By admin | December 11, 2011
By Richard Allen
After my Tennessee Titans went down in flames to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, I decided to go on the social networks and see if I could stir up a NASCAR discussion. The response I got overwhelmed me which seems to indicate that fans are already starved for racing and the topic I chose was a lightning rod.
I simply asked, ‘If you owned a second tier NASCAR team, would you hire Kurt Busch?’
Kurt Busch is probably the most talented free agent driver to ever be available at this time of year. But with so many seats already filled and with sponsorship among all teams in very limited supply, there are few places for him to land.
Last week, team owner James Finch(car #51) weighed in on the subject of taking on the 2004 Sprint Cup champion. “Kurt, his talent is pretty good,” Finch said. “He’s one of the best there is, but I’m not going to listen to that s**t and pay him money.”
Finch even went on to joke that he would make Jimmy Spencer his crew chief to keep the volatile Busch in line. After a series of well documented run-ins between the two drivers several years ago, Spencer once punched Busch after a race in Michigan.
When I use the term second tier I am referring to those who are not among the well known four or five organizations that win virtually all Sprint Cup races. A driver of Busch’s ability could help elevate one of those second tier teams to a higher level. However, as Finch pointed out, is it worthwhile to put up with the driver’s attitude toward his owners and crew to get there?
In my very unofficial and unscientific poll of Sunday afternoon the reaction was mixed. Responses ranged from “absolutely” to “why not?” to “hell no!” among the many who chose to offer an opinion. One person even went so far as to say Busch should be offered part of a team so that he would realize the impact of his actions. But in the end, those who said they would hire Busch and hope for overall team improvement slightly outnumbered those who said they would not take on the headache. The margin was roughly 55% to 45% in favor of taking him on.
What would you do if you were in the position of an owner such as James Finch? Would you hire Kurt Busch?
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