NASCAR drivers are still taking sides in Kurt Busch's latest controversy. Drivers are split between defending Busch's reaction during an interview and defending NASCAR's decision to suspend the driver from the June 10 race. I think their responses show the typical divide seen in NASCAR for these types of issues.
Support for Kurt Busch
Despite having a history of bad behavior and anger issues, Kurt Busch still has supporters who believe he should not be blamed for the comments he made in an interview. Busch's interview with a Sporting News reporter on June 2 caused NASCAR to add a suspension to his probation because he included a threat. Since Busch had been previously warned and placed on probation for his behavior after a May 2012 race, NASCAR increased the usual penalty.
Tony Stewart has shown his support for Kurt Busch through his comments. Stewart has said, "Kurt is right," and he believes that reporter Bob Pockrass deserves the blame. He obviously thinks that Pockrass wanted a strong response because he added, "Everytime he interviews somebody, it is strictly about something controversial." Tony Stewart has had multiple problems with the media in the past, so his views are not surprising.
Kurt Busch has also found support from Carl Edwards who stated, "Look, we're race car drivers. We're not manners teachers." Edwards believes that being in control of your emotions is difficult, and drivers cannot be expected to be perfect at all times. I think he brings up a valid point, yet drivers flock to the cameras after a win and make sure to eagerly list their sponsors in front of reporters.
Support for NASCAR
Some drivers have stated that Kurt Busch's behavior is a serious problem, and NASCAR has taken the right actions. Although he admits to admiring Busch's skills as a driver, Jeff Burton still believes it is "not good for our sport" and must get his emotions under control. Kyle Petty has also said that he applauds NASCAR's decision to take probation more seriously instead of letting drivers get away with more infractions.
Jimmy Spencer, who has had several altercations with Kurt Busch in the past and even punched him in the face, also supports NASCAR. Spencer has accused Busch of a tendency to "flaunt his disrespect" in the sport and ignore the rules. I think Spencer is actually happy to see Busch punished by NASCAR.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.
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