Another Busch Rant Costing Phoenix Sponsorship, and Could Cost Busch a Ride
"Just how it typically gets every f***ing week. Every f***ing week! F**k I hate my f***ing job!" Sounds like a typical rant one would hear at a job they hate. But, this one came on a radio transmission in a NASCAR race.
The weekend that Kurt Busch had at Darlington, and that soon followed with probation until July 25.
Then yesterday, Busch goes off on NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass asking a question about his probation, and it went viral almost immediately.
"“It refrains me from not 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. “If you could talk about racing things, Bob, we can talk about racing things." Moments before those comments, he remarked that he couldn't even pick his nose right because of his probation, as if he's taking a shot at NASCAR.
NASCAR decided to meet with Busch about the incident before Sunday's race, and said there's a possibility of discipline coming.
Any punishment from NASCAR is seemingly minor compared to what he's doing to himself, and his team. Phoenix Racing is already looking for sponsorship for it's No. 51 car, as once more ran blank panels on it's red and white Impala. Certainly the actions of it's driver aren't helping; in fact, it could ultimately hurt them a lot more in the long run if not taken care of.
Busch has long been known as a firecracker in NASCAR. His run-ins with Jimmy Spencer between 2002 and 2003 are certainly well known, not to mention his attitude towards a police officer that cost him the final two races of 2005.
He also went off on ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch in last year's season-finale at Homestead, and Punch is very well respected in the garage.
There is no question that Busch has talent, and can bring a lot to the table for a team, especially one like Phoenix Racing that is hoping for some funding to come in. He is a former Cup champion, and that speaks volumes for him. But, no amount of talent can cover up what he's doing to his reputation right now.
It's already costing Phoenix Racing sponsorship, as blank panels continue to be seen on it's car. There is also a possibility that in the end, it could cost him a ride. The contract that Busch has with Phoenix Racing is for one season, but at the rate he's going it could end before the final checkered flag.
His brother learned a valuable lesson last year in Texas when NASCAR decided to take him out of the Nationwide and Cup races that weekend. But, Kyle seems to have been humbled by those actions, and has not been on the radar of NASCAR punishment this season. His hard-charging, no nonsense attitude is still there, but when he was taken out of the car for that weekend, it changed him...maybe for the better.
Kurt, however, has been the same way, and seems to have gotten back into that kind of mentality, especially last year when he was degrading the cars his former owner Roger Penske had on the track for him.
But, this season, it's costing him a lot more. It's costing the team money that they don't have, and ultimately it could cost him a spot in the series. He's already degrated equipment, the job he has, and the series.
Eventually, someone is going to pull the plug.
On Monday, NASCAR announced that after his actions on Saturday involving Pockrass, Busch would have his probation extended through the end of 2012. In addition, he was found to have violated his previous probation period following his incident at Darlington, Busch was suspended until June 13, meaning he will miss Sunday's race at Pocono.
The owner of Phoenix Racing, James Finch, has also stated to ESPN that he will talk with Busch to see if they can continue to work together.
"If he's going to kill himself I'm not going to be in the airplane with him," Finch told ESPN.com. "If that's what he's planning on doing, I am going to get out."
Finch is currently looking for a driver in his No. 51 Chevrolet for Sunday, and mentioned names such as Brian Vickers and David Reutimann could be replacements for Pocono, and possibly beyond.
David Reutimann has been tabbed to drive the No. 51 for James Finch at Pocono, a deal that was set up after Finch and Tommy Baldwin discussed the situation.
Finch also is planning to sit down with Busch next week in what he's terming a "Come to Jesus" meeting to discuss his future with the organization. Finch has said that in the first 14 races of the season, including the All-Star Race, Busch has wrecked 14 cars. Finch says that if Busch cannot get his mind right and move forward, then he will do something else for his team's future.
Busch will be off suspension until next Thursday, June 14.