By admin | October 7, 2012
By Richard Allen
Kurt Busch ended his time as the driver for Phoenix Racing as only Kurt Busch could have. While leading a large pack of cars during Sunday’s Sprint Cup race in Talladega, the #51 machine sputtered and was subsequently run over and forced into the inside retaining wall.
“I’m out of fuel and I got wrecked,” Busch said over his team radio immediately following the incident. “Why am I out of gas, guys?”
After a momentary period of silence over the radio, Busch declared to crew chief Nick Harrison, “You better ask ‘em if they got it full of gas(on the last pit stop).”
From there, the story got more bizarre. Busch climbed from his battered race car as safety crew workers arrived. But after seeing that the damage was not as severe as he originally thought, the driver got back in the car and sped away. Trouble was, those safety workers had already begun the work of checking on driver and car.
As Busch peeled away from the scene, a medical bag had already been placed on top of the car. That bag was carried for some distance down the track before falling onto the pavement. And to add further complications, if not comedy, Busch was not wearing a helmet at the time which prevented him from hearing his spotter repeatedly tell him that officials wanted him to stop immediately.
NASCAR was clearly not amused. “Let the crew chief of the 51 car know that his car has been parked,” race director David Hoots instructed one of his officials.
After a visit to the infield care center, Busch talked with a large contingent of reporters in the garage area. “This is the way my life works,” he stated as he looked at those gathered around him. “Today is a perfect example. I am leading, I wreck, I run out of gas, I’m still that competitive guy that tried to get back in the race and now NASCAR is yelling at me because I don’t have my helmet on and I’m trying to get it to the garage so the guys can work on it.”Now I’m in trouble, now I have this little storm right here,” he went on. “This is my life. I’m not complaining because I put myself in a lot of these situations, but it’s on to good things now… moving forward. I got all the bad luck out of the way. This year has been a great year to test me in every way.”Next week, Busch is slated to make his debut in the Furniture Row Racing car #78. However, one has to wonder if NASCAR is ready to declare this incident over. The sanctioning body has a history of taking action against drivers who openly disobey or try to show them up. The likes of Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch can attest to that.
Busch himself has experienced the wrath of the powers that be. Earlier this year he was benched for one week after issuing a verbal threat to reporter Bob Pockrass in Dover. That came on the heels of a pit road incident in Darlington that had sparked a post-race altercation between his team and that of Ryan Newman.
Could it be that Kurt Busch will begin his tenure with Furniture Row on suspension? We will likely find out very soon.
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