The Sad Story of Kurt Busch

[media-credit id=62 align=”alignright” width=”247″][/media-credit]This whole Kurt Busch controversy really disturbs me. I’ve had times in my life and my career when I got in trouble. Everyone has. When it happened, I made super sure that I kept my nose clean until the storm passed by. It’s on human nature. Unfortunately, many people don’t follow this example. One of them is Kurt Busch.

I will tell you that Kurt Busch isn’t the only driver who can be short with reporters. As many of you know, I’ve spent the last 16 years toiling as a reporter and editor for a web-based organization and I have had my moments. None of them were ever on television, however and I never gave it a second thought. Almost from day one, the MO was get the information quickly and on-line. I won’t mention the names of those that pretty much ignored or acted arrogant with me, because it doesn’t matter, but they are few.

I’ve found most of the drivers and crews more than willing to spend some time with me in conversation. Likewise, I’ve found most people who report on NASCAR to be gentlemen and ladies, and that includes Dr. Jerry Punch, Jenna Fryer, and Bob Pockrass, the objects of Kurt Busch’s outbursts. I once approached Ms. Fryer at a restaurant in Bristol just to introduce myself and was treated with respect and a smile. It was the same with the good doctor and Mr. Pockrrass. The late, great David Poole , Monte Dutton, and Thomas Pope have been more than helpful. The press is not your enemy. Unfortunately, Kurt Busch hasn’t realized that.

I have always followed Kurt Busch. When he came on the scene with Roush Racing, in those days, I really believed he was the next great thing. After winning his championship, I was certain of it. Then it went away. The wins dwindled, the abuse to crews and other competitors started, and then it was the reporters. His fall at Roush was just the beginning. Having been around Roush’s organization, it took a lot for Jack to dismiss Busch, even after he had already bolted for Penske. Then it just got worse. What a shame that so much talent may be wasted. James Finch’s comments today seem to indicate that he may be out of a ride, a ride that was pretty much a last resort for him. When you lose a primo ride in this series because of your behavior, you might want to change. Professionals and those experiences didn’t seem to change his attitude one bit. It’s a shame that all that talent might be wasted.

On the other hand, his brother, Kyle Busch, seems to have learned his lesson. Most do. But in this case, you have to wonder what is wrong with Kurt Busch. I hate it. The guy is so talented, however it’s not the first time that someone with that much talent blew it.

I will admit that he’s been nothing but a gentleman around me, and a guy that I really like. One time at Rockingham, a long time ago, he spent the best part of a half hour talking and joking with me. Maybe I didn’t ask any stupid questions. In this day of smartphones that can record video and the information system that even watches when you pick your nose the right way, you have to be aware of your surroundings. Some do and some don’t, and those that don’t end up unemployed. I’m afraid that one of the circuit’s most talented drivers might find himself in that line. It’s a shame, but Kurt has no one to blame but himself.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Fleshman
Ron Fleshman
Ron Fleshman has followed NASCAR racing since attending his first race at Martinsville Speedway in 1964. He joined the Motor Sports Forum on the CompuServe network in the 1980s and became a reporter for Racing Information Systems in 1994. In 2002, he was named NASCAR Editor for RIS when it appeared on the World Wide Web as He can now be found at Ron is a member of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. You can find Ron following and reporting on the top three NASCAR divisions each week. As a lifer in his support of racing, he attends and reports on nearly 30 events a year and as a member of the motor sports media, his passion has been racing for 47 years. He lives with his family in rural West Virginia and works in the insurance industry when not on the road to another track.

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  1. Solid take on the Kurt Busch’s issues, but this was a very difficult article to read with all the 5-8 word sentences. There is zero flow to this piece as commas and other punctuation could easily be used besides the endless array of short sentences with . (periods). Slightly repetetive as well with the likes of “What a shame that so much talent may be wasted.” “It’s a shame that all that talent might be wasted.”

    However, I 100% agree with your take on Kurt Ron…if his much younger/immature brother can get it, you would think he would get a clue at some point? Especially when said younger brother is pushing for older brother to get a ride with Joe Gibbs Racing, either in a 4th ride or in the #20 car.

    Couldn’t he have responded to Bob Pockrass’ question with a simple ” Bob, I prefer to talk about racing. If you have a question about racing, I would be happy to respond, if not, we are done. Don’t test my probationary status (wink).”

  2. I really think that Kurt Busch is a very public enemy in NASCAR and Sports. Ultimately, It will boil down to Kyle Busch.


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