Redemption doesn’t come easy, especially not in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Series veteran and 2004 NASCAR Champion Kurt Busch has been on this long hard road to redemption for a season now. Busch now drives for Furniture Row Racing after being let go from Penske Racing because even Roger Penske couldn’t defend his behavior anymore.
While there are scores of Kyle Busch haters out there, his brother Kurt was the real NASCAR bad boy. Cussing constantly on camera and starting bouts with other drivers on and off the track, unsavory behaviour led Busch in a downward spiral until he found himself kicked out of one of the mainstream NASCAR Sprint Cup teams and into a small team.
Even with all of that hanging like a dark storm cloud above him, Busch has been able to pull out a great season with the low budget Furniture Row.
Slowly but surely, Busch’s natural abilities that led him to be a champion are returning. On the full moon Saturday night Toyota Owners 400 feature at Richmond International Raceway, he was able to finish in ninth to get his third top-10 finish of the year. He also had a fourth place finish at Bristol and a fifth at Fontana the week after.
More interesting than Busch’s top-10 finish Saturday was the fracas between he and other series veteran Tony Stewart. Stewart felt that Busch had driven too rough on the restart.
Busch handled it surprisingly well, considering his past history. He calmly said that he was focused on the solid finish he had and that he didn’t understand where Stewart’s criticisms were coming from. It showed a maturity Busch has notably lacked as a driver in the Sprint Cup. If he can continue to mature as well as take this low budget team to victory lane, he will have earned his place back in the NASCAR pantheon.