NASCAR: Does Kurt Busch Deserve a 1-Year Suspension?
There were plenty of race car drivers fuming after numerous wrecks set the stage for yet another dominating Jimmie Johnson win at the Fed Ex 400. It was Johnson's seventh win at Dover International Speedway, and it reminded people that he will be gunning for his sixth championship in seven seasons.
Despite this win and the numerous wrecks, one of the biggest stories to come out of this race weekend did not even happen on Sunday. Instead, it was during the Nationwide race on Saturday where the colorful, controversial (and moronic?) Kurt Busch opened his big mouth yet again.
For those of you who may not know why Kurt Busch is now driving for a low-end NASCAR team and is now very involved in the Nationwide series, it comes down to the fact Busch has issues. Many people believe it is a legitimate struggle with anger issues. Others believe the issue is that Busch just does not know when to shut up.
Whatever the case, Busch was essentially fired by Penske racing last year for his multiple tirades towards his own team and, even worse, the media. He also has been put on probation by NASCAR...several times.
But no matter how many warnings Busch has received—and even though he is now racing with the young pups in Nationwide, and is on a NASCAR team that has fewer employees than one of Hendrick's four garages—he has still managed to get himself in trouble again.
Busch, already on a 2012 probation for incidents with former teammate Ryan Newman, verbally threatened Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass after he asked Busch about problems he had with Justin Allgaier during Saturday's 5-Hour Energy 200.
Speaking before thinking (again) and caught on camera by SPEED (via Deadspin), Busch answered back, "It refrains me from not beating the s--- out of you right now because you ask me stupid questions. But because I'm on probation I suppose that's improper to say as well."
Probations will not do it. Even getting fired by one of the best teams in NASCAR will not do it, either. If none of this will get the message through Kurt Busch's head, what will?
A suspension. A long one.
Kurt Busch is one of the more talented drivers in all of NASCAR. Since his title in 2004, he has routinely been in the Chase.
But because of his tendency to lash out at other drivers and threaten the media, he is a few steps away from becoming the next Jeremy Mayfield—a talented driver blacklisted by the organization and the owners.
Suspending him for an entire season may be the last chance Busch gets with NASCAR and the owners that write the checks. Maybe a year away from everything will give him a chance to truly appreciate the opportunity he has right now.
There are thousands upon thousands of car racers that are toiling on smaller circuits that dream of sitting in Kurt Busch's seat. If Busch does not seek help or get wise really quickly, he will be the one doing small track racing every Friday night and attending conventions as a sideshow attraction as the "Bad Boy of NASCAR."
Busch should watch the movie The Wrestler and see the life of a washed-up former superstar who now needs to go to D-level shows and pathetic looking autograph sessions just to keep his head above water. If he wants to avoid a similar fate, then he better change his act immediately.
In the end, it is all up to Busch. But instead of just slapping him with a fine or warning him that the next time he does something, a harsher penalty may result, go ahead and do it now.
Kurt Busch would probably not realize it, but it would absolutely be for his own good.
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