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Kurt Busch making a good marketing move in going after Hendrick drivers

By admin | August 9, 2010



By Richard Allen


As is typically the case, driver Kurt Busch has not minced words when talking about his ever deepening rivalry with Jimmie Johnson. And more, he did not stop with one Hendrick Motorsports driver. He broadened the scope to include every HMS chauffer.

“The guys at Hendrick are pretty boys and they get on People Magazine covers and that’s their job,” Busch said at a press conference at Watkins Glen. “My job is to go out and race cars and that’s what I focus on. I like to race the cars and race them hard, race them smart and I feel like that if what happened last week, which we’ll talk about racing because that’s what we should be talking about, if the roles we’re reversed and the 2 car wrecked the 48, I would have been hung.

“I would have been lynched at the gates for wrecking a four-time champion. But if the roles really were reversed, I wouldn’t have bumped the 48 in that fashion and both of us would have continued on and ended up with good results.”

From a competition standpoint, picking on Hendrick Motorsports might not be the best of moves to make. After all, they have won the past four Sprint Cup championships and house two drivers who hold a total of eight title trophies.

However, from a marketing standpoint, picking on HMS could prove to be a financial boon. Now make no mistake, Kurt Busch will never match any of the Hendrick drivers in popularity. Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. are usually at or near the top of the souvenir sales lists and popularity polls every season.

For Busch to bring all of those drivers into the fray may not have been a bad move at all.

Consider this, although the HMS drivers are among the most popular in the sport, they do not have every fan. There are always some out there who are looking to go against the grain, looking for the anti-hero. Those folks buy hats and t-shirts just like everyone else.

There were no doubt some, if not quite a few, out there who had a smile to come across their faces when they read or heard the Busch statement. Based on comments received on this site and seen on message boards, the Penske driver was not the first to make the remark about magazine covers.

While Kurt Busch can’t match Jimmie Johnson’s championships or race wins, he may still have emerged as the leader among those who oppose all that is Hendrick.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

5 Responses to “Kurt Busch making a good marketing move in going after Hendrick drivers”

  1. Bill B Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 6:24 am

    I doubt it. Most fans have even less love for the Busch brothers than the Hendrick drivers.

  2. Marcus Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Kurt Busch must have been talking about the main HMS team, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. The second tier HMS team of Dale Jr and Mark Martin is nowhere near Pretty. Dale sport’s a scruffy, at times, mangy beard. Mark Martin is an ex alcoholic who looks older than he even is.

    The Ironic part of Kurt’s trying to be a “bad ass” statement, was that while calling the HMS drivers “pretty boys”, He is the lone driver in this equation to have had surgery done to alter his look. Did Kurt forget that he had his ears pinned back in the earlier 2000’s?

    Seems Kurt may be a little Frustrated that he isn’t naturally as good looking as the guys that are also beating him on the race track. Trust me, I don’t like Jimmie Johnson any more than Kurt.

  3. The Old Guy Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Interestingly enough, Kurt Busch’s popularity has risen over the past few seasons. Kurt has matured (as, eventually will his brother) and is a force to be reckoned with every week.

    Jeff Gordon must consider him to be threat to win considering that way he blatantly took him out while he was leading at Martinsville a couple of seasons back.

    Last season HMS cars ended One and two in the championship chase. Who was 3rd? Yep, Kurt Busch.

    This year, even with his havig been wrecked a couple of times, he still sits fourth in the points with a couple of wins to his credit.

    The number of fans who dislike JJ has grown considerably over the last couple of years while at the same time Kurts popularity has grown.

    I think he’s making a good move in placing himself in the position of being “anti HMS”.

  4. Steve Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I’m think that with the Chase looming, he might be trying to play some head games with Johnson and Gordon, (although there is no love lost between him and Johnson)It has been proven it doesn’t take much to get under their skin so I think its a good move.

    I do disagree that Johnson has alot of fans. He obviously has some. They are either bandwagon 4 time fans or they like his vanilla personality, which I don’t know of too many that do.

  5. Putz Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I have gained respect for the old Bush. He’s talented, and spirited, when provoked. JJ did wreck him intentionally, and I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t retalliate.