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Here’s why Kurt Busch to RPM is a good idea

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 indeed a good idea.

The first and foremost reason for hiring Kurt Busch as a driver is easy to identify. Without a doubt, he is one of the most talented wheelmen in the Sprint Cup garage area. Few drivers can handle a race car as well as this driver. He has 24 Sprint Cup victories and the 2004 championship trophy to prove that.

Any team that acquires Busch as a driver can eliminate the possibility that the driver is inept from the equation when trying to discern any problem with their performance.

Along with that, Busch would offer a vital ingredient to any team that has not yet reached the level of a championship contender. As stated before, this driver knows how to win races and championships. Thus, he knows how to offer the type of feedback a crew can use to improve the performance of the car. This is not something that should be taken lightly. There may be a high number of people out there who can wheel a racecar. However, there are very few who can step up to that next level of true contender.

Busch has obviously shown he can reach that high level. For a mid-level team hoping to become championship caliber, having a driver who has a proven track record would seem to be a necessity.

Based on all that has been mentioned above, the hiring of Busch would seem to be a ‘no-brainer’. But since we know he was dismissed from(or came to a mutual agreement to leave) Penske Racing there must be a problem. As has been well documented, that problem is the driver’s attitude. To say that he makes himself difficult to get along with is a considerable understatement.

A team such a RPM could have found a diamond in a scrap heap if recent events have helped Busch change his attitude for the better. He had a trying year personally in that he went through a marital separation in the midst of the last season. Perhaps the time that has passed since his divorce and the fact that he was removed from one of the sport’s top teams have gotten the driver’s attention.

Such a series of events have to have had at least some degree of a sobering effect, don’t they? If Busch’s attitude has improved after his tumultuous off-season, RPM may strike gold by hiring him.

For the reasons mentioned above, hiring Kurt Busch is a good idea for Richard Petty Motorsports.

For the opposing view, Here’s why Kurt Busch to RPM is a bad idea

Exclusive report: List of NASCAR personalities Christmas wishes obtained

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13 Responses to “Here’s why Kurt Busch to RPM is a good idea”

  1. Aichel Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Another good piece. I’d like to see RPM hire him just out of pure curiosity. It’s very intriguing from a psychological point of view. I keep thinking how good Busch’s feedback would be, though. He had emotional breakdowns in the car when driving for a top tier team. What’s going to happen when he’s wheeling around a car for a team with a lot of room for improvement? Is he gonna be calm and collected enough to provide any feedback of value? It’s not about being frank and intense or wearing your heart on your sleeve (as Busch himself put it). It’s about being so out of control emotionally that you become a toxic personality and a liability for the team, both in terms of sponsors and as a team member. If this deal is made, it’s going to be real interesting to see how it plays out.

  2. Sue Rarick Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I agree that along with your two articles hiring Kurt is a crap shoot. A great driver compared to a driver (AJ) who has been on the cusp of winning (yet has yet to win) verses a proven winner with an attitude.

    I personally think Kurts main problem has been his total lack of humor. He makes comments personal whereas his brother makes his comments general. This is a major major difference. His brother is also quick to curse himself out when he screws up, so his tirades are more acceptable.

  3. Bill B Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Yep and that’s why Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco always find a team willing to put up with their crap. Everyone loves a bargain (even though they often find out later that it wasn’t such a bargain).

  4. Russ Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    As a satellite team of Roush, who cant find enough sponsors for his own cars - and the report is that RPM needs extra sponsors to afford Busch - it doesn’t make sense.
    If Busch can bring in sponsor money, you would think RFR would steer it to one of their in house teams.

  5. Kevin Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I have no problem with Kurt Busch driving for RPM. I think it would be a great hire for them.
    However, NOT at the expense of AJ Allmendinger, and NOT in the #43 car.
    I argued in an earlier comment that RPM among other teams should absolutely consider bringing a talent like Kurt into the fold. - Provided he bring the sponsorship with him. I don’t want to see another driver searching for a ride & Kurts expense.
    The biggest issue I have with this whole scenario, is that Kurt has a LONG, LONG, LONG way to go before he is worthy of driving the iconic #43 car. That is a ride he is certainly not deserving of, I simply cannot get behind a move like that.

  6. Jackie Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Kurt Busch is worth at least 3 spots in the standings improvement over Allmendinger and if RPM had Busch this past season that would have meant a chase spot. RPM should put in a fine system that punishes Busch for his moronic outbursts so that he has a meltdown he dioesnt get paid for that race or the following weeks event plus he loses that portion of his base salary.

  7. mr clause Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I think it would be interesting to see Kurt mouth off to Richard or Dale Inman. The old timers know what I mean. More than a few have felt the grip of Inman on their neck and shoulder muscles and hollered in agony. It isn’t in Richard to tolerate the Busch disrespect. Old school meets new school, new school comes in second!

  8. grenic Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Kurt is old school - he can’t fit in the corporate puppet driver expected of him (lord knows he has tried but that comes across as phony) I think it would be a good team for him to go to he can elevate them to a chase berth. I’d like to see AJ over at Penske at the 22 and Kurt in the 43. The King will keep him in check, remember Almendinger had a run in with the King.

  9. Mr. Tony Geinzer Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    The King needs to totally tell his coowners to cool their jets, man. I feel Kurt and King will bring 2 Wins, but, that about it and King Richard should have tried Ragan or Kansas Clint if he had the chance, Rich and I feel the Ex-00 needs a Job and not Roberto Moreno.

  10. Chris Fiegler Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Would it Be Weird that Richard Petty won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship with Kurt Busch?

  11. mike Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    the only reason why R.P.M. would hire busch is for their quest for attention, this team has always wanted the spot light,,,,,image is everything, all fluff. they should stay with AJ if they can retain sponsorship, everything is all about which driver can bring the most dollars to a team. unfortunatlly, that is the way all professonal spots has become. im also tired of hearing about how teams are barely staying afloat, and what owners have to spend to keep good tallent, when souvineer sales are never discussed in the media, that is big bucks.

  12. Phill Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Mike, No disrespect intended, but you obviously don’t know much about the inner workings of a Nascar team.

  13. Brian Webb Says:
    December 16th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    What is it going to hurt by putting him in the 43? If he can’t win in that car, AJ ALMONDINGER isn’t!!!