Kurt Busch went on a tirade following his early exit from the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead.He has since apologized but had been fined $50,000 from NASCAR due to his actions.
When Busch attempted to turn his car into the garage he was initially blocked by an SUV that was at the track due to the presence of first lady Michelle Obama. Busch responded by giving the SUV the finger.
Minutes later Busch was annoyed while waiting to be interviewed by ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch. Busch questioned why the interview had not already happened and when he was told it was because they wanted to do it live, Busch responded that he wanted to do it live ten minutes ago. Of course Busch also sprinkled in some colorful language throughout the exchange that resulted in Punch calling off the interview.
I could defense each instance. Busch was obviously angry that his car expired so early in the race. It was the culminating act in what was a frustrating season for Busch. Despite two wins the 2004 Series Champion finished 11th in the driver standings.
Answering questions following a wreck or parts failure is not an easy task. Waiting around to be interviewed is worse. Busch was not obligated to talk.
The problem here is that there was no control by Busch. Busch lost his cool and never regained it. Had one event happened I could understand that it was simply from being frustrated. However with minutes going by between the two, and again Busch not required to even talk to Punch, there was a need for action by NASCAR.
Busch and Penske Racing have both apologized from the event. Busch’s teammate Brad Keselowski has said he will follow the company line for now. Anger and frustration are to be expected in any sport but prolonged spurts like the one Busch displayed at Homestead are simply not acceptable at any level.