By admin | January 7, 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 asÂ Busch’sÂ 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)Â by both owner and driver to see their relationship through to the end of the 2012 season, the two parted ways withÂ 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,”Â 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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