|Kinder, gentler Kurt.|
Three months ago, Kurt Busch directed an obscenity laced tirade at ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Captured by a race fan and his cellular telephone, video of the incident went viral across the internet, igniting a controversy that saw Busch fined $50,000 by NASCAR and eventually played a major role in his offseason departure from Penske Racing.
Today, Busch apologized to Punch during ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series practice from the World Center of Racing. The Phoenix Racing driver embraced Punch, saying, “Let's just start off with a hug, Doc,” before adding, “I'm so sorry with the way last year ended.
“I feel horrible,” continued Busch. “With this offseason, all the work that I've gone through to put together this (Nationwide Series) team with Kyle (and) the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet on the Cup side, it's a humbling experience. We're going to have a lot of fun and we're going to do this with a serious effort."