By admin | March 30, 2011
By Richard Allen
In the spring Martinsville race of 2009 Kurt Busch issued some of the most talked about radio chatter in recent NASCAR history. In that tirade, Busch scolded car owner Roger Penske over his car’s lack of competitiveness and his crew’s seeming inability to do anything about it.
Penske, a successful businessman known for his ability to see the big picture, tried to convince Busch to calm himself and make the most of the day at hand.
In the most intense portion of the conversation Busch declared, “It’s the most frustrating thing in world to think that you think that we’re better than what we are.”
Very much out of character for Penske, he seemed to display a bit of anger in his voice when he said, “If you didn’t blow yourself up we’d be a lot better,” radioed the owner. “You made a change, it didn’t work. All we hear is bunch of stuff on the radio. Let’s get serious here. OK? You understand?”
And in the well documented response Busch shot back, “Oh, 10-4, dude. 10-4.” The reference to the man often known as ‘The Captain’ as ‘Dude’ was very much talked about for days to come.
This weekend Busch and his Penske Racing team will return to the scene of that infamous blowup with the stage seemingly set for another such incident. Over the last couple of races or so, Busch has clearly been unhappy with his car’s performance and his crew’s inability to do anything about it. In Fontana he often complained that the Penske engineering department was not listening to his input, and in turn, they were not producing cars capable of racing for wins.
In one exchange he vowed, “I’m shutting the radio off. Just wave at me when you want me to pit.” He remained quiet for some time thereafter.
In another stinging jab he asked his spotter, “Who drives the 09 car because we seem to be racing him a lot?”
After the same type of radio chatter in Bristol he supposedly emerged from his car hurling obscenities in all directions before disappearing into the team hauler.
Whether Kurt Busch will have another often quoted tirade this weekend in Martinsville is unknown. However, the history is there for such a blowup. And recent races have shown that he has not changed his radio habits since 2009.
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