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Kurt Busch can't seem to escape controversy...

Kurt Busch can't seem to escape controversy...

Kurt Busch: anger issues? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)



   By Mike Mulhern

   DOVER, Del.
   Kurt Busch did it again.
   Went ballistic.
   Over something surprisingly small.
   And now the speculation begins about what the next chapter in this long-running saga might hold.
   Busch, driving in Saturday's Nationwide race here in a car owned by brother Kyle, finished fourth, and when interviewed by TV on pit road after the race he said he'd felt a bit hamstrung in racing Justin Allgaier because he was on probation.
   When veteran journalist Bob Pockrass followed up on that issue, Busch went off: Probation, Busch said, "refrains me from beating the c**p out of you right now, because you ask me stupid questions.
     "But since I'm on probation, I suppose that that's improper to say as well."
   The first video: http://bit.ly/LW6vdh
   The live TV interview earlier: http://bit.ly/KCp1KU

   Busch was put on probation and fined $50,000 by NASCAR after an altercation involving Ryan Newman at Darlington three weeks ago.
   However it's Busch's lengthy 'record' that stands out here:
   Last November, in the Homestead Sprint Cup tour finale, Busch, after his transmission broke early in the race, ripped his crew. And when back in the garage he lit into veteran TV reporter Dr. Jerry Punch. That incident led team owner Roger Penske and Busch to split after the season, Busch losing a major-sponsored ride with one of the sport's top owners.
   The video: http://bit.ly/sULdnc  (Warning: rough language.)
   Last October Busch, in another ugly incident, lit into reporters at Charlotte asking about reports that crew chief Steve Addington would be leaving the team at the end of the season. (Addington did move on, joining Tony Stewart.)
   Last September, at Richmond, Busch tangled with another reporter: http://bit.ly/q2wHWP  (at :48 and 2:45).
   And those are only the most recent incidents Busch was involved in.


I'm in no way a Brothers Busch fan. But

I'm in no way a Brothers Busch fan. But something has been bothering me for years now, and I think Tony and Kurt are the drivers who are addressing it...isn't there some sort of limit to what the competitors have to put up with from the media? Where is the line drawn and who gets to draw it? Can you imagine Dale Sr. tolerating the National Enquirer mentality that seems to be pervasive in today's reportage? Perhaps KB's threats of bodily harm (which to me are laughable)ARE the line that can't be crossed. But is there any truth in what Kurt and Tony are saying? Do the drivers have to tolerate, ad infinitum, the same unimaginative questions from inumerable sources? Do we want PR robots or real personalities...even if that personality is offensive...and does the media disingenuously fan the flame to help make the story?

Why threaten the reporter?

I just don't understand why Kurt goes crazy on the pit reporters. If you don't like the questions, either don't answer them or walk away. Yes, some are badgering for an answer sometimes, but deal with it professionally and move on. Don't make more fodder for the ones taking the tabloid angle. As for his run-ins on the track, they are no different from any of the ones Earnhardt had, Stewart had, or going even further back, the ones that Darrell Waltrip had. Kurt just needs to learn how to handle it with the reporters and not assault them verbally for stuff that happened on or off the track with other drivers. His run-ins with other drivers aren't near as numerous as Earnhardt's were back in the day, but because of the way he reacts in interviews with reporters it gets magnified even more and it's no longer just a racing incident. He needs to straighten up, because his chances at seats in cars are getting smaller and smaller.

Not sure about 'the National Enquirer'

Not sure about 'the National Enquirer' mentality here, since the NASCAR media, by and large, is meek and mild, even moreso now that newspapers have cut virtually all NASCAR beat reporters.
That said, the problem with the NASCAR media these days is that it's pretty much all TV guys, with their own softball agendas; the few remaining hardcore reporters are, well, few and far between.
That said, what in the world was Kurt Busch thinking here? He'd just dealt, admirably, with tv asking the question, and showing the replays and all; why jump on another reporter's back for following up? especially with other tv cameras running. and what to make of the continued outbursts?
tony learned the deal, and generally he is now remarkably cool about it all, even in the face of silly questions.
as far as the Big E, he was brilliant with the media; as rough as he was with the competition on the track, he was generally very good with the media, particularly when he got in trouble (frequently, lol). and in defeat the Big E was downright magnificent. you should have seen him post-race at daytona after those many bitter losses in the 500. many in the current crop of drivers could take a lesson from how the Big E handled the media.

Suspend Kurt Already!

I wish NASCAR would do all of us a favor in Suspending Kurt Busch Already! He is bad news and bad luck and I feel the PR/HR report is growing old and part of the bargain of being a successful racer is dealing with the regular folks, not just the media.

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