Monday, December 05, 2011

It's Official: Busch Out At Penske Racing

Penske Racing announced today that it has reached a mutual agreement with driver Kurt Busch to end its driver/race team relationship, effective immediately.

The team will evaluate its options for the driver of the No. 22 Sprint Cup Series car in the future while Busch will seek new opportunities with another race team.

"I appreciate the victories that Kurt has brought Penske Racing and our sponsors over the past six years," said Roger Penske. "While I am disappointed that Kurt will not be racing for our team in the future, both Kurt and I felt that separating at this time was best for all parties, including our team and sponsors. I wish Kurt the best in his future racing endeavors."

“I am grateful to Penske Racing for six very productive years," said Busch. "Together, we won a lot of races; 16 in all. I’m proud that we won on a variety of tracks and this past season reached Victory Lane four times. Another highlight was pushing my teammate to a Daytona 500 win. I also appreciate the lasting friendships I’ve made while working with our great sponsors through the years, including Miller Lite, Shell and Dodge."

Busch called the decision to part company "a positive step for me. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I took time to reflect on what is most important to me and realized I need to find a way to put the fun back into racing. It’s time for a fresh start. Leaving a great organization and a lucrative contract is not easy, but it allows me to take a deep breath and work on things that can make me a better driver and a better person.

"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. I never want to take for granted that it’s a privilege to earn a living as a NASCAR driver. As I begin this new chapter in my career, I’m excited about the future and committed to making the changes necessary for me to enjoy racing again, to compete for championships and to better represent NASCAR, my sponsors, my team and my fans.

“I want to personally thank Roger Penske for the opportunity he gave me and for his friendship, which will continue long into the future.”

While the Penske statement made no mention of either Shell or Pennzoil, sources close to the team say both sponsors approved Busch's departure from the team, and will remain on the #22 Dodge in 2012 and beyond. There is no official word on Busch's replacement, though former Roush Fenway Racing driver David Ragan is believed to be the leading candidate.


  1. Anonymous12:01 PM

    The Homestead race scored a 4.6 rating on cable. The Walking Dead, a show about the zombie apocalypse, scored a 4.2 that same night. Firing Kurt Busch isn't going to improve NASCAR's ratings......

  2. Anonymous12:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Anonymous12:53 PM

    i'm glad he is getting help. I hope his brother does as well. when you can't control a "violent" temper off the track or during a causion, something is very wrong. tempers duting the race with "boys have at it", is fine. but these two have done more than just verbal or fist throwing fights. they have use their cars (both race and personal cars) to vent or just for wreckless driving. this is were someone could get killed. if you can't get control of yourself before you reach that danger point, something is very wrong.

    Lori from Colorado

  4. If you can't communicate without using profanity or insulting your fellow posters, don't bother commenting here. It will be taken down.

  5. anonymous internet genius2:42 PM

    we all knew that busch was unhappy with penske performance at times. you can only believe what both parties have stated and that is that the vacating was a mutual agreement. i think the best drinking game for the off season is to take a shot every time the media says he was fired. i would venture to guess the over/under on 'fired' for todays show will be 50 considering the hosts, guests and callers.

  6. Anonymous2:50 PM

    Why does Kyle get beat up in the comment sections here every time there is a story posted about Kurt?

    Why does Kurt get beat up when there is a story about Kyle?

    Do the readers of this site understand that these are two different guys?

    Until Kurt and Kyle are caught sleeping in a truck behind a furniture store, the readers should stop lumping them together.

  7. Anonymous2:50 PM

    I hope that Kurt does get the help he needs. His behavior is unacceptable to all of us and glad to see Roger Penske and Shell Oil won't tolerate it either. Hopefully he has not been abusive to his girlfriend and maybe she can be a positive influence and help in getting his head screwed on straight.

  8. henry wipf3:34 PM

    we all hope that when we mess up ,someone is willing to us a second chance,not codoning kurt's actions at all,but i'm sure if u asked kurt ,that's all he's asking for.i'll be the first in line to say welcome back,after he get's his stuff straightened out.we know he has the talent,and if he comes back with a clear head,look out.kurt fan since 99 with hammond as his crew chief,still a fan,but it will be tough not having your guy on track at daytona.i'm pullin for ,kurt

  9. Anonymous6:40 PM

    These two brothers need help.
    They are a black eye for Nascar.
    I wish they would drive into the sunset.
    I used to be a fan of theirs,but not anymore.
    They need a bar of soap and hickory switch used on them

  10. Anonymous9:18 PM

    It's sad you think punishment for grown men is a bar of soap and a hickory switch. What would you do to children?

  11. Anonymous10:43 PM

    they are lumped together because they both are in trouble...they both keep getting into trouble. they both say they will get help over the years,but it doesn't seem to help. they both keep doing stupid things.