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November 27, 2011 - Al Stephenson
It's really hard to tell which of Nascar's Busch brothers is the most immature. Little brother Kyle showed that he had not quite made the strides that most people thought he had this season when he intentionally wrecked Ron Hornady in the Camping World Truck series at Texas. Apparently feeling that he had the right to dump Hornady into the wall - under caution no less - Kyle Busch found out otherwise and brought the wrath of Nascar down upon himself.
He was parked for the rest of the weekend, meaning he could not drive in the Nationwide or Sprint Cup races. Joe Gibbs Racing sponsor M&M Mars refused to sponsor Kyle's car for the final two races of the season. One would think that he may have learned a lesson.
If Kyle learned from his experience it apparently did not carry over to older brother Kurt. Early in the season finale at Homestead Kurt Busch broke a transmission in his car and headed for the garage area. To suggest that he was a bit miffed would be an understatement. After being observed giving someone the one finger salute on his way to his stall, he was asked to do a live interview with ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch.
While waiting for the booth to go to the conversation Dr. Punch asked Kurt if he thought it was debris from his broken transmission that put a dent in Tony Stewart's radiator. Busch took exception to that off-air question and started throwing some F-bombs. Eventually Dr. Punch decided not to do the interview and Kurt Busch stormed off to his hauler. Unfortunately for Kurt Busch someone videotaped the whole exchange and it made its way to YouTube.
Nascar saw it and fined Busch $50,000. Shell/Pennzoil, Kurt Busch's sponsor was not amused and this whole episode may be far from over.
I don't understand why the Busch brothers continue to behave in the manner that they do. Some day there is likely to be more than a fine coming their way. Just in case no one has told the brothers that their act is becoming boring, I'll give it a shot. Here are three things they need to remember.
1) In this age of in car cameras, open car radio transmissions and cell phone videos everything you do will come to light. 2) Sponsor dollars are so important to race teams in this economy that irritating sponsors is a really bad idea. 3) Nascar does not need either Busch brother to survive.
The view from my seat suggests that as a race fan I would like to see both Busch brothers race. They are talented and fun to watch. However if they don't grow up soon we may not see either one of them at the track much longer.
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