It’s been a bad month for Kurt Busch. After chewing out an ESPN reporter and receiving a $50,000 fine from NASCAR, Busch has lost his position with Penske Racing.
Both Busch and Penske Racing say that the split, which occurred after 6-seasons together, was mutual, but there aren’t too many people who are buying it. After Busch’s latest outburst, Penske said:
“These actions do not represent Penske Racing and are inconsistent with the company’s standards for behavior, respect for others and professionalism… This matter is being reviewed internally.”
Busch also had a successful career with Penske. Last season he won two races and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. So its unlikely that he’d walk away willingly from the Penske Racing Team.
But in a video released today, Busch says that the split from Penske is a “positive step” in his racing career.
Here’s the video from Kurt Busch.
Penske Racing crew chief Steve Addington recently left the team due to turmoil with Busch. Addington was Busch’s second crew chief to quit in three years.
CBS reports that Buch won 10 Cup races since joining Penske Racing in 2006. Busch also made it to the Chase four out of his 6 seasons with the team. On the track they were a match, but Busch says that his aggressive attitude never fit with the organization.
“I’m not sure I was the best fit. My frankness and my intensity, it didn’t play the way I intended it to. It didn’t fit.”
Penske will retain its major sponsors, Shell and Pennzoil, in Busch’s absence. Shell said in a statement:
“Shell and Pennzoil utilize our motorsports program to gain technical knowledge for our products and brands and to promote them to consumers in a positive way. Moving forward we will continue to work with the team at Penske Racing and to evaluate the best options for our motorsports program.”
Yahoo! Sports notes that this is the second time that Busch has been fired. He was fired by Jack Roush in 2005 after Busch was cited for reckless driving. In a statement released today, Busch said that he was working on channeling his passion. Busch said:
“I recognize the passion and emotion that have helped me succeed on the track need to be better channeled off the track. The past few months I began working with a sports psychologist to help me better deal with my emotions, especially following moments of frustration during competition.”
But is it too late? Has Kurt Busch messed him his last chance to be a championship driver?