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If you owned a second tier NASCAR team would you hire Kurt Busch?

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?

Topics: Articles |

23 Responses to “If you owned a second tier NASCAR team would you hire Kurt Busch?”

  1. zhills fan Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 5:04 am

    I’m one of the hell NO, put David Reutimann in the #51 and you won’t have to worry about all the bull crap that Busch will put out, o he’d start out ok but by the third or fourth race he would get lippy, he always does.

  2. Matt Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I’d consider hiring Busch.

    To quote James Finch:

    “He’s one of the best there is, but I’m not going to listen to that s— and pay him money.”

    Finch has the right idea. If I owned a team, that would be my attitude on it, and if he could handle it, great, if not, I’m sure David Reutimann or Brian Vickers would like the seat when he vacates it for not being able to keep his mouth shut.

  3. Bill B Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Sometimes you just can’t resist a “perceived” bargain. We’ve seen problem players in the NFL get released for reasons other than their on-field results. Someone looking for any kind of a spark will always pick them up.

    I think it would be a win-win for both of them. Finch would get a driver which, under normal circumstances, he could never afford. Kurt would probably raise the average results of the team over the season but, more importantly, learn what a blessing it was to be given the seat of a top tier team. Perhaps the next time a top tier team owner pulls a chair out for him he will appreciate it more and be more of a team player.

    The real question mark is that “perceived” word. If Busch continues to act like a spoiled, immature, jackass then it’s not really a bargain.

  4. Russ Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Reutimann cant bring in the money a Kurt Busch can neither can a Ragan. Maybe BV’s dad can do another sweetheart deal on valves like the one that got him his first ride.
    So of all the out of work drivers Kurt’s probably the pick of the litter.

  5. mr clause Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 10:11 am

    No way on Gods Green Earth!! I would never allow the level of disrespect shown by Kurt to myself, my team, my organization. He is good but like his little brother, he’s an ass!

  6. racer47 Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 11:23 am

    “He’s one of the best there is, but I’m not going to listen to
    that s— and pay him money.”

    This may lead to a contract with some new stipulations. If the drivers act like
    Busch, they may get salary “adjustments”.

  7. Kevin Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    If i were MWR, EGR, RPM, FRM, or FRR, the deal would be: You bring me a sponsor with $x, you’ve got a ride. The exposure & potential for success is huge. Why wouldn’t you put him in a car.

    The key is the sponsorship. He’s got to find it & he’s got to bring it.

    Secondly, instead of radio communications, Kurt’s helmet would be fitted with Spring cellular communications. In this way, the media can’t make a big deal about how Kurt talks on the radio.

    Thirdly, Kurt would be required to report directly to the team hauler every time he gets out of his car during a race and at the conclusion of the race prior to speaking with the media - exception would be in the event he won the race, he could then report to victory lane. This would give him the opportunity to simmer before he has a microphone shoved in his face.

  8. Kevin Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    …*Sprint cellular communications…

  9. Joe W. Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I agree with Kevin. With all the restrictions he listed. Without a big dollar sponsor, the car would be less than what Busch has driven his whole career. With the sponsor the owner could improve his cars and crew. But of course Busch has “thrown his crew under the bus” even though he has always been with top flight teams. So it’s a gamble. But if he could bring in that big dollar sponsor it would be a gamble worth taking.

  10. Slugwriter Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I’d tolerate every inch of Kurt Busch and his past champions provisionals for the first five races of the 2012 Nascar season (and milk him for everything he was worth to get the highest placing I could in the point standings), then he’d be on a very thin race to race trial basis… And if he “snapped” (as he very often does) and when over the line, I’d fire him and not look back.

  11. Rick Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Im not convinced in todays economy Kurt can bring abig sponsor most companies probably don’t want a jackass representing them maybe he could get draino to spinsor him since he is basically a piece of crap that has clogged up race teams with loads of crap.

  12. Taz Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I agree with Kevin make him bring in 3 major sponsers to carry him all year. Then give him a one year contract with restrictions of cussing, wrecking other drivers and all the other b,s he does that can void his 1 yr deal right away. That way if he f /s up you could replace him and put another driver in his place letting the sponsers see the new guy go for the wins making sponsers stay with the team.

  13. Whoa Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    What people don’t seem to grasp is that racing for a living at the premier level is a privilege, you don’t give someone who has consistently abused that by disrespecting every aspect of the sport, more chances. Why would you? There are plenty of great drivers, known and waiting to be discovered, who would be genuinely grateful. It is mind blowing to know that someone who has raced even once at ‘The Big Show’, would pull those stunts, more than once.

    KB does not deserve that privilege.

  14. Steve Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I think all the owners should conspire and make him start and park for the year to show him how good he had it in one of the top teams in Nascar. Then again if he can’t find a ride and has to race in the NW/Truck series, that might serve the same purpose.

    My guess it would be a risk some 2nd tier teams would take. He certainly would get the exposure from tv, so sponsors might be easier to get. Just make sure there is a clause in the contract to void it if he turns into an *ss again.

  15. Justin Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    After Kyle’s late season display in the NCWTS, I imagine it would be a good idea for Kyle to find a driver other than himself…what is that, his brother needs a ride? Problem solved. Swallow your pride Kurt, go back to the trucks, beat up on the lesser talent (Kyle seems to enjoy it, so I am sure Kurt would too) and win a Championship. Win/win for both. Then move on to a NNS ride and continue the cycle. If you win enough races, keep your nose clean, and prvoe you can handle the big time, then I would be shocked if you arent back in the Cup Series…just saying

  16. Chris Fiegler Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    What Auto Racing Series would you want to see Kurt Busch Race in?

  17. kevin Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Busch will be the next mayfield. Both were fired from their teams 2 times (becasuse of their mouth) and did nothing since the second firing.

  18. Offkilter Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    KB is good, but no better than any other driver out there. He made several boneheaded mistakes on the track last year that cost his team. He and his brother lack any class whatsoever. The busch bros are of the lowest charcter of drivers to ever be in cup. So, hell no. If i were a 2nd tier owner, i’m going to run mid to rear pack anyway. Why would i poison my team with busch when there are dozens of drivers out there that are just as good or even better?

  19. todd Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    if you wont to win put Kurt in the car
    if you won’t to finished top 20 hire
    Vickers or Reutimann in there
    I know you neeed $$$$$$$
    But not really for Finch he likes
    to win thats all he wont s he enjoys
    the lime light he don’t wont to be a
    Hendrick,Roush, Gibbs
    So put him in there if he starts is shit
    fire him its not like Finch is afraid to make
    a change

  20. Marybeth Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Mr. Claus, I guess that means you will be bringing the brothers coal…? :)

  21. Mr. Tony Geinzer Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Excuse me, Rich, I don’t want the sport I love devolve into an unlovable bad joke and I could live with the Ex-00 being in a nothing piece of equipment, as opposed to the Unlovable Loser Kurt Busch and his Mountain of Temper and believe me, its one thing to have cheap publicity like Turner Motorsports, but, it takes more than being a wizard to whip up the Cup Stars with regularity.

  22. Don Myhre Says:
    December 13th, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I would hire kurt–just so I could fire him. All kidding aside I would hire him if after talking with him I believed he understood that one mess up and he would be out. No frills–no benefits–just drive and shut up.

  23. fiftyseven Says:
    December 13th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I would rather put up with a little attitude and have a chance to run up front than always be a backmarker. I like the idea of giving Kurt some ownership as well, much like the Haas/Stewart relationship. Yes Gene gave up part of his team for nothing, but look at the success of Stewart-Haas racing, compared with a decade of mediocrity for Haas racing before Tony came on board. I think the best opportunity for Kurt to form such a relationship out there may be with TRG… I don’t see Finch just offering up part of his team like that.