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 Radioâ€™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 networkâ€™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 Buschâ€™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 â€˜no-brainerâ€™. 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 driverâ€™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 sportâ€™s top teams have gotten the driverâ€™s attention.
Such a series of events have to have had at least some degree of a sobering effect, donâ€™t they? If Buschâ€™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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