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 http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1583
Exclusive report: List of NASCAR personalities Christmas wishes obtained http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1582
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