It is often said that when times are rough, a change of scenery can be just what you need. It is safe to say that a change of scenery is just what Kurt Busch needs.
Once at the top of NASCAR's highest peak, Busch suffered through a dismal 2012 where he only managed to score a handful of top-10 finishes. On top of that, after earning a suspension after the Darlington race due to a scuffle with Ryan Newman's crew, he was suspended after the Nationwide Dover race after spouting off a not-so-savory remark to reporter Bob Pockrass.
2012 was Busch's worst season since his rookie year, and 2013 isn't going to be any better. There is only one way this could be resolved: Busch needs to go to the NHRA.
Sure, that statement seems laughable at first. Can you imagine Busch's first tirade against the officials? The first time he goes after Jason Line in the staging lanes? "That [expletive] tried to burn me down at the tree!" It would be quite entertaining. Busch's personality would make him the most colorful individual in drag racing since John Force.
But Busch is no stranger to drag racing.
In 2009 Busch appeared with then-crew chief Pat Tryson on Speed Channel's Pass Time. In 2010 he took his Pro Street 1970 Dodge Challenger to Z-Max Dragway for an episode of Pinks: All Out," also on the Speed Channel. 2011 saw his debut in the NHRA Pro Stock ranks when he qualified for the Gatornationals in an Allen Johnson-tuned Dodge. He lost to Erica Enders-Stevens in Round 1.
After that loss, Busch didn't seem at all fazed. In qualifying, he made a few mistakes that could be attributed to inexperience (i.e. smoking the tires off the line, not staging in time). But when eliminations rolled around, he managed to give Enders a run for her money, with his 6.54 pass losing to her 6.53.
Should Kurt Busch try his hand at NHRA full-time?
I may be wrong, but I do not see Busch joining a competitive team anytime soon. So why not take the plunge? NHRA and NASCAR are two worlds apart. The fans are different, the racing is different and the stakes are different. The atmosphere of an NHRA event is more easygoing than a NASCAR event.
In a sense, that would be therapeutic to the tempestuous Busch. If he has a bad day, there would be less time for his frustrations to boil over. NASCAR races run for hours on end, but in the NHRA passes usually go for eight seconds or less. That would be less of an opportunity to do something stupid before you have to face the crowd.
I doubt he'll let his frustrations get the best of him. Busch holds an affinity for drag racing that doesn't seem to compare with his love for stock cars. We've all seen that a happier Busch produces results, so if he does go to the NHRA, expect him to find success after awhile.