Kurt Busch Back in the Saddle, for Now

Russell SchmidtContributor IJune 12, 2012

Kurt Busch
Kurt BuschPatrick Smith/Getty Images

Recently suspended Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch has met with car owner James Finch and they have agreed to get back to racing, according to ESPN's David Newton.

That puts Busch back in the No. 51 for this weekend at Michigan after David Reutimann ran the car last week at Pocono to keep the owner's points alive and above the top 35 mark.

I don't think this was as difficult a decision as a lot of people felt it would be for Finch. After all, the bottom line is results and marketability, and let's face it; Kurt is still marketable and very competitive.

The guy is a wheel man with nearly two dozen wins to his credit alongside a Cup title. That puts him in a position to make nearly every race regardless of problems in qualifying, and as far as marketability, it obviously didn't bother Monster Energy Drink, as the company prefers someone that is controversial and notable.

What were Finch's options? What drivers could have slid behind the wheel? Scott Speed? Cole Whitt? Tony Raines? Scott Riggs? Ken Schrader? Mike Skinner?

The pickens right now are kind of slim with anybody worth their salt already hired and busy. All of the above drivers are experienced, but none are an ex-champ and none are really on the market for top sponsor dollars.

I suppose Kurt and James sat down and talked about the future. Kurt promised to race hard, keep the wrecking of cars down—he's wrecked a reported 14 cars so far this season—and curb his comments to the press and the crew.

While I'd say there were promises made, keeping them will be another story. Kurt really needs to look hard and strong in the mirror, and get his mind straight to keep his NASCAR career afloat. There are some good possibilities for him starting next year and beyond but not if he is set back again.

After all, he is on double secret probation for the rest of the year and another episode of bad behavior will hurt his shot at another decent ride and at earning future sponsor dollars.

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