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Is Kurt Busch trying to get himself fired?

By admin | May 1, 2011

By Richard Allen


It is not exactly breaking news to point out that Kurt Busch launched into an profanity laced tirade over his in-car radio during a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. So, when it was reported that exactly that was going on during the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway this past Saturday night no one was caught off guard. However, what has become a bit different in recent weeks is that these tirades have become extremely personal attacks on the hierarchy of Penske Racing and that company‘s engineering department.

Many may remember Busch’s in-race argument with team owner Roger Penske just over a year ago in Martinsville. But many people have had arguments with their bosses before and that particular incident was not laced with extreme amounts of profanity and personal attacks as the driver‘s more recent comments. Lately, Busch has vented more of his anger not on the running of the car but more on the people who actually work on the car.

If I didn’t know better, from listening to Busch on the in-car radio it almost sounds as if he is trying to get fired. Of course, I don’t know better as I do not have an inside track into the volatile driver’s brain. However, I know most people can not talk to their bosses and fellow employees that way and not suffer some sort of repercussions, and most people know that very well. Kurt Busch is a smart guy and I think he would know that.

Busch’s contract runs through 2014 according to the website. So he is set to be in the same ride for three more seasons unless something happens to dissolve that agreement.

Of course, the immediate defense for any athlete who has an outburst is that, “He is a fierce competitor and those comments were made in the heat of the moment.” There is a line that separates being a fierce competitor and a person who is out of control emotionally. When that competitor curses and degrades those who are doing their best to help him has most likely crossed that line.

When it was announced that Busch was leaving Jack Roush’s team to take a ride with Penske Racing, Roush decided he had had enough of the babysitting chores of this driver and let Busch go early. All of this causes me to wonder just how long car owner Roger Penske will continue to tolerate this behavior.

There is no question that Busch is one of the most talented drivers in NASCAR. However, there comes a point at which one’s talent is overwhelmed in a negative way by one’s attitude.

Now, I’m not sure I believe Kurt Busch is actually trying to get himself fired. I do believe he is very unhappy with his current situation. It only takes a few minutes of scanner listening to figure that out. I also believe that whether Busch is trying to get himself fired or not he may soon succeed in that endeavor if he cannot find a way to control his outbursts.

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12 Responses to “Is Kurt Busch trying to get himself fired?”

  1. Gene Says:
    May 1st, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Not only the personal attacks on co-workers, and superiors, but his driving at RIR seemed as if he was making a statement, also. The way he was sliding the car through the turns for several laps was all driver, not the handling of the car.

    I hope he’s given some thought about what team would make room for him. I can’t think of any that are better than where he is now.

  2. zhills fan Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Must just run in the family. lol

  3. Gail Forrester Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Who would have thought Kyle would become the cool, collected, calm driver slicing through the field with surgical precision and finishing without a mark on his car? And winning by nearly two seconds after backing off to conserve fuel? The Era of Kyle is upon us. Haters, be afraid, be very afraid.

  4. tyler west Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Seriously, I would be pissed too. The name of the game is to win. They keep messing up. I would take either Busch over anyone in the garage. Anyone, including Johnson, Earnhardt, Harvick, and especially Newman. People get on them because they are hard drivers, they are the best. Drivers get fired for not getting results, so the guy should be trying to fire up his team. Year after year they struggle, Penske has no problem putting guys out that do not win. People are blowing this way out of proportion. He is a competitor and a firey one. We need more like him. Another thing I can’t stand is how people try to paint Montoya as the bad guy when Newman is the REAL JERK!! The guy is a total prick. He ruffs someone up and then cries when them pay him back!! He is a sissy, he cries about everything! He and Edwards are some of the dirtier drivers out there. But they seem cool with the media because they always say sorry and flash a B.S. smile. Racing is supposed to be rough and tough. Maybe he needs to go do something with his college degree. More Busch Brothers and alot less Earnhardt/Hendrick Motorsports mess!!!!!!

  5. Kevin Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    What I can’t believe is that anyone is suprised by any of this. Kurt Busch is being Kurt Busch. We heard less from Kurt Busch when he was driving a car that was competitive. Remember Daytona in February when Kurt was a world beater. He hasn’t had anything close to a dominant car since then & his attitude is a direct reflection of that. Just as its always been. Not that I’m advocating Kurt’s behaviour by any means, because I do find it unacceptable. I am just saying that I am not suprised.
    I would imagine that Kurt and Mr Penske will be having a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting this morning and that we will hear a much better behaved Kurt Busch over the radio in the coming weeks, perhaps with better equipment.

  6. Bill B Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Grow up Kurt. Some weeks are going to be struggles. You’re not going to show up with a winning car every week. You need to perservere through the race and do everything possible to adjust the car to get a better finish. Whining and yelling at your crew, owner and crew chief does not help you to that end. Sure a certain amount of venting is expected, maybe even healthy, but at some point you have to man-up and do the best with what you have. If that means not having a car capable of winning then suck it up Mary.

  7. Staci Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Ryan newman is a hard driver - he’s not a jerk. The two Busch boys act as if they are entitled to win. Everyone knows the only reason Kyle has calmed down is due to Joe Gibbs orchestration. He’s such a GOOD christian, he can’t have his driver acting an ASS all the time. Penske has tried the same with big brother, Kurt and obviously it isn’t working. I go to several races and listen to all the drivers on the radio. I have never heard ryan Newman talk to his crew the way the Busch boys are allowed to do. As far as him crying about everything, thats total B.S. too. Very seldom do we get to hear from him because the reporters are too busy sticking the microphone in Buschs, Johnsons, or Gordons face. If being a hard driver makes you a JERK and a PRICK, I guess my hero, Dale Earnhardt SR, was a jerk too. Ryan, keep up the hard driving, since that’s exactly why Tony Stewart hired you to do!!! Ryan is far from being a sissy. I believe Montoya was the one in a run to get to his golf cart and leave. Who’s the real sissy?

  8. Sue Rarick Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I just wonder how much of this is based on BK. Not saying anything other than BK doesn’t have enough experience to be as much help as say Hamlin and Kyle can be to each other. Even Stemme would be able to give better feedback. As it is, it’s basically Kurt and Addington trying to work as a quasi 1 car team.

  9. Nick Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Cant wait for inside NASCAR to come on see what happens

  10. Robby Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Alot of these guys are very volatile on the radio.

    Kurt is probably the worst but there’s a few others that make you cringe. Try listening to AJ Allmedinger’s radio. That boy is ALWAYS pissed. As Paul Tracy once said “When his temper goes off, it’s not fireworks, it’s a nuclear explosion”

  11. skooter Says:
    May 3rd, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Moe ?

  12. Chad Says:
    May 3rd, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I think he’s got some personal stuff going on in his life off the track. Put that with race cars that don’t look very fast and its bad combination. His cars weren’t very good in the chase last year and it looks like its carried over into this year. I can’t imagine Brad K is as bad as he’s been to start this year. Kurt and Brad are both good drivers…looks the equipment needs to get better.