Yahoo! Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! every day. Learn more »Yahoo! Contributor Network
Fan Opinion: Did Kurt Busch Ruin His Career?
Penske Racing released a statement that put an end to the speculation and confirmed what many knew for weeks, Kurt Busch would not race the No. 22 in 2012. The statement called the termination a mutual agreement but it is obvious Penske had his fill of apologizing for Busch.
Kurt Busch has put himself in a precarious position as a former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. He alienated himself from his owner Roger Penske, his former crew chief Steve Addington and his pit crew, the men who went over the wall every race for him.
It was clear Busch never understood his owner Roger Penske's stature in the racing world. Penske is known as "The Captain" among his peers and despite never winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup title, Penske has won a title in every discipline he ever attempted, including winning the NASCAR Nationwide title with Brad Keselowski last season.
Busch sealed his fate at Homestead with his over the top antics. First he flipped off the SUV transporting people from First Lady Michelle Obama's entourage exiting the garage as he attempted to maneuver unto his stall, according to a story appearing on NASCAR Scene Daily.
Once Busch emerged from his car he then berated one of the most respected pit reporters in the business, ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch. The incident, recorded by a fan on their cell phone, went viral and featured Busch laying into Dr. Punch with a four-letter tirade. An incredulous Dr. Punch finally pulled the plug on the interview as Busch stalked off to his hauler.
Busch attempted damage control. He spread the word in Las Vegas that he began seeing a sports psychologist and was working on his anger issues. Once Penske released his statement of Busch's dismissal Busch posted his own statement on the Kurt Busch website in which he makes it sound like it was his idea to leave.
Penske is a professional and he held off the announcement until after NASCAR Champions Week in Las Vegas. There were no pictures of Penske and Kurt Busch arm and arm and this was for good reason. Busch told the "Speed Report" during a December 5 special that he and Penske have been working on ending the relationship since the season ended.
Can Busch change minds in the NASCAR garage and pick up a ride before the first race in 2012? He seems to think he has a lot to offer, including his 2004 NASCAR Champion provisional. Will an owner be able to overlook Busch's troubling past to take a chance?
An owner will not have a problem placing Busch in a ride based on his talent. The challenge will be to find a sponsor willing to lend their name to a car with Busch behind the wheel. Shell and Pennzoil never looked like they were on board with Busch. He rarely made appearances in their commercials and he never looked like the fit the mold as a spokesman for their products.
Busch is on a short time line to find a ride. For him to race and have any chance of success in 2012 he will need to be signed, sealed and delivered to his new team by Christmas week at the latest.
*Todd Jacobs is an avid race fan who grew up watching sprint car racing legends race at Ascot Park in Gardena and Indy cars and NASCAR Cup cars at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Southern California. He has followed all forms of motorsports from open wheel sprint car racing to Formula One and all disciplines in between.
NASCAR Scene Daily: Kurt Busch's belligerent, unprofessional behavior finally caught up with him
Yahoo! Sports "From the Marbles" December 5, 2011: Kurt Busch's future is bleak after ousting at Penske
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.