Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Kurt Busch admitted last December that he
was working with a sports psychologist to resolve his "personal issues," so
you would figure he's learned how to control his anger by now.
After NASCAR penalized him twice within a month for bad behavior, it's obvious
that Busch didn't really comprehend anything in anger management 101.
Perhaps he needs a remedial course.
Last month, NASCAR fined Busch $50,000 and placed him on probation until July
25 following his actions in the 500-mile race at Darlington Raceway. The
sanctioning body penalized Busch for "reckless driving on pit road during the
race" and for being "involved in an altercation with another competitor (a
crew member from Ryan Newman's team) after the completion of the race."
On Monday, NASCAR suspended Busch from competition until June 13 after
officials determined he violated his probation when he verbally abused a
member of the media following the conclusion of last Saturday's 200-mile
Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway.
Busch made threatening comments to Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass when
Pockrass asked him if his probation impacted how he raced Justin Allgaier
during the Nationwide event. Busch responded, "It refrains me from not beating
the [expletive] 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 can talk about racing things, Bob ... It's
not racing. You're in this just to start stuff. That's all you're out here
Busch and Allgaier had a heated discussion on pit road after the race. The two
made contact with each other multiple times in the early going. Busch was
driving the No. 54 car, which is owned by his younger brother, Kyle.
Moments before his incident with Pockrass, Busch talked about his run-ins with
Allgaier to television reporter Dr. Jerry Punch during ESPN's coverage of the
race. Busch said, "At the initial start of the race, [Allgaier] started
packing underneath someone and got loose in front of me, and he thinks I
purposely hit him. And so he drove like a you know what to try and door us and
try to do stupid things on the track. I'm on probation, so I can't even pick
my nose the right way."
Not only has Busch been banned from next Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at
Pocono Raceway, but his probation has been extended through the remainder of
the year as well.
Busch has publicly apologized for the comments he made to Pockrass.
David Reutimann will drive Busch's No. 51 Sprint Cup car at Pocono. Busch will
be allowed to compete in the June 17 event at Michigan International Speedway.
Since his 2001 rookie season in Cup, Busch has had numerous altercations with
his team members, fellow competitors and members of the media. In fact,
Busch's disorderly behavior has cost him his job twice.
In last November's season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Busch made an
inappropriate hand gesture and used foul language while waiting to be
interview by Punch in the garage area during ESPN's broadcast of the event.
NASCAR fined Busch $50,000 for his actions. He was also dismissed from Penske
Racing, where he had been with since the start of the 2006 season.
Prior to his ride with Penske, Busch drove for Roush Fenway Racing in Cup for
five years, including his championship season in 2004. But Busch lost his job
at Roush with two races remaining in the 2005 season due to an alcohol-related
incident in Phoenix.
Busch is now in jeopardy of losing his ride with Phoenix Racing, which is an
underfunded single-car team in Sprint Cup. He has a one-year verbal agreement
with team owner James Finch to drive the No. 51 car. Finch plans to meet with
Busch next week to discuss his future with the team.
"I don't want to give up on the talent that Kurt has," Finch said during an
interview with Sirius/XM NASCAR radio on Tuesday. "Kurt is one of the best
drivers there. He's got some problems he's got to work through, and hopefully
he can do that. And if he can't, then I've got to go forward."
Busch has already wrecked 14 of Finch's car this season, including four in
February at Daytona International Speedway. Three of those cars have been
If Busch doesn't learn how to control himself soon, his career in Sprint Cup
could be wrecked beyond repair as well.
The Sports Network