By admin | December 13, 2011
By Richard Allen
Every so often I like to argue with myself on some particular issue in racing. Being a Psychology teacher I suppose that is somewhat appropriate.
On this occasion my topic is one that created much buzz on Tuesday afternoon when SiriusXM Radio’s NASCAR channel broke the story that Richard Petty Motorsports was considering hiring volatile Kurt Busch to drive a car for them in 2012.
Busch parted ways with Penske Racing after he was caught on camera delivering a profane and hostile tirade toward ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch and one of the network’s cameramen. This particular incident was just another in a series of anger laden outbursts toward media, competitors and his own crew members that eventually built up to reach a level that would no longer be tolerated by those in power on the Penske team.
Considering Busch’s troubled past, would it be a good decision for any team to hire him as a driver? In this column I will offer reasons as to why Busch joining RPM is a bad idea.
The most obvious reason as to why Busch should not be hired by a team in need of a championship driver’s services is his attitude. Many(including Jack Roush and Roger Penske) would argue that his immense talent cannot override his difficult personality.
Only a brief listen to his team radio channel reveals that Busch almost constantly berates his crew members. These deriding tirades are often profane and personal. Human nature would suggest that it would be virtually impossible for crew members to perform at their best level amid these constant verbal lashings.
Busch has also shown he can be highly disrespectful toward car owners. A well documented audio tape exists of he and much respected Roger Penske involved in a heated argument during a race in Martinsville. And the thing about the possibility of Busch driving for RPM is that the man whose name is on this team is not just any man. Richard Petty is one of the most revered names in the sport’s history. One of Busch’s disrespectful tirades would be less than well received to say the least.
And as has been proven recently, Busch’s antics can serve to embarrass sponsors. That is something in this time of economic cutbacks that no team can afford.
Another reason for RPM not to hire Busch would be that doing so could disrupt what seemed to be a good thing by end of the last season. Drivers Marcos Ambrose and A.J. Allmendinger scored several top-10 finishes and looked as if they were on the verge of a breakout. Throwing a driver who will require so much attention into the mix could severely upset the balance.
Kurt Busch has been fired once before with little impact. After his dismissal from Roush Fenway Racing, his attitude changed little. He was even punched once by Jimmy Spencer with little result. What makes anyone think he will change now, especially after being signed so soon after his recent separation from Penske?
For the opposing view, Here’s why Kurt Busch to RPM is a good idea http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1584
Exclusive Report: List of NASCAR personalities Christmas wishes obtained http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1582
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