Monday, June 25, 2012

Kurt Got It Right This Weekend

Kurt Busch got it right this weekend; both on and off the race track.

The supremely talented former Sprint Cup Series champion turned in a pair of virtuoso performances at Road America and Sonoma, following each outing with a sincere, controlled and enjoyable round of post-race commentary.

After a 2,178-mile commute from Sonoma, Calif., Busch arrived at Road America in time for a single, pre-qualifying Pace Car lap of the 4.049-mile road course. He qualified 22nd, then reported issues with the car’s transmission that dropped him to the tail of the starting grid after a replacement transmission was installed. He joked of learning more about the track while waving to fans during a pre-race ride-around in the back of a pickup truck, and once the green flag flew, Busch put that newfound knowledge to work. From a last-place starting spot, he passed 13 cars in the opening lap alone. He overcame a pit road miscue that left his tank only partially filled with fuel, and rebounded from damage sustained when Miguel Paludo overshot a turn and used Busch’s left-front fender as an inadvertent guard rail.

At day’s end, Busch wheeled brother Kyle’s Monster Energy Toyota Camry under the checkered flag in eighth-place, prompting expressions of awe from even his most ardent detractors.

"We didn't have enough for them today," said a satisfied, smiling Busch to his crew, before transferring to a helicopter to begin his return trip to Sonoma.

Sunday, Busch was a force to be reckoned with in James Finch’s unsponsored No. 51 Chevrolet, jousting with eventual winner Clint Bowyer for the lead in the late going, despite a broken panhard bar mount that cause him to struggle in the turns. Despite losing the race – and the runner-up spot to Tony Stewart – Busch spoke proudly of his effort afterward.

Kurt was a force at Sonoma.

"When you're on a third of the budget and you almost bring it to Victory Lane, you can't say that one guy does it," said Busch. "It takes a full team effort. I really wanted to deliver for my guys today, and being that close and making one mistake, it's a tough game.
"Having a wounded car like that, I had to yield to Tony,” he admitted. “I didn't want to get up into the loose gravel and lose a bunch of spots. So it's a great day for Phoenix Racing and James Finch, who gave me this opportunity.”
Busch revealed he had to coax Finch into racing at Sonoma at all, saying, “(James was) like, `The hell with that road racing stuff, I ain't even going out to California.’ So it's great to surprise him with a nice Top-3 finish out here."
"I'm a little choked up," he admitted. "These guys work so hard building these cars. Over the years, James Finch has only specialized in superspeedway cars. Now we’re building mile-and-a-half cars, short track cars and they pieced this road race car together Monday at midnight. And here we are. We had a shot at winning.”
Busch said his successful weekend gives him confidence that he can turn his season around and conquer the personal demons that have dogged him in the past.
"If I can get my head on straight here -- and after the race -- then I'm able to race every weekend and go for victories.”
Photo Credits:,


  1. even if you don't agree with things he has done in the past, the man can sure drive his rear off. Great job.

  2. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Good for Kurt, he done good. he raced like a champion all weekend, and not surprisingly made a lot of people believers again.

    Artists are always on the edge. The Black Hat brothers are absolutely wheel artists.

    Well done Kurt. Well done.

    PS thanks for the story Godfather.

    Doug from NJ

  3. chris1:43 PM

    Maybe he's getting a handle on the inner demons.

  4. No one doubts his driving ability, it's his decision-making, especially after incidents, that is his Achilles' Heel. If he gets back to contending for the series, everybody out there knows he can be derailed easily. He still needs a Spencering before he can be considered cured.

  5. Anonymous5:10 PM

    The Busch Brothers are the main reason I watch NASCAR. Can you imagine how boring it would be without them. We all get those thoughts into our head. They just need not to express those thoughts with their mouths.

  6. Getting the most points throughout the course of a season is only part of what makes a champion.

    This weekend, Kurt displayed everything that being a champion entails. He drove a car that I've seen lesser drivers wreck on ovals as they gingerly make their way to the pits, with cars that had broken track bars. Kurt manhandled that piece on Sears Point! Watching the rear wheels taking turns peeking out of the body as he swung it left and right- Wow. I didn't think he would even take the last green flag with the car in that shape. A champion wouldn't think that an option.

    All that was a display in itself that shows the talent that got him a championship. What he did afterward, is what makes champions.

    For the first time in too long to recall, I saw something in Kurt that shows he can get over his problems. I saw for a second during his interview, that yesterday, he got it. It seems its finally settling in and that he may be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that, for a long time had gone dim. He finally showed the good heartfelt emotion. Not the heat of passion kind that drives people to do things they normally wouldn't. It was like a thankful relief. It was good to see.

    Here's to hoping it continues to shine for him. Its good to have that guy around. The other Kurt can stay MIA.

    Gruntled with "new" Kurt

  7. WOW! This is a GREAT quote from him... "If I can get my head on straight here -- and after the race -- then I'm able to race every weekend and go for victories.” Thanks Moody for sharing that, I didn't hear Kurt say that.