After another invective outburst criticizing a reporter's questions, Kurt Busch has been suspended for one race and will not drive Phoenix Racing's #51 Chevrolet at Pocono this coming Sunday. He has also had his probation lengthened - it was to end July 25th but now will be extended for the remainder of the year. The penalty is for all NASCAR events (source - NASCAR).
Busch was originally on probation for an altercation in the pits after a race at Darlington in May (source - Yahoo Sports).
This latest occurrence came to pass after Busch's verbal mistreatment of a media member. Kurt verbally threatened 43 year old reporter Bob Pockrass - who covers NASCAR for Sporting News - following a fourth place run in Saturday's Nationwide race.
Busch was upset with Justin Allgaier after the Nationwide event and in front of several other reporters, Pockrass asked Busch if the current probation had an effect on how he handled the incident with Allgaier. Said Busch: "It refrains me from 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."
After the suspension, Busch said he was sorry: "I accept NASCAR's decision. I put them in a box, they had to take action and it's my fault for putting them in this position. I apologize for the comments I made to Bob Pockrass." (Source - ESPN)
Fan and owner wonder
It's possible Kurt may be without a ride for longer than just one race. His car owner for the #51 team, James Finch, sounds more upset than anyone about the situation. Said Finch: "If he's going to kill himself I'm not going to be in the airplane with him," Finch told ESPN.com by phone. "If that's what he's planning on doing, I am going to get out."
As far as a fan goes, I was one of Kurt Busch's biggest fans during his days with Roush and when he started driving for Roger Penske. It seemed I was always defending him because I felt that Busch was articulate, good in front of the camera, he was excellent with his sponsors and his talent was unquestionable. But over the last few years and then especially how he handled his own teammates at Penske Racing, I finally lost the will to defend him. Now Kurt seems on a collision course. With what, I'm not quite sure.
All sports need the guy or guys that wear a black hat with pride - the Busch brothers are naturals at being the bad guy. I realize that NASCAR needs villains and one would presume that NASCAR will make sure Busch gets a ride with someone. Rumors are Kurt Busch may head to Joe Gibbs Racing where the other part of the villainous duo, Kyle, resides (source - Sporting News). That would be a quite a handful if indeed Joe Gibbs is up for it.
"That's what Kurt needs"
Jimmy Spencer of SpeedTV who had a long running feud with Kurt thinks this might be just what Busch needs: "Kurt Busch's suspension is long overdue, and that is coming from someone who learned his lesson after sitting out a race for punching him a few years ago. I can say that my suspension was extremely upsetting to me, but it made me a better person off the track. That's what Kurt needs now, and I hope this helps him. It seems to have straightened his little brother, Kyle, out and I hope the same is true for Kurt."
You might recall at the end of last season, pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch of ESPN was verbally abused by Kurt. Also, Busch threw in obscene hand gestures at the cameras.
Kurt stated he wanted to put fun back into racing when he joined the small one-car team of Phoenix Racing. Whether he is having any fun at this point is questionable.
Source - NASCAR
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.
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