By admin | June 12, 2012
By Richard Allen
After his separation from Penske Racing at the end of the 2011 season Kurt Busch agreed to drive for owner James Finch and his Phoenix Racing team. The embattled driver declared that this was going to be a season of fun and one in which he would look to repair his damaged image.
As it has turned out, this season has provided very little fun. A number of wrecked race cars along with frequent outbursts toward his team, his competitors and even a media member ultimately resulted in Busch being fined and suspended from last weekend’s Sprint Cup race in Pocono. Upon the announcement of his driver’s suspension, Finch stated that there would be a “Come to Jesus” meeting between the two sides to determine their future relationship.
On Tuesday afternoon, Phoenix Racing released a statement indicating that Busch is indeed still the team’s driver. “We have met with Kurt,” Finch said. “At the end of the day, we are racers so we’re going racing together with Kurt and the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet. We know adjustments have to be made but how we fix that is between Kurt and myself. We’re going to go to the track, work hard, race hard and work on trying to attract a sponsor… and we’re going to do that together.”
Busch has scored only one top-10 finish in his thirteen starts this season, that being a 9th place run in Fontana, California. The 2004 NASCAR champion has seven finishes outside the top-20 and he ranks 26th in the Sprint Cup standings.
Busch is one of the most talented drivers in NASCAR. Unfortunately his lack of self control has landed him in the position he currently holds. Some argue that he brings a degree of personality lacking in today’s NASCAR and that he is merely being picked on by NASCAR, the media and most fans.
I have no disagreement with the assertion that the sport’s top stars lack personality. But I would also say that there is a big difference between having personality and being vulgar. Busch has crossed that line and his on air statement after he crashed out of the ‘Prelude to the Dream’ is proof of that.
After winning a major dirt late model race in Wisconsin a couple of years ago, driver Scott Bloomquist got out of his car, looked toward a group of fans who were booing him and said, “I hope you all appreciated that ass kicking.” That’s personality. Talk of kicking the ___ out of a reporter who asks a follow up question to a statement already made by the driver himself and saying the words premature ____(well, you know) is just vulgar.
What Kurt Busch needs to do over the second half of the season is take his own advice and have fun. This talented driver needs to do what he does best, which is drive a race car, and stop trying so hard to be a bad boy.
Come on, Kurt. Have some fun!
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