By admin | September 25, 2011
By Richard Allen
It seems as though Kurt Busch just has a knack for finding controversy. Of late, there has been no shortage of issues worthy of discussion surrounding the driver of the #22 Penske Racing Dodge.
At the end of the most recent race in Pocono, Busch found himself in the midst of a face to face verbal confrontation with bitter rival Jimmie Johnson after the two had been involved in a late race bumping match.
Again, those same two drivers had a run-in during the Richmond race that ultimately led to Busch claiming he was â€œin Johnsonâ€™s headâ€. No, he didnâ€™t say that. Oh wait, yes he did. As a matter of fact there is a torn and crumpled piece of paper in the Richmond trackâ€™s media center that proves what he said.
This weekend in New Hampshire, the controversy was not all due to the often childish actions of this very talented but explosive driver. It seems as though his team has fallen into the bad habit of being late to pre-race technical inspections and has too often irritated NASCAR officials with a variety of necessary fixes that have to be completed.
On Sunday at NHMS, the sanctioning body made its disdain for the above mentioned practice known by holding the car until the last possible moment and requiring some changes to be completed when they were ready for them to be made.
Penske crew chief Steve Addington admitted that NASCAR, â€œHad a right to be madâ€.
The ultimate consequence of the rather public slap on the wrist was a car that had to be hustled to the starting grid just before the command to fire engines and a driver who cursed an ESPN camera crew as they attempted to film his reaction to the blunder.
As his ill handling car faded through the pack during the race, Busch went into one of his well documented radio tirades in which he sarcastically thanked NASCAR for the changes made to his car. Team owner Roger Penske intervened and informed his driver that the problems were that of his own team and not the sportâ€™s hierarchy.
The end result of this tumultuous day was a 22nd place finish that dropped Busch to the 9th spot in the Sprint Cup standings. He is now 28 points behind leader Tony Stewart and barely clinging to any hope of a second career championship.
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