After his release from Penske Racing, it seemed that there would be a slim chance that Kurt Busch would be in a competitive ride in 2012.
Those chances may be a lot fatter than initially figured. Richard Petty Motorsports COO Robbie Loomis said Tuesday that the team is interested in the 2004 Sprint Cup champion.
"Best Buy has been a great partner for a long time, and AJ Allmendinger has done a fantastic job for us. He's coming off his best season yet, but I can tell you there is a lot of interest on our part in having Kurt Busch in the fold. It makes sense to have Kurt with our team, if we can make it work."
And he added this:
"I would mortgage my house to make Kurt a part of this team," said Loomis. "We value what he has done on the race track. He has won a [Sprint Cup] championship and worked for a first-class operation like Penske Racing. Guys like that don't come along every day."
According to the report from Sirius Speedway, Busch would be a candidate to replace AJ Allmendinger in the No. 43 Ford in an attempt to keep sponsor Best Buy with the team. Allmendinger was one of the better performers in the Cup Series over the final weeks of 2011. Since RPM was a two-car operation with Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose last year, they would have room to expand for Busch, but — and stop me if you've heard this before — sponsorship would have to be found.
Interest in Busch from RPM seems a little odd on the surface given the relationship between Busch and Jack Roush. Roush's team is the flagship Ford operation and provides chassis and Roush-Yates engines to RPM. Busch was fired from Roush in 2005 after a traffic stop outside Phoenix International Raceway. And when he was asked who he wanted to win the 2011 championship, Busch picked Tony Stewart — a man who he's had on-track run-ins with before — because of Roush, Carl Edwards' co-owner.
If Busch does join RPM, it would be yet another instance of how uber-talent can earn multiple chances. Yes, Busch has acknowledged his actions in the cockpit and how his attitude affected his professional relationships, but we haven't yet had a chance to see that Busch's actions match his words. Will it happen? His future employer will find out soon enough.