably a reason why on TV commercials they show at the bottom, ‘Professional driver, closed course.’ Mine was not that.”


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