STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Points leader Kyle Busch can drive for the Sprint Cup title this season, but he couldn't drive away from the North Carolina District Court of Iredell County Courthouse on Tuesday.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver had all driving privileges revoked for 45 days as a result of his May 24 charge of going 128 mph in a 45 mph speed zone on a rural road near Mooresville, N.C.
Busch also was fined $1,000, placed on a year of unsupervised probation and ordered to do 30 hours of community service with the B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) program that he already had committed to with NHRA star Doug Herbert.
But Busch did avoid an automatic year's suspension of his driver's license after Judge Thomas Church offered a Prayer for Judgment Continued on the reckless driving charge.
For the latter, Busch and his attorney, Cliff Homesley, were grateful.
"We're appreciative the judge recognized that Kyle should be treated at least as close to how he would treat anybody else here in society,'' Homesley said outside the courthouse.
Homesley gave an eloquent 40-minute speech arguing that Busch has not been treated like most citizens charged with similar offenses. His most compelling argument was a July 25 case in which a convicted felon on supervised probation in the same courtroom walked away with his license and only a $300 fine after being charged with going 128 mph.
"How can that be?'' Homesley asked the court.
Homesley said that made for a "compelling case and I would really have hoped the district attorney would have dismissed the reckless driving charge at that time.''
Homesley repeatedly noted that the district attorney's office never offered a plea bargain as he argued typically happens in speeding cases, again making the point that Busch's celebrity status was held against him.
He said the only thing that was offered was the plea of guilty to speeding and no contest to reckless driving that Busch offered in court.
"We're not here to raise a big stink about that,'' Homesley said. "We understand that when you're in the public eye like Kyle is that your actions are going to be scrutinized more closely than those of other people.''
But Homesley reiterated with several other cases that not being offered a plea was unfair treatment.
"There have been numerous people charged with speeding in excess of 100 mph in Iredell County and all of those people, bar none, have walked out of here with some kind of plea agreement,'' Homesley said. "We did not get that. ... We relied on the judge to make it somewhat equal, and keep in mind none of those had their license taken for 45 days.''
Homesley also noted that the charges against Busch could be found in internet within an hour of him being pulled.
"Now, is that treating him like anybody else?'' he argued. "No. Somebody broke their leg getting that to the press.''
Busch, who has a 10-point lead over five-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, appeared in a dark suit and tie. He acknowledged acceptance of his actions and was remorseful in his remarks to Judge Church, saying it was a lesson learned and he was ready to move forward.
"This is it,'' said Busch, who will compete next in Wednesday night's Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "Today it is done.''
When addressing Busch, Judge Church said, "I think you'll be different in the future.''
Assistant district attorney Scott Cranford said he did not question Busch's integrity. He did question Homesley's argument that Busch was speeding on a straight road and that no one was in danger.
Cranford noted that the road was curvy and hilly, and filled with entrances to driveways.
Busch was test driving a bright yellow 2012 Lexus LFA high performance sports car valued at around $400,000 when pulled by Iredell County law enforcement. Homesley argued that Busch did what most would do with that type of automobile, seeing how fast it would go.
Homesley also argued that Busch is a valued member of the community, documenting Busch's Truck Series operation that employs 35 people and all the donations Busch has made via his foundation and other charitable organizations.
He recited Busch's record in NASCAR, how Busch leads the Cup standings and has 101 victories between the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series.
"We the citizens of Iredell County should be blessed this individual chose here as a place to live,'' Homesley said in court.
Outside the courthouse, Homesley added, "There's a lot of privileges from being an outstanding racecar driver. ... You also have to take the downside.''
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.