Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kurt Busch Will Not Return To Penske Racing in 2012

After the checkered flag waved in the air at the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season Finale and after the NASCAR Awards were over, race fans thought they wouldn’t hear anything about NASCAR until it got closer to the 2012 Daytona 500. I’m sure a lot of race fans were surprised to see a lot of NASCAR news during the off-season. The biggest NASCAR story during the off-season is Penske Racing announced that it has reached a mutual agreement with 2004 Cup Series Champion, Kurt Busch to end its driver/ race team relationship, effective immediately.
Rodger Penske issued a statement stating,” While I am disappointed that Kurt will not be racing for our team in the future, both Kurt and I felt that separating at this time was best for all parties, including our team and sponsors. I wish Kurt the best in his future racing endeavors.”
“ I am grateful to Penske Racing for six very productive years. Together we won a lot of racing-1in all. Leaving a great organization and a lucrative contract is not easy, but it an important step for me and allows me to take a deep breathe to work on things that can make me a better driver and a better person. I want to personally thank Rodger Penske for the opportunity that he has given me. “ -Kurt Busch
“The split was best for all parties. Kurt had some concern with our performance. Obviously, we had concerns with his on and off the track behavior. We agreed to take the high road for both of us. We agreed that separating at this time was best for all parties, including Kurt and the sponsors. While Shell Pennzoil was consulted in the decision, it was ultimately our decision. Kurt came to the conclusion and we have as well that it's time to move on.”-Bud Denker, a senior vice president for Penske Corporation.
Controlling his anger during the NASCAR Sprint cup Series Races was not a strong point for Kurt. Busch has been involved in several behavior incident on the track this season, including the season finale at Homestead- Miami Speedway. Unfortunately Busch made an obscene hand gesture leaving the track to go to the garage after his transmission failure early in the race. He also had a profanity- laced tirade at DR. Jerry Punch and his camera crew in the garage moments later, which went viral on You Tube. NASCAR later had enough of Kurts actions and fined Busch $50,000 for the two incidents. Sources confirmed that Shell Pennzoil officials had spoken with team owner Roger Penske and expressed concerns about Busch continuing as the driver. Kurt Busch had an earlier incident with reporters this season at Richmond in September, the final event before the Chase started. He had to be restrained from a NASCAR.com reporter on pit road. Busch also tore another reporter's interview transcript in half after being questioned about recorded comments that he denied making. Last week in Las Vegas, Busch said he was seeing a sports psychologist to deal with his anger issues. All of his anger issues during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season led Kurt out of the #22 Penske Racing Dodge and now he is currently without a ride for the 2012 NASCAR Season.
The 2011 NASCAR Season was not the first time Kurt had anger issues. Some of his past anger issues are: In 2002, Kurt was fined $10,000 for Intentionally Running into Robby Gordon. In 2003 he got probation for Rough Driving after a confrontation with Jimmy Spencer. Busch was fined $100,000 for Reckless Driving and a Pit Road incident, then he was suspended, then fired by Roush Fen way in 2005. In 2007 at Dover, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch had an altercation on the track and on Pit road. In 2008,Kurt and Tony Stewart had an incident during the Budweiser shootout practice. It was reported Tony Stewart punched Kurt because Kurt made a comment about Tony’s weight and hair cut, then his anger issues started coming in 2011.
I know all of you are wandering if Kurt will have a Sprint Cup Series ride in 2012. Even though he is a talented driver, who wants a race car driver on there team that acts disrespectful and immature. Kurt says he is working with a sports physiologist, so hopefully he can prove to some NASCAR teams that he is changing into a better person.
Another question we’re all wandering is who will fill the seat for the #22 Penske racing Dodge? Will it be David Ragen, David Reutimann, or Brian Vickers?
Kurt Busch understands that he is out at Penske Racing because he had a hard time controlling his anger. Even though it was announced that Kurts departure from Penske Racing was a mutual agreement, a lot of people are not buying that. Competitive rides in the NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series are so hard to come by and Busch’s options for next year and beyond are, well, slim at best. He is not upset about leaving Penske Racing. Kurt said “this gives him a fresh start and I am excited for the future.” Kurt thinks maybe he was not a best fit for Penske Racing. Hopefully the Sports Physiologist can help him get his anger issues handled and he can be a better person in 2012.
I sincerely wish Kurt Bush the best of luck in getting his anger issues handled, and I hope that he finds a ride for next season and beyond.

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