Dear Roger Penske: Kurt Busch Needs to Go. NASCAR Deserves Better

Connor KishContributor IIINovember 30, 2011

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 11:  Kurt Busch, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 11, 2011 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

My job here is to provide insights that people want to read, and Kurt Busch's job is to drive a race car. But he has spent much of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season making apologies.

It seems like every week Busch has a radio meltdown, or as SPEEDTV's Jimmy Spencer has dubbed it, a "Kurt Busch Radio Sweetheart."

A bad pit stop. A loose race car. A tight race car. It all results in a meltdown. Busch curses, and he bashes soon-to-be former crew chief, Steve Addington. (Addington will resign from Penske at the end of the season).

He can't seem to focus on his job—drive the car. It's always the team's fault or NASCAR's fault. Never his.

 "The Captain," Roger Penske, runs a no-nonsense organization that has few issues on and off the track. Busch's antics are the opposite of what Penske Racing is about. 

Things came to a head after the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. ESPN's Jerry Punch, a longtime and respected member of the NASCAR media, pursued a live interview with Busch at the conclusion of the race in which Busch's car had mechanical issues.

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The interview was a profanity-laced tirade towards Punch. The incident was caught on tape and posted on YouTube, where it now holds nearly 600,000 views. Towards the end of the video, Punch is heard saying, "Never mind, never mind," and walks away from Busch.

This isn't the Penske Racing type of behavior we have come to know and respect, and apparently Shell-Pennzoil doesn't think so either. They released a statement expressing displeasure with Busch's antics.

How many times can he apologize? Enough is enough. I'm tired of Kurt Busch's negativity and bad attitude when thousands of young, talented and respectful drivers dream of an opportunity to drive a fully sponsored Cup Series car for Roger Penske. If it means so little to Kurt then he can leave.

If he won't leave, then it's time for "The Captain" to step in—fire Kurt Busch and hire someone with a little more class and better attitude. It'll get you further.


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