Kurt Busch Losing his Ride at Penske Racing?
Looks like Roger Penske and Shell Pennzoil have had enough of Kurt Busch and are looking for better representation. The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Kurt Busch has been fired from driving the #22 Shell/Pennzoil car in 2012 and beyond.
During the season finally at Homestead Miami speedway the #22 Dodge lost a transmission and exited the race early. While waiting to be interviewed by Dr. Jerry Punch of ESPN Kurt went on an expletive laced tirade which was caught on video by a fan and posted on YouTube. A week ago NASCAR fined Busch $50,000.00 for his actions.
In a sport which generates almost all of its revenue from sponsors, extreme disrespect of the media by their spokes persons can’t be acceptable. It appears that this time Kurt Busch has stepped over the line and the fine by NASCAR pales in comparison to losing his ride. At the current time NASCAR is still in a recession. Currently there is actually a reduction in well funded cars with sponsors. Kurt will find it very difficult to get a new ride in a competitive car. He might even have to sit out a year.
The options for Penske are quite good. Cup drivers from last year David Reutimann, David Ragan, and Brian Vickers currently are available. Sam Hornish who already drives for Penske in the Nationwide series would also be available.
Since Kurt Busch’s leaving the #22 car would be the result of not representing the sponsor well, David Ragan would be the best candidate for his replacement as he has been a great representative of UPS the past few seasons.
This story is still developing. Kurt Busch had a long term contract and it will not be as simple to just “Fire” him.