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« NASCAR 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup Contender: Kasey Kahne | Main | NASCAR 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup Contender: Greg Biffle »

Kurt Busch Getting “One More Last Chance” to Prove Himself

By admin | January 7, 2013

 Kurt Busch may be receiving his last chance in 2013.

By Richard Allen

A popular song from several years ago by country artist Vince Gill pleaded for his sweetheart to:

“Give me just one more last chance

Before you say we’re through

I know I drive you crazy, baby

But it’s the best that I can do”

With just a minor tweak or two to the lyrics, that could well be the song Kurt Busch should use when asked to provide pre-race introduction music at the Bristol Motor Speedway. After parting ways(or being asked to leave) with Penske Racing at the end of the 2011 season, this temperamental driver served most of last year piloting the No. 51 car for owner James Finch and his Phoenix Racing team.

After the break with Penske, it did not seem as though teams were lining up at Busch’s door with contracts in hand. The pairing with Finch not only seemed an odd one that was doomed to fail but also one that might well serve as Busch’s last chance to prove he could demonstrate an attitude that would make him worthy of a better ride.

The result of Busch’s tenure with Phoenix was a few good runs and a number of wrecked race cars. And despite a pledge(”He can’t quit and I can’t fire him,” -James Finch) by both owner and driver to see their relationship through to the end of the 2012 season, the two parted ways with six races remaining on the schedule.

Busch posted a season-high 3rd place result on the road course in Sonoma, Calif. while driving the Phoenix Chevrolets. But he also recorded 20 finishes outside the top-20 in the red and white #51 machine.

In true Busch fashion, the parting did not go smoothly. The outspoken driver claimed the cars he had been provided were not capable of competing at the top level of the Sprint Cup division. He further went on to dispute claims by some that his move from Phoenix to the Furniture Row Racing #78 car was merely a lateral move on his part.

“It’s disappointing to hear that a lot of people view it as a lateral move,” Busch said upon announcing his switch to Furniture Row. “That’s a slap in the face to (team owner)Barney Visser. It really is. He has put together a program that is tiers above where James Finch is. James will admit to that, but Barney Visser and this program are committed.”

Phoenix fired back by claiming that they began receiving calls from drivers, sponsors and others who were willing to help them once Busch had departed. The charge was that potential backers had stayed away as long as the fiery driver was in their seat.

After the switch to Furniture Row Racing, Busch’s performance did indeed improve. He finished the 2012 season with three consecutive 8th place runs at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. But in-car radio chatter revealed that even with a new team, the anger and difficulty in attitude were still apparent.

Kurt Busch is incredibly talented as a driver but he desperately needs an image makeover. And even though this 2004 Sprint Cup champion is only 34 years old, this could very well be his “one more last chance” if he does not repair that image soon.

NASCAR 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup Contender: Kyle Busch http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1461466-nascar-2013-chase-for-the-sprint-cup-contender-kyle-busch

NASCAR 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup Contender: Kasey Kahne http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1982

Good at picking race winners? Follow @RacingWithRich on Twitter and then Click here to find out how you could win $25 by correctly predicting the winner of the Daytona 500.

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17 Responses to “Kurt Busch Getting “One More Last Chance” to Prove Himself”

  1. Russ Says:
    January 7th, 2013 at 9:24 am

    How many last chances do you get? I suppose in this case its how many mid-pack teams are left. With more talented drivers than top-flight cars available thats what it will boil down to I suppose.

  2. Michael in SoCal Says:
    January 7th, 2013 at 10:55 am

    2013 - the Kurt Busch retirement tour? We shall see…

  3. Tony Geinzer Says:
    January 7th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I feel Kurt Busch will throw Epic Manny Being Manny Tempertantrums everywhere he goes. I would prefer some underknown Nationwide Driver like a Kelly Bires to fill my seat if I was in the Owning Game,Rich.

  4. Offkilter Says:
    January 7th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    My prediction a year ago was wrong. I thought he’d be phased out and forgotten by now. Guess it proves that even wealthy guys that own cup teams can be suckers.

  5. Richard Allen Says:
    January 7th, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Never mind championships, will Kurt Busch win a race anytime soon?

  6. Joe Racer Says:
    January 8th, 2013 at 2:31 am

    One more chance to prove himself? He’s already a winner and a champion. Sadly his personality and lack of self control will keep him out of an “A” seat for the rest of his career

  7. Russ Says:
    January 8th, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Unless he gets in a HMS or SHR car, both of which are highly unlikely, he wont. He will never again get in a car that, barring a miracle, will be a serious contender to win. IMHO.

  8. The Old Guy Says:
    January 8th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I think that as heavily as Richard Childress is involved in this entire deal, and the fact that he likes Kurt Busch, put him in the seat of the 29 car in 2014.

    I like the fact that KB has a fiery temper. That temper, in actuallity, is what go Dodge and Penske off their asses and started putting well engineered race cars on the track. It was also his demise at Penske.

    Don’t put a fork in Kurt Busch quite yet. And, don’t be surprised if you see him in the winners circle in 2013.

  9. Darren Says:
    January 8th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Have to disagree with many of the comments. You first are selling the performance short. He had one or two other really strong runs such as Talladega where he ran up front only to be dumped within the last few laps by BK who went on to win the race etc. He did wreck a lot but it is undeniable that the equipment and his Crew Chief were sub par. Everyone likes to call for his demise because “He’s an ass”. Show me a driver that is never an ass and I’ll show you a driver with no passion and no wins. Stewart can be an ass, Edwards is an ass, Harvick is an ass, Gordon is sometimes an ass like wrecking Boyer and such…they all do it, the Busch’s just aren’t as good at keeping their ass moments private. Personally I like it. If not for the occasional blow up I’d have to turn it off and stop watching because the 5 min of TV coverage between the hour and a half of commercials is horrible and boring. The bad PR is an issue though, and will cause employment problems if he can’t keep it a little more low key this season and perhaps squeak out a win.

  10. Offkilter Says:
    January 8th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Rich, if he wins at all this year, it will probably be at one of the plate tracks. Maybe a road course unless finch passes along kurt’s setup. He may run top ten at a few others. He’s given alot of credit for his talent, probably too much given the fact that he screws up so much on the track.

  11. Richard Allen Says:
    January 9th, 2013 at 6:26 am

    I’m sorry, but I accidently deleted a comment from a reader.

    I believe the writer was “Kurt Fan Forever”

    Please repost because I enjoyed the comment.

  12. Robert Says:
    January 9th, 2013 at 7:55 am

    @ Old Guy & Darren…..I agree.

    And if Phoenix was as pissy about Kurt as reported, why is Barkdoll saying they are trying to put together a ride in Nationwide for him?

  13. Kurt Fan Forever Says:
    January 9th, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Rich, its a shame you deleted it “on accident,” because it will not be the same as what I wrote before. The jist of it was I think you you do not have anything else to write, you pull out your “I hate Kurt Busch” card. I even bet you have a voo-doo doll of him just so you poke at him when you have nothing better to do. Seriously, can’t you find more important NASCAR news to write about? Come on dude, get over yourself and move on! You will not break my resolve to be one of Kurt Buschs biggest fans!

  14. Richard Allen Says:
    January 9th, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Do you really think I would have posted an apology if I had deleted the comment on purpose? Besides, Kurt Busch makes for good stories. He’s one of the few who does. I love Kurt Busch.

    But I also love the idea of the voo-doo doll. Wonder if I can get a patent on those. Bet I could sell a ton of them.

  15. Kurt Fan Forever Says:
    January 9th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Rich, ok, so you didn’t delete it on purpose, but I do say it’s getting tiresome hearing the same drum beat about Kurt Busch. Can he be a bad dog? Yep! He would of been a perfect fit for Nascar racing in the late 80’s, early 90’s. Anyway, he is also a good dog a majority of the time, but people still want to whack him with the newspaper and tell him he is a bad dog. Eventually he is going to believe he is always a bad dog so he will just continue barking and biting people. If you “love” Kurt then prove it and write something nice about him. I’ve met Kurt on several occasions and what a nice guy. He even signed a enlarged picture of my crappy, old dirt race car that was painted and numbered like the 97 Rubbermaid car when he could of said “HELL NO! Not for that best up car!”

  16. Kurt Fan Forever Says:
    January 9th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I almost forgot, I would much rather a voo-doo car be made for Jimmie Johnson. That would be an instant best seller!

  17. Aaron Nelson Says:
    January 21st, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    With 24 Sprint Cup victories and a championship (2004), Busch is easily the most accomplished driver to sit in the Furniture Row cars. The next season will help to determine if he can continue to rebuild his career after some troubled times.