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Will Kurt Busch survive 2012?

By admin | May 15, 2012

By Richard Allen


Kurt Busch’s career and the troubles in it have been well documented. A Sprint Cup championship in 2004 was followed by him being relieved of his duties at Roush Fenway Racing just one year later. Then, after a tension filled run with Penske Racing he again lost a ride when a tirade against an ESPN camera crew was made public.

This season, Busch has been toiling for Phoenix Racing and owner James Finch. That one car team has been essentially unsponsored throughout most of the season. Currently, Busch ranks 25th in the Sprint Cup standings with only one top-10 finish.

When the Las Vegas native landed the ride in the #51 car he claimed this would be a season in which he would learn to relax and to just enjoy being a race car driver again. The last few weeks have indicated that such has not been the case, despite the Ricky Bobby references in Talladega.

This past Saturday night in Darlington, Busch’s frustration level went well over the boiling point. After a late race tire failure sent the driver for a spin, an expletive laced tirade ensued that, as the old saying goes, ‘Would make a sailor blush’.

And after the race ended, the situation around Busch only intensified. Crew members from Ryan Newman’s Stewart-Haas Racing team accused Busch of driving recklessly through their pit stall and went to confront the driver. A brief scuffle between crew members of both teams broke out before the two sides were separated.

On Tuesday, fines and probations were handed down by NASCAR to the involved parties, including a $50,000 penalty for Busch himself. ( )

The real question here is bigger than simply who caused what and who said what. Instead, whether or not Kurt Busch can even continue in this sport seems to be the real concern here. Tirade after tirade, two lost rides and multiple run-ins with NASCAR and other teams are taking a serious toll on the driver’s career.

Underfunded Phoenix Racing took Busch on at the beginning of the 2012 season in hopes of building that team into a more potent organization with the presence of a championship driver. Instead, however, the team has brought home numerous wrecked race cars and been on the receiving end of the previously mentioned verbal lashings.

There is no doubt Busch is a talented driver. But who wants to deal with all that comes along with that talent? This driver has already burned a number of bridges along the way during his career and his recent actions are almost certainly not endearing him to any potential owners.

A few weeks ago a rumor was making the rounds that James Finch was considering ending the experiment with Busch and his season of reflection. A lack of sponsorship along with torn up race cars and verbal abuse have to be a drain on his budget and his patience.

Trouble is, if Busch loses this ride he may have no where else to go. Even the most talented of drivers aren’t very good without a car.

So, will Kurt Busch survive 2012? Right now, it doesn’t look good considering he can’t seem to control himself and there may not be a very long line of people out there who are looking to take on the job of controlling him.

Topics: Articles |

17 Responses to “Will Kurt Busch survive 2012?”

  1. Andy Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Everyone wants Kurt Busch to wake up and change his ways but I don’t think that he can. He already sublimates his innate anger into being a fierce competitor. When something happens where he can’t compete, it bubbles to the surface.

    Unfortunately, the usual suggestion to this response is to walk away from the situation. Obviously, his car owner wouldn’t be happy if he went to the garage for ten laps to cool off.

    I like Kurt. I’d like to see him drive for a top team again. I think he can keep things in check well enough to finish out this season but I think it would be wise if he took a sabbatical at the end when it’s over.

    I assume he has a wad of cash; top NASCAR are paid well. He and his girlfriend need to take a year off, and think about what their future is. It will help him realize how much he really enjoys racing and what his strengths are. He’ll never be a successful car owner and he can’t be a sponsor because he doesn’t have an ongoing business. He’d probably be a lousy track owner. He probably wouldn’t do well as a liaison between a team and their sponsors. Maybe he can be a test pilot for Goodyear. I bet he’d be a good competition director for somebody. Too bad Stewart just got Zippy, they both need a strong opponent to bounce their opinions off of.

  2. Sue Rarick Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 5:23 am

    It would be nice and say goodbye and don’t let the door hit ya in the arse but is that really a good thing for Nascar?

    Who replaces him, another non descript sponsor friendly driver who says what you want him to say, when you want him to say it?

    Another driver who is more interested in how many points they score in a year rather than how many wins?

    I don’t particularly like Kurt but at least he isn’t the typical Nascar yes man driver so many are. He is more concerned with winning than scoring points. And for just those two reasons Nascar would be the poorer without him.

  3. Wallbanger Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Sadly, Kurt will always have a ride, somewhere. In pro sports, talent always trumps a lack of morals, ethics, common sense and decency.

  4. Bill B Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Yep, Wallbanger got it right.

  5. Tyler West Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Kurt’s the man! I’m sick of the sport trying to be so politically correct! If no one has noticed the sport is struggling. Newman and Stewart get to say whatever they want. It’s BS! The sport needs more drivers like Busch. PERIOD. He’s being black balled. They just want bland drivers to go with the bland product they are producing.

  6. Tony Geinzer Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I really think the reason fans don’t go to races or watch them anymore is in no small part, Kindergarten Kurt and Kyle and people are so immensely sick and tired of them,bar none and their temper is worse than most Marines, and that is no lie.

  7. Really? Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Come on Tyler, if you want to watch a bunch of spoiled brats like Busch go watch Jerry Springer or another of those ridiculous shows. Busch is an entitled idiot, can’t stand him, his uncontrollable anger has caused many cars to be wrecked and points lost for them. Blew a right front. Gee, think the driver MIGHT have something to do with that ongoing issue?!?! No brainer there, driver is so out of his mind can’t even truly drive the car properly. Good thing is, he’ll never get another top ride. He’ll languish at the bottom until he quietly (or throwing a temper tantrum) goes away. Adios fool.

  8. Really? Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 9:03 am

    And if Nascar wanted to black ball him, he’d be long gone by now.

  9. mr clause Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Well I guess if Kurt loses this ride he could maybe qualify for the job of blowing up the Goodyear blimp with all his hot air.

  10. Connie Melton Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 10:20 am

    James Finch is a saint. To put up with KB, you almost have to be one. There are other drivers out there who need a ride and they would look a lot better to any and all sponsors who would like to come on board, but because KB is listed as the driver, who needs the nightmares of he and his temper. I so believe that KB is biopolar and he really shouldn’t be on any open road, let alone a racetrack. GO HOME KB, your not wanted here or anywhere.

  11. midasmicah Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Welcome to the world of Hendrick’s cup where bland is the flavor and vanilla is the color. The world where showing any kind of emotion, good or bad, is, under the phony cover of “have at it, boys” is discouraged. Say what you will about the Busch boys, but at least they bring a bit of excitement to a sport that has become sterile to the point of becoming unwatchable. I’m not condoning the Bush league Kurt made by going through Newman’s pit. But pit road altercations between driver crews (even drivers sometimes) used to be more common. Wake up nas$car. Most of your older core fans are leaving the sport. You’ll be left will be left will viewers of the short attention theatre. Oh, that’s already happening.

  12. Tyler West Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I want him to get his junk together and start kicking but again “on the track”. It sucks to him in this spot, I know it’s mostly his fault. Without the drivers who are really racing hard, where is the sport left? My gripe with Newman is ,all hee seems to do is take digs at everything. He doesn’t like speedway racing, well tough stand aside and let someone take your ride, he constantly has smart remarks for just about everyone except for himself when he roughs people up. I’ll stand by this statement though, racing needs to maintain it’s rough and tough persona. And stop playing up to all the networks who just want to see a soap opera. Now I’m not meaning that guys should always fight or whatever but sometimes that is part of the package. I like both Busch brother, most don’t but I could care less, I also love racing and what I’ve been seeing here the last few years concerns me. “Points racing” is becoming an ugly word for me personally. I I like my racing a little bit firey. I’m not cool with PC, suit and tie racing. It’s very dull.

  13. 61 starliner Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I have only one question, and maybe I’m old fashioned. But I just would like to know what is this societies fascination with whiny, nasty, disrespectful people that have no morals or sense of compassion for anyone but them selves.

  14. Offkilter Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    61 starliner… Excellent question. The chances of a non-b.s. answer is slim.

  15. Richard Says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    It seems to me that nascar and TV is content with showing us what t
    hey think we want to see.We have to watch the same shots of drivers they want to endorse. DW was peeing in his pants at Darlington every time he would mention Danica. I don’t see have a problem with her but its fox. The Waltips continue to have free air time for their sponsors while others are stuggling to stay afloat,wake up Nascar before its to late.

  16. Chris Fiegler Says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I think that Kurt Busch will part ways with Phoenix Motorsports before the end of this season.

  17. Carol Says:
    June 3rd, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I, for one, cannot stand Kurt Busch and I am PRAYING that this tantrum ENDS his NASCAR Cup career! I hope Kyle learns from what his idiotic brother doesn’t seem to “get”. I also think that something is wrong with him mentally and does NOT belong in ANY car, let alone a race car going 190 mph! I agree that Kyle brings some excitement to the sport but, I for one, do not think that the sport will be affected by one driver who, to me, is not that talented, I’m sorry! He’s absolutely OBSESSED with Jimmie Johnson, which makes me think he’s bipolar. Get out of the sport, Kurt, before you do something that you will REALLY regret, like killing someone!