By admin | February 15, 2012
By Richard Allen
Near the end of the 2011 NASCAR season both Kurt and Kyle Busch had their moments of implosion.
Kyle intentionally wrecked Ron Hornaday under caution at the Texas Motor Speedway during a Camping World Truck Series race. The result was for the younger of the two brothers to be “benched” for the remainder of the weekend, which included Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races. Also, primary sponsor M&M’s was reported to be so unhappy that the candy maker considered leaving the Joe Gibbs Racing operation at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, older brother Kurt was the main player in a major story shortly after the season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. While waiting for repairs to be made on his Penske Racing car, which had suffered a mechanical issue in the early laps of that race, Busch launched into a verbal tirade against an ESPN camera crew which was caught on the video recorder of a cell phone by a bystander and released later. Ultimately, Busch and Penske Racing parted ways as a result.
Kurt has since settled in with James Finch’s Sprint Cup team, which plans to run the full schedule with the 2004 champion behind the wheel.
But perhaps the most intriguing news of the off season regarding these two often volatile personalities came when it was announced that they would share a Nationwide Series ride out of the Kyle Busch Motorsports stable with Monster Energy Drink as the primary sponsor. Kyle plans to run 10-15 of the events on that series’ schedule with Kurt handling the driving chores for the remaining number of races.
Interestingly, rather than shy away from their well documented bad behavior, the brothers made sure to point out that their new Nationwide Series sponsor prefers personalities who are bolder and more outspoken. In the press conference announcing the new joint venture there almost seemed to be an air of thumbing their noses at those who try to hold them down.
The attitude displayed since that presser and the fact that both brothers have seemingly gone out of their way to promote Monster has caused me to wonder in my own mind as to whether or not there might be bigger plans for this venture in the future. But that is pure speculation on my part.
However, what is not speculation is the fact that both Kurt and Kyle have had trouble containing their tempers throughout their careers. And even though there may be much at stake in terms of their future statuses within the sport, their personalities are bound to come through at some point during the season.
I did not go far out on a limb when I predicted that Jimmie Johnson will win the 2012 Sprint Cup title, but I believe that is what will happen. The same is true when I say that I believe there will be some sort of ‘episode’ involving one of both of the Busch brothers at some point in 2012.
The real question may be, will it be a planned episode?
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