Monday, June 25, 2012

Kurt Busch's Sonoma run makes him more difficult to understand

Just as everyone tried to once again write off Kurt Busch’s career and say he will have trouble ever competing for wins in the Sprint Cup Series, Busch took the unsponsored #51 car Sunday at Sonoma and drove it to a hard-fought, third-place finish.
Remember, this #51 car is owned by James Finch, who has been in the sport for 19 years and had three career top-fives heading into Sunday’s race. Finch has had 25 other drivers have raced a Cup car for him and only three had even recorded a top-five.
By any measure, Busch did a great job Sunday. Not many could take that #51 car and run as well as he has at times this season. He certainly doesn’t have the finishes to show for it, but Busch has driven some pretty good races this season and been in the top 15 before trouble struck late in the race.
And that might be what is so frustrating about Busch. He has a lot of talent. If Busch putted around in the back of the field throughout his career, people wouldn’t care nearly as much about what he does on or off the track. If he did or said something stupid, he would lose his ride and that would be the end of his Cup career. We would likely never hear from him again.
But that’s not the case. Busch is a very good driver. He has won a championship and at least one race for the last 10 consecutive years.
Sometimes Busch is like that kid in school that always got under your skin. At times you would hate that kid to death, but then he or she would do something nice and make you have to reconsider your opinion.
Busch is in the same position. His emotional response to Sunday’s performance shows that he still very much cares about what he does; he wants to remain in the sport and eventually return to a top-notch ride. Who wouldn’t love that redemption story?
Well, that’s the issue. After Penske Racing and Busch parted ways, Busch spent the rest of the offseason talking about how he wanted to do things right and get his career back on track. That’s wonderful. He could put his head down and grind through this season as best he could and then hope one of the big owners gave him another shot.
But just when we think Busch has changed and is dedicated to doing the right thing, he goes and has a dispute with Ryan Newman’s pit crew at Darlington that puts him on probation. He then mouths off to a reporter following the Nationwide race at Dover four weeks later to earn a suspension for the next week at Pocono.
All of a sudden any sympathy for Busch flew out the window. Those acts make him appear as the jerk everyone thinks he is right after an incident happens.
This leaves people into a state of confusion. They don’t know if Kurt Busch is a flat-out jerk who can’t get along with anybody or a good guy who just gets too wrapped-up in his emotions.
Either way, Busch has pushed the envelope to its breaking point. One more negative situation could be the end of the line for him in a Cup car that has consistent sponsorship.
But, as we saw Sunday, top-five runs in an unsponsored car can also expose the world to how good Busch is as a racecar driver. That could be his ticket to get back on a career path that is headed toward Victory Lane.


  1. This has already been written to death.

  2. First of all Kurt didn't approach the Ryan Newman team. They approached Kurt. Please Media get that straight. Kurt Busch is a great guy and a very good talented driver. The Media keeps asking Kurt questions about the past. He wants to move on and he's trying to do that but he is continuing to be badgered by the Media. If the Media can't put his past behind him then leave him the heck alone. There are 42 other drivers out there and some have more baggage then Kurt. Go interview them if you want a good story. There isn't a driver out there any more polite and nice as what Kurt Busch is. He's got feelings and a heart. Yes he has issues but who doesn't. The way he always gets kicked around we can understand his frustration. All you people out there that are always bashing him never liked him to begin with and by your comments you sound like your all on drugs or drunk and just down right nasty. You all need to get a job and you wouldn't have time to set and back stab someone you know nothing about. Name calling is a bad thing. You need to walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you bash them. Clean up your own act. The Media always picks out 1 that they can harrass. Nascar has become a money, media thing and shows to much favortism. Look at the stands. It tells the story. Stop publishing Kurt's past. It's getting to be old stuff. Move on so Kurt can.