Sunday, June 03, 2012

Busch Meets With NASCAR After Clash With Reporter

Kurt Busch met with NASCAR officials this morning at Dover International Speedway to explain his side of a verbal confrontation with a reporter following Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Busch finished fourth Saturday after a late-race battle with Justin Algaier. The two tangled briefly earlier in the event, and exchanged words afterward on pit road. Busch said Algaier, “drove like a you-know-what all day. He tried to door us and tried to do stupid things out on the track. (But) I'm on probation, so I can't even pick my nose the right way."
"There's clowns that want to play and we'll play,” he said. “I’ve got no problem with it. But then there's fans that will get on blog sites and Twitter tonight and just start talking a bunch of riff-raff. (All) it was, was the initial start of the race. Race your car kid, race your car. That's all there is to it."
Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass then asked Busch if he had raced Algaier with restraint due to being placed on NASCAR probation after last month’s Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington.
"It refrains me from beating the (expletive) out of your right now, because you ask me stupid questions,” snapped Busch. “But since I'm on probation, I suppose that that's improper to say, as well.
“If you would talk about racing things, we can talk about racing,” said Busch, to which Pockrass responded, “It is racing.”
Busch then replied, “It is not racing. You’re in this just to start stuff. That’s all you’re out here for.”
The 2004 Series champion parted company with Penske Racing at the end of the 2011 season; a tumultuous campaign that included three different run-ins with reporters. He was physically restrained by team members during an extremity-filled tirade directed at writer Joe Menzer at Richmond International Raceway in September, and tore up a written transcript of an earlier interview offered by Associated Press reporter Jenna Fryer. Most notably, he directed a series of obscenities at ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch at the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

He has driven for Phoenix Racing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season, after repeatedly stating a desire to “put the fun back in racing.”

Busch was summoned to NASCAR’s mobile office following Sunday’s driver’s meeting at Dover, but neither he nor the sanctioning body commented on what was said. He was allowed to start the “Fed Ex 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks,” but could face penalties from NASCAR next week.


  1. So much for just having fun racing this year.

  2. Anonymous2:45 PM

    Someone needs to beat the (expletive) out of Kurt and maybe just maybe he would see the big picture

    1. Anonymous6:52 PM

      And I guess you're just the man to do it? The keyboard, a wonder place to call for a beatin' from.

    2. Unfortunately, I don't think that'll make a difference.

  3. Brian Kramer2:56 PM

    Kurt may be on to something about Pockrass. I remember 2 or 3 weeks ago Bob got Pete and Bagman all stirred up during his weekly segment on their show ;) Right now I can't remember what the topic was.

  4. Anonymous3:02 PM

    Talented or not, I wish that NASCAR would say goodbye permanently to this Busch and then the other one on his next loss of control. These two are never ever going to learn.

  5. Anonymous4:43 PM

    It doesen't look as if he is learning anything at all at least not restraint if other drivers can accomplish a good interview with a lot worse finish than he had.This was to be a year to have fun and build up your reputation I don't think it's working.

  6. schreib5:28 PM

    Reporters are paid to do their jobs,to ask questions,and to find out what happens both on and off the track.Bob Pockrass was doing his job. I dont understand Kurts problem.Is he so frustrated that his career path now consists of driving for an underfunded team as compared to his previous rides,and is now boiling over at the realization of what the end results of his poor choices are? Are we having fun yet, Kurt?

  7. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Nascar needs to give Kurt a vacation for a year, he has the money, it is that our a broken jaw and I dont think a broken jaw would fix his problem.

  8. Anonymous6:50 PM

    Pocky stirs the pot and Kurt gets blamed. Of course ole Pocky doesn't get a meeting in the trailer.

    1. Bob Pockrass was doing his job. Nothing more, nothing less. Kurt introduced the probation angle, implying that he may have handled things differently with Algaier if he were not under NASCAR's microscope. Pockrass had every right -- and a responsibility as a reporter -- to follow-up on that comment. Blaming the questioner for an inappropriate answer is misplacing the blame.

    2. Anonymous9:40 PM

      Amen, Dave. Couldn't have said it better myself. It was a fair question by Pockrass.

  9. Anonymous6:51 PM

    Congratulations Moody....we know what will consume 98.9% of the calls to your show tomorrow (please schedule lots of guests).

  10. Anonymous6:53 PM

    hey kurt i understand southpoint needs a janitor

  11. Well, I have been a long time Kurt supporter, and I like Kyle more. I gave him a pass after last year, I was not happy with his tirade a few weeks ago and now this latest incident has made me come to the point, Kurt has to go. He is unable to control his temper, I do not watch every race or every tape, but this is too much.

    I have watched many of my favorite drivers come out steaming mad and still they are able to answer questions, I understand the frustration, but the man came in like 4th place. He is an over grown kid, he is unable to grow up and it is time, we let Kurt run back to where ever he came from and stew for a few years.

    The NASCAR community is a very classy bunch of athletes and compared to other professional sports we have the best in the business and the most access compared to other sports. Threatening to kick someones butt is not acceptable, and we should not tolerate it.

    Kurt did not represent his team nor his sponsors very well, and I am sure there is a clause in his contract (If there is a contract) covering his less than stellar out burst.

    Say good bye and move on, there are other drivers that would give their soul's to drive in this series and maybe someone with respect of other human beings would serve his car owner and sponsor better.

  12. Anonymous9:45 PM

    Enough is enough. Suspend Kurt for 1 year or atleast till after the Daytona 500 of '13. Put him on lifetime probation. If he so much as a Nascar offiicial or a member of the press, ban him for life. Enough is enough!

  13. Robert G.10:36 PM

    So this question may have been appropriate (it is in the eyes of some and not others. Certainly not Kurt).
    But who gets to decide when a question is over the line?
    Like the old question: Do you still beat your wife?
    And this applies not only to NASCAR, but journalism in general.
    Guess it is up to the public to weigh in.

    1. It's up to the person being asked I guess. I mean just because he was asked does not mean he has to answer. Yeah he'll probably catch some flack for not doing it, we've seen that happen before, but saying you want to kick someone's a** is a little over the line when it comes to responding.

  14. Kurt Busch has issues. Who doesn't? I'm not sitting in my glass house writing this.

    That being said, I am held to a certain standard while representing my employer. I'm held to a certain standard when representing my family. We all are. Drivers are held to a higher, but not unreachable standard, than most of us Joes. The visibility warrants it. The money demands it. NASCAR stands out among professional sports, because of the quality of athletes. I don't mean physical prowess. I mean quality of character. Sure, we've had our black eyes. We are human.

    Kurt consistently shows a lack of character and, I'm not saying throw him out of the sport. This problem is much like the Dover racetrack-Self cleaning. He's decimated the bridges he's crossed in this sport. Owners always seem to be willing to hire the "hot shoe", but I feel after this season, he will religate himself to an occasional race in his little brother's car. He's damaged goods that seem to only be halfway through the gauntlet.

    If he continues on his current course, they'll be nothing but the shell of a once proud Champion by season's end. And while not a soul on the outside looking in, will have any question why it happened. Kurt will be left with the reality of what is, and the question of what might have been, if only he could have maintained the standards that are expected of all of us.

    "...Wasted talent." -A Bronx Tale

  15. Bruce Forrester1:54 AM

    I am not a Busch fan at all, but I have been rooting for him to hopefully turn things around, maybe not as much for him, but for James Finch. He deserves a break. Kurt on the other hand while having problems I'm not really sure this was as bad as people makes it and should only receive a talking to.

  16. I think Tony Stewart said it very well on Wind Tunnel tonight. Kurt is a good guy, off the track no one seems to have an issue with him. He is intelligent, articulate, and talented. Unfortunately the temper has really gotten the best of him and after this story, may be the straw that broke the camel's back. Even after Darlington I backed Kurt. This may just be too far even for myself.

    At least Kyle has kept his nose seemingly clean this year.

    1. Geosez11:17 AM

      I certainly agreed with Tony last night when he said Kurt has issues not connected to racing. Hopefully he can get help with that sometime, somewhere.

  17. Anonymous8:43 AM

    Nascar needs to let him sit out a few races ,he on probation now ,cant go around threatening reporters for doing there job,

  18. There's precedent for this. What did NASCAR do to Tony when Tony was more than verbally agressive with the media? That's what needs to be done here.

    I know the media can ask questions that are probably better asked at a different time but it is up to the driver to just not answer, answer politically or walk away.