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« Kahne’s comeback certainly a remarkable one | Main | NASCAR suspends Kurt Busch until June 13th and extends his probation »

Sorry folks, no one is picking on Kurt Busch

By admin | June 3, 2012

By Richard Allen


Kurt Busch just can’t help himself. After handling what could have been a volatile situation on pit road after Saturday’s Nationwide Series race in Dover in what appeared to be a somewhat cool manner, the driver then created another situation for himself when he took exception to a reporter’s question.

Busch had experienced a couple of on-track bumps with Justin Allgaier and when confronted by his competitor after the race, Busch got out of his car and pointed out spots on the two machines where contact had occurred, or not occurred. Allgaier even said the two drivers had “agreed to disagree”.

Situation over, right? Well, we are talking about Kurt Busch so it’s never over, even when it’s over.

After the discussion between Busch and Allgaier, reporter Bob Pockrass of The Sporting News asked Busch if his current state of probation refrained him from using more aggression. Busch responded by saying, “It refrains me from beating the **** out of you right now because you ask me stupid questions. But since I’m on probation, I suppose that’s improper to say as well. If you could talk about racing things then we could talk about racing.”

Pockrass pointed out that his question did pertain to racing. “It is not racing,” Busch retorted. “You’re in this just to start stuff. That’s all you’re out here for.”

It was Busch who brought that very point up in his post-race, post-Allgaier discussion with ESPN. So it was apparently worthy of discussion when the network TV cameras were around. But as we’ve seen in the past, Busch tends to get himself in the most trouble when the cameras are not as obvious.

But here’s the thing. I have had people comment on other posts to this site that I am picking on Kurt Busch and that he can do no right in my opinion. I’ve also seen people post on twitter and message boards that the media is picking on Busch.

Quoting his own words back to him is not picking on him. Playing back clips of him cursing his own crew, the people who are working to help him, is not picking on him. Showing him ripping up a piece of paper with his own quote written on it is not picking on him.

Making stuff up and writing such as fact would be picking on him. Hiding in a closet and tape recording something that was said privately then playing it back would be picking on him. All of Busch’s actions and comments that have been highlighted by the media over the last few weeks and months have not been made up and they have all taken place in very open and public forums.

No one is picking on Kurt Busch. He is doing this stuff to himself.

I considered not writing anything on this matter because I have done too many Kurt Busch stories of late but the sad fact is, the racing in NASCAR this season has been so lackluster that he is about all there has been to write about. And by the way, that does not make him right or heroic.

But to show that I can say good things about him, Busch is one of the most talented drivers I have ever seen and I’ve been watching this sport since the 1970s. It’s just a shame he is destroying his own career.

Topics: Articles |

39 Responses to “Sorry folks, no one is picking on Kurt Busch”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    June 3rd, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Rich, I know Kurt Busch has the passion of Parnelli Jones, Mickey Thompson,Don Garlits, and Al Senior, but, NEWSFLASH, I feel series can no longer afford to have Kurt Busch and Brother fearing Insurance Liabilities and Kurt has already won his way with the Helios,Paul Tracys, Danny Sullivans and Jeremy Mayfields of Penske Lore and I feel Don Garlits would sound the alarm before he tried NHRA Again and Kurt can’t keep stiffing media, fans, personnel and everyone AND I even feel a NASCAR Suspension would be sweet for everyone else because we’d not have to fear Kurt Busch and his harassment for a while. Duh, if I was a Sponsor or a GM, I’d feed someone who’s got talent and not a waste of Time,Money and Energy.

  2. Offkilter Says:
    June 3rd, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Excellent article, Rich. During the nationwide race saturday kurt banged the 54 car off the wall from over driving as he does so often. About a lap later rusty wallace states that kurt has wrecked something like 14 of finch’s cars this year in cup. Kurt has more problems than just his mouth.

  3. Sue Rarick Says:
    June 3rd, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    It’s probably a good thing if this is Kurt’s last year. Considering I haven’t watched a race since Daytona I beat him out the door.

    It’s become a sport of Mgm’t pretending they know what they are doing. Sponsors wanting drivers to act like middle mgm’t mba’s. Drivers more than willing to act that way as long as the checks don’t bounce. And fans approving of all this because any real individual scares them and reminds them how cowardly they actually are in their day to day life.

    There was a song written many years ago that had the line “If the Revolution were held today we’d all be singing God save the Queen”

  4. zhills fan Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 5:37 am

    KB is all but done. He still has no sponsor this year, that should tell you something about his future in this sport.

  5. Tyler West Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Amen Sue! Tony, really? The sport needs more real drivers like Busch. If you have not noticed people are not comming anymore. I know all the Busch haters will disaggree but the whole corporate spokesman BS has killed the sport. Nevermind the fact that there has been little to no racing this year. Oh, wait, wait….Dale Jr is in the top 10….WOOHOO!!!! Give me a break and let the drivers have some fire. All the “fans” should be happy now that Hendrick winning again. Now it’s all just boardroom politics, with both Waltrips their to blow smoke up everyones rear. I’ve been a fan all my life and I never thought the sport would fall to this level. I don’t care if a driver is great infront of a camera, can the man drive? That’s all that matters, or should matter but againI must be the odd ball. Nascar had some good years but the last 6 have really SUCKED!!

  6. Lydia Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Tyler…you’re not alone..I too am tired of media vs Busch brothers, media vs Stewart, media vs Harvick..etc etc.. I don’t think the media is picking on anyone..what I do think is the media has gotten to feel as if are running NASCAR! It’s really been a ” media” driven sport in the last 5 or so years.. With the Internet, Facebook, Tweeting, and cable we are saturated with every aspect of the sport and the drivers. Things we really have no right to inquire about..or comment on. I am tired of reading as reporters it’s their right to dig and prod and expose and stick their noses into areas no nose has a right to be! Yeah the drivers get paid big bucks, yes they have sponsors, yes minors watch their favorite (and not so favorite) drivers every move…but NO these drivers are not super humans…they have flaws and problems like all of us..most people don’t have their inner most lives exposed on live tv. It always seems it’s media versus driver (insert drivers name here)…season after season..and the media just doesn’t get it. You want a vanilla interview go to 5 Time and his clown wig. You want real (although flawed) take your pick of the field..someone having a bad season..and keep asking dumb, leading, and incidious questions…you’ll walk away leaving a fuming driver and NASCAR with their hand out for their fine $$$$…

  7. Josie Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Rich…we don’t need to FIX all the drivers..we don’t need 43 Jimmie Johnsons on the track..we don’t need hall monitors… We need to leave it alone…leave them alone. If a reporter doesn’t like the answers or attitude a driver gives…walk away and don’t interview him/her again. Simple, easy, one two three! We DON’T need the media to supervise or keep the drivers in line. This is not supposed to be a choreographed sport! You piss a driver off…you complain…he’s vanilla in an interview…you complain…we don’t need your “personal” opinions. If you can’t stand the heat…don’t stick your nose in the fire. Over and over the media feels wronged by drivers attitudes…well get over it..I personally would rather hear Kurt on a tirade then the ramblings of some idiot reporter!

  8. Jerome Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Great article Rich;

    When will Busch the Eder Idiot’s behavior trigger a drug test? Just asking. As far as whether or not driver’s like Busch the Elder Idiot arre good for the sport: do people tune in to watch the race to see if he will cuss out a reporter? chew out his team? I (used to) watch for the racing. the product has been horrible for several years. i DVR the races and more often than not delete them before I can stomach much of what I have recorded. And I am not a new fan-i have watched from the Wide World of Sports days back in the 60’s. I used to be a fanatic. Give me some decent racing, or at least good TV coverage when i’m not at the race and I will watch. Driver’s acting like bratty 6th graders does nothing for me.

    That being said, I wish one of the Busch the Elder Idiot video clips would end with him taking the punch in the mouth he SO deserves.

    Just saying.

  9. Glen H. Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    So a reporter asks Kurt Busch a question and he answers it.

    It may not have been a very nice answer, it may not have been a politically correct answer, it may have been an incorrect answer; but he did give the reporter an answer. Unless Kurt got physical, I don’t see what the big deal is.

  10. Josie Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Correctomundo Glen! The end!

  11. SV Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    It’s really not the verbal dressing down of the reporter that’s the issue here. It’s Busch whining about being on probation and disprespecting NASCAR’s decision to place him on it. “I suppose that’s improper to say as well” he said with contempt dripping from his lips. That’s what is gonna get him disciplined this week as NASCAR will attempt to let him know, AGAIN, that they’re the ones in charge and if he can’t deal with it be needs to go away.

  12. charles Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    the solution is to forbid any contact between kurt and reporters. just let him race. its too simple

    go kurt

  13. mr clause Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Because I don’t see any real teeth to a NASCAR probation, that due to France and Helton, maybe the best cure for this arrogant, disrespectful, jerk, is for the media, all the media, to simply ignore him. No interviews, no TV mention, nothing, no matter how good or bad he does on any given day. He simply doesn’t exist as far as the media is concerned.

    Why hasn’t James Finch realized that he and his team get dragged into every Kurt deal? It drags them down to Kurt’s level and they work too hard to have that happen.

  14. Darren Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Rich, the people who think Kurt Busch is being picked on by the media and that he is some sort of misunderstood genius are the same ones who think Jeremy Mayfield is innocent.

    There is no reasoning with them.

  15. Wayne T. Morgan Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    1. Bush can drive, 2. Media has a job to do, 3. Too much fluff in drivers, 4. When Bush or others run their mouth cold cock ‘em and goes for the media as well. Pit the mike down and hit them. 5. And for some, don’t ask stupid questions in the first place if you don’t want stupid answers. 6 Bush and Shrub need a punch to show they are just one fish in the pond.

  16. chris e Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    So what happened during the race…..thats right we don’t know because the reporters are only discussing what happened after the race. At least 10 stories regarding (on Jayski) Kurt the killer going to rip Snodgrass apart. Headlines like Kurt had another meltdown, he’s deranged, another blow up. None of those things happened… he basically said get the f out of here, leave me alone. Snodgrass knew that, but since the camera caught it lets villinize Kurt again. BTY Snodgrass didn’t make the story of it as I am sure he was belittled and embarrassed and would of just preferred to walk away.

    Listen if Kurt could take bi-polar meds I am sure he would but those types of meds will not make muster for the NAZICAR police. He will never be able to change and obviously cannot. While the rest of us believe it is a simple thing to do (control the anger) not everyone in this world can. I like Kurt and know that he struggles with his issue and likely will figure it out someday. Until then if you approach him be aware, you may not get what you wanted.

  17. Steven Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Boys have at it doesn’t include insulting hack reporters like Pockrass who mostly PROMOTES Danica? And who cares about Allgeier who is a World Class underachiever? I’m not a Busch fan but both Kurt and Kyle are top notch drivers. Isn’t that what racing used to be about? Did Petty ever get into a fight??

  18. slugwriter Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I know two things for sure:

    Whatever “problems” Kurt Busch has he’s brought them on himself - there’s being outspoken and opinionated and then there’s being a douchebag who needs to get the crap kicked out of him for some o the stuff he does on and off the track…

    Wanna guess which Kurt Busch is?

    Second thing: If Busch had shot his mouth off at me like he did that reporter from ESPN, I would’ve been proactive and smacked him right in the jaw and asked, “Let’s see who is going to beat the shit out of who here.”

    I know it would’ve cost me my job covering Nascar, but it would’ve be worth it. Besides, such a response just might be the tonic Busch needs to cure his “problems.”

  19. mikeyfan Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Sure rich, you and other reporters can’t wait to jump on Kurt, But where is the punishment for Ryan Newman? He ran over the Jackman in Clint Bowyer’s pit and he had an opening inbetween the pits. Kurt blew out of his pit stall trying to beat the pace car and no crew members were in the middle of their pits, Ryan intentionally ran over Clint’s jack man. He stopped and instead of backing up or allowing clint to get into his box, he just bulldogged his way through the pits running over the Jack man, but not you or anyother so called reporter will mention that. WHY? Becauase he drives for the precious Criminal Rick Hendrick?

  20. mikeyfan Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Kurt isn’t a “Politically Correct” individual rich, You complain because the sport is bland but yet when someone comes along who doesn’t play the “Politically correct” game you blast him. What the heck do you want?

  21. Josie Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Well Busch suspended from Pocono…they’ll be dancing in the streets! Is everybody happy?!?! I think the saddest part about this entire ordeal is the media has taken over just another little part of NASCAR … But hey…we still have JJ and his crazy clown wig! I know I can’t wait!!!

  22. Richard Allen Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Some of you all must be reading something into this column that I can’t see. I simply said no one is picking on Kurt Busch. They are simply reporting his OWN words.

    I didn’t suggest his current suspension nor say that he needed to tone down. I just said no one is picking on him by reporting his OWN words.

  23. Andy90 Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    If the 1979 Daytona 500 were held today, it would result result in the sport being banned from TV rather than the beginning of a long period of growth and success.

    Pockgrass knew that Busch was angry. He knew that Busch is uneasy because his career is in turmoil. He knows that there are some drivers (like Busch and Stewart and Patrick) that are volatile. That’s why he wanted to talk to Busch. He wanted a reaction and didn’t care whether it was good or bad.

    Most sports teams have buffers that they can put in front of reporters after an embarrassing situation. Guys that are glib and upbeat and can spin the story and delay the press long enough for the angry guys to calm down. Racing doesn’t have that.

    The press enjoys getting a violent reaction from an overheated driver and feigning innocence when it all blows up. Otherwise they wouldn’t send cameramen to film angry confrontations between drivers. Busch is at a disadvantage either way. If he speaks his mind, he’s vilified. If he refuses to talk to reporters when things are bad, they will refuse to talk to him when things are bad. Sports is emotion. If somebody screwed up and doesn’t handle it well, give them an hour to mellow out.

  24. Josie Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Ahhhh..but Rich…the fact that you and other media feel the need to ” just put it out there in his own words” says alot..and let’s be frank…over the years there have been drivers who are not media darlings, they have tempers, passion, or just hate the nonsense they endure from the media. For some reason alot of the media takes it personally…makes it personal…then cries foul when the driver blows up. Sorry..I have no patience for whiners…and there are many on BOTH sides of the fence. The unfortunate thing is the media has the upper hand…a voice or written word…and you can write or show ALL or PART of a situation. So …you may say you weren’t inferring anything bad about Kurt..but the fact you felt had to write the column speaks volumes in itself!

  25. Bill B Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    same answer Mikey fan as I put on the other website….

    “Why was there so much coverage when Busch did it and not when Newman does it?”

    On the surface and the way you present it there doesn’t seem to be a difference between Newman driving through Bowyer’s pit and Busch driving through whoever’s pitbox that was last week. But there was.

    Newman was forced there by an untimely coincidence of Bowyer coming in as he was trying to leave. If there was anyone to blame it was the crewchief for not making Newman aware of Bowyer coming in (or vice-versa).

    Busch on the other hand drove through the pit in a fit of anger being the usual duckhead he is.

    There you have it.

    True on that last comment Rich, but there are the blind Kurt fans that will accept anything he does and make excuses for it, and then the rest of us who are tired of seeing him act like a spoiled child with total disregard for everyone else.

    BTW, having drivers threaten and berate the press, act out on a weekly basis, etc, just brings the comparisons of NASCAR to wrestling that much easier. I like to watch someone make an ass out of themselves (i.e., a train wreck) as much as anyone else, but that’s not what I tune in for every week. Unfortunately the racing hasn’t been too good so that is what we are left with.

  26. Offkilter Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Tyler, see post 2. Real drivers win without wadding up most of the owner’s fleet of racecars.

    Sue Rarick, you see vanilla, i see professionalism. If nascar ever changes it’s mind and deems it a good thing that a driver on their circuit can act a damn fool either on the track or off, then i’ll be out the door and you can start watching again. The only difference is i won’t let the door hit me in the ass.

  27. mikeyfan Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Bill, why don’t you take off your rose colored glass and look real close at Kurt going through Ryan’s pit and Ryan going through Clint’s pit.

    First Kurt, was still on the lead lap, they were making repairs and he was trying to beat the Pace Car so he wouldn’t go a lap down. Now there was no opening between Kurt and Ryan’s pit and the rule is when leaving if the pit is open you can go through it, Just like coming into your pit. Kurt did what all drivers do leaving the pit, He dumped the clutch and did a burn out, But what the videos won’t show you is he got his tires wet from fluid in the pit box and it lit the tires up just like a dragster doing a pre-race burnout. But Ryan’s crew, where no one was hit, cried and Kurt got put on probation because of the Hendrick don’t touch me rule.

    Now let’s look at Ryan going through Clint’s box. First there is an opening between the boxes a big opening. It’s a lane to come in and out of the pits with. Ryan’s spotter first didn’t tell him to hold as Clint was there. Ryan took off, CAME TO A STOP THE WAS UPSET AND RAN OVER THE JACK MAN FROM CLINT’S PIT. Nothing will be said because One Clint’s crew had too much class to whine to NASCAR about it. Two: NASCAR won’t punish a Hendrick Driver.

    There you go the only difference is Kurt didn’t hit anyone, and Ryan did. Now tell me who should be punished?

  28. mikeyfan Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    What would NASCAR do today if Senior was still around and told another Reporter to F.O? What would they do if Cale, Bobby and Donnie got into a fight on a track? What would they do if they had a feud on the track like Earnhardt vs Waltrip, Waltrip vs Allison, Richmond vs the world, Earnhardt vs Bodine?

    In other words if Dale Earnhardt was just starting his NASCAR career he would be run out of the sport in a second. And that is a shame.

  29. Wayne T. Morgan Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    As far as The king goes he had plenty of scraps in his early day and his Momma carriied a 38 in her purse and used it once or twice. So read your history and find that no one would put up with Kurt back then.

  30. slugwriter Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Andy90, this isn’t 1979 anymore. Nascar is on Tv virtually 24/7 365 days a year. I think they’ve got the recognition thing covered now.

    Busch had plenty of time to “cool down.” He had from the time he got out of the car until that reporter caught up with him. Busch’s problem is he can’t or won’t cool down. Racing isn’t racing for him, it’s combat, an excuse to be aggressive, to fight. He fights the car (witness his driving style), the other racers his insane jealousy over Jimmy Johnson), his owner (Roush, Penske, and now Finch). He’s got serious issues that cannot be solved by driving a race car… I see him in the same category as baseball’s Jimmy Piersall and fighting the same sort of demons.

    A mere suspension won’t help him.

  31. Jesse Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    How about all those fan’s at Dover, I saw more at the local 7 year old girl’s softball game.

  32. Offkilter Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Mikeyfan, im in agreement with Bill b… Newman was forced, kurt was not. Not sure why you brought up hendrick drivers and incorrectly thinking they don’t get penalized. Come on man. Jimmy was penalized as recently as charlotte and it cost him a chance to win. He’s been penalized about 3 other times. Gordon 4, kahne 2, and jr at bristol when they let kenseth burn down pit road that would have made john force look bad ( timing lines) so they say. Hendrick teams get penalized just like the rest and sometimes worse.

  33. mikeyfan Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Newman wasn’t forced he had a choice and Kurt did what the rules allowed he went through the pit in front of him, WHEN THERE ISN’T AN OPENING DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF YOUR PITS. Also, read for a change, that Kurt was trying to beat the pace car so he could stay on the lead lap, He had fluid on his tires and he didn’t hit anyone or even come close to hitting anyone. But that doesn’t matter because it’s Kurt right? As long as it’s a Hendrick driver they get away with it.

    As far as JJ at charlotte, It’s hard not to impose a penalty for leaving the pit box with equipment when it’s shown on TV and viewed live by 80,000 fans. But where was Tony’s penalty for blasting NASCAR after Dega? Where is Jeff’s penalty for blasting NASCAR about fake debris cautions after Dover? You won’t see it why because they driver for Mr. we can do no wrong because we have bought Mike Helton and Brian France, Hendrick.

  34. mikeyfan Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 6:22 am

    What I want to see is articles from people like Rich asking how NASCAR can allow a car that doesn’t exist run next season in the cup series. Why is it that Chevy gets a free pass from the rule that a car must be in the US showroom at the time it is presented to NASCAR to race?

    There is not a Chevy SS anywhere in the world and there won’t be until 2014. So how the hell can you say win on Sunday sell on Monday for the SS when there won’t be one to buy? But then that would step on Helton’s toes, and we know damn good and well that will never happen.

  35. Bill B Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I am not a Newman, Bowyer or Bush (either one of them) fan, so there are no rose colored glasses here.

    The distinction I was making is Busch’s act was driven by anger, the Bowyer/Newman act was driven by circumstances. If Busch wouldn’t drive angry EVERY WEEK (unless things are going perfectly) then his problems would decrease dramatically. But he can’t control his emotions much like a 5 year old.

  36. mikeyfan Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Bill, there was no anger to Newman or his crew. They never touched so how could that be. Newman was hit from behind when Kurt spun in front of him. Kurt was trying to beat the pace car so he wouldn’t go a lap down, Is that so hard to understand. He also got liquid on his tires so they lit up. Do you think a driver trying to beat the pace car out of the pits will ride the brakes so he can throw up a plume of smoke in the person in front of him pits? Come on now anyone with common sense can figure that one out. No, this was a premediated mark by NASCAR to get the people from talking about the illegal GM cars next season. Heck even Kurt’s crew chief said he was warned before the race this was going to happen that Ryans crew was looking for an excuse to accost Kurt. Now how could he say that?

  37. daveb Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Kurt Busch has no excuse for threatening to kick someone’s a&^. In the ‘old’ days, if someone were make that statement they would have been immediately punched in the face. It seems some of the readers are missing the point .. KURT grow up .. threaten me and I will definately provide you with the opportunity to kick my butt you punk!!

  38. Jeff Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    People keep saying that Kurt has wrecked 14 of Finches cars………??? Where do you get off with that statistic? If I remember right, Keslowski wrecked him once, Jimmie, mister 5 time wrecked him at Daytona and how many tires have blown under his cars since they set up was wrong, which by the way isn’t the drivers fault. I know that he has been wrecked by several others too but to blame them all on Kurt?? Come on. But never mind, I’m done with NASCAR, their two sided stance on who you are and I’m done with the media since you can’t trust them to write a straight story anyway.

  39. mikeyfan Says:
    June 7th, 2012 at 6:03 am

    daveb, Tony Stewart did punch a reporter back in 2003 I believe and he got probation and a fine. What is bad is This dip stick who calls himself a reporter has come out and stated he is happy he was able to get Kurt suspended. He is wearing it like a badge of honor. The man has no business being in a reporter for little league let alone big league sports.