Blog Entry

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: December 5, 2011 4:41 pm
Posted by Pete Pistone

Speculation became fact on Monday when Penske Racing and Kurt Busch announced they were ending their relationship.

The Charlotte Observer first reported the split late Sunday night and the news was made official when Penske and Busch both released statements regarding the decision.

"I appreciate the victories that Kurt has brought Penske Racing and our sponsors over the past six years," said Roger Penske. "While I am disappointed that Kurt will not be racing for our team in the future, both Kurt and I felt that separating at this time was best for all parties, including our team and sponsors. I wish Kurt the best in his future racing endeavors."

Busch enjoyed success while racing for the legendary team owner including multiple Sprint Cup victories as well as appearances in the Chase. But after a 2011 season that included a myriad of emotional outbursts, coming to a head at the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway which included an obscenity-laden tirade against ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch and his camera crew, the decision to move on was made.

Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion, thanked Penske for the opportunity to be part of the organization in a statement that was also released on Monday.

"I am grateful to Penske Racing for six very productive years," read the statement. "Together we won a lot of races – 16 in all.  I’m proud that we won on a variety of tracks and this past season reached Victory Lane four times.  Another highlight was pushing my teammate to a Daytona 500 win.  I also appreciate the lasting friendships I’ve made while working with our great sponsors through the years, including Miller Lite, Shell and Dodge.

“Coming to a mutual agreement to go our separate ways is a positive step for me. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I took time to reflect on what is most important to me and realized I need to find a way to put the fun back into racing.  It’s time for a fresh start.  Leaving a great organization and a lucrative contract is not easy, but it allows me to take a deep breath and work on things that can make me a better driver and a better person. 

“I recognize the passion and emotion that have helped me succeed on the track need to be better channeled off the track.  The past few months I began working with a sports psychologist to help me better deal with my emotions, especially following moments of frustration during competition. 

“I never want to take for granted that it’s a privilege to earn a living as a NASCAR driver.  As I begin this new chapter in my career, I’m excited about the future and committed to making the changes necessary for me to enjoy racing again, to compete for championships and to better represent NASCAR, my sponsors, my team and my fans.“I want to personally thank Roger Penske for the opportunity he gave me and for his friendship, which will continue long into the future.” 

Penske is expected the fill the seat with David Ragan while at present Busch announced no immediate plans for his racing future.

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Since: Dec 19, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:36 pm

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

In a day and age where the mighty sponsor dollar is so important, drivers and owners are forced to play by the sponsor's rules now. I think its sad cause Kurt has a special talent to a drive a racecar. Kurt Busch needs NASCAR more than NASCAR needs him.

Since: Sep 17, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 2:48 pm

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

You sure you're not talking about Kyle? He took out Hornaday pretty blatantly in a Truck race this season.

Kurt's done it too, but not as often as his younger bro.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2011 2:29 pm

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

Kurt Busch has already reached the next level. He won a championship for christ's sake. He will never reach that level again, though, because of his temper and because with the likes of JJ and Tony around, it's a lot harder to compete. It doesn't help that he's liable to be in the #83, #78, or another minor team and have little chance to compete.

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 2:26 pm

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

Maybe Kurt and Kyle can join Robby Gordon's team. They can create tantrum motorsports, and all three drive slowly around the tracks because of their lack of sponsorship dollars. After all it is these same types of actions that forced Robby out on his own. All three have great tallent, but if you cannot find a sponsor than you cannot race (at least not competitively).

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:32 pm

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

Kurt was my favorite driver and a huge talent but his lack of on track disapline was indefenceable. Once you start having sponsors pull out, I don't care how fast he drives... plowing into another driver at any time is inexcusable. I'll be interested to see who signs him, but right now he needs to stop acting like the Bill Laimbeer (what/who/me) of NASCAR.

Since: Oct 25, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:23 pm

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

Gee Kurt ,maybe if you weren't such a jerk you might have a job..Kyle should fired too but Joe Gibbs is a whimp to not pull the trigger on him as well.
Roger Penske did the right thing..

2 of the biggest jerks in NASCAR and happen to be brothers..
Hmmm ,can we blame the parents ? lol..

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:45 pm

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

I would not nominate either of the Busch brothers for church office, but as racecar drivers they are among the best in the field.  This is silly to worry over their brashness.  As an owner, I would sign either one up in a minute.  They are out there on the front lines.  They are going to bring victories and headlines. 

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:33 pm

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

Kurt & Kyle should start their own two-car team.  Then they could see what it's like to be a car owner trying to find sponsorship for a couple of men who act like children.  They could just duke it out with each other all the time.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:28 pm

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

Both of the Busch boys are jerks. If they could channel their talent and huge egos, they might be able to reach the next level in the sport.Until then, we will have to be content with them whining whenever things don't go their way.

Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:24 am

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing agree to part ways

It's never easy living out a life in the public view. It's not easy even when it's not. While professional entertainers find themselves in the limelight by choice of profession, we often forget they are just people. They make easy targets for the rest of us fallible folks. Kurt (and Kyle) demonstrated over the seasons some of the worst of our behaviors. Ours never make it to the front page of websites or newspapers. Would that we all remember that someone is watching ... and that pertains to those on the big stage as well as those of us in the neigborhood. We need to make no excuses, just remember how you want to be treated and treat others the same.

... done ramblin'
charis kai eirene

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