Take a few moments of your time to check out the above video. It's a breakdown of Kurt Busch's dealings with a fellow driver and, to a lesser extent, the media. It exemplifies everything that Busch is about: insane talent combined with, in PR terms, an unerring ability to run over his own foot.
Oh, yeah — that video is from nine years ago.
Busch's feuds with Jimmy Spencer were legendary, culminating in a full-out fistfight. And while Spencer has left the track for the relatively calmer confines of the broadcast booth, Busch continues on his merry way. With the news of Busch's suspension, Spencer had a few pointed comments:
"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," Spencer said. "Kurt has been given plenty of chances to right his wrongs and put himself back on the right path, but he has failed to take advantage of any of those opportunities. NASCAR had to do something to restore a sense of respect toward the sport on Kurt's behalf because he seems to consistently flaunt his disrespect for everything and everyone in this sport. Maybe sitting out and watching the race from the pit box or his couch will wake him up to how great he really has it."
Spencer noted that Busch seems to operate under a different standard: "If Kurt is under the microscope, it is because he has put himself there by acting as if the rules don't apply to him. But the rules apply to everyone, and if you cannot treat your fellow competitors, crew members and members of the media in a respectable manner, you do not deserve to race. He's a hell of a driver, but until he gets his temper under control, he has no business in a race car."
In the long run, Spencer said his suspension helped him calm down. He noted that a race off seemed to "straighten out" Kyle Busch, and added that he hopes the same holds true for Kurt.