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 NASCAR.com 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.