NASCAR's Kurt Busch apologizes for outburst, loses crew chief
It has been a ragged ending to the season for NASCAR's Busch brothers.
Two weeks after Kyle Busch was severely reprimanded for intentionally wrecking a rival driver, his older brother Kurt Busch and his Penske Racing team apologized Tuesday for Kurt's outburst in the garage Sunday at the Sprint Cup Series season finale.
After transmission trouble sidelined his Dodge early in the race at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway, Kurt Busch made several profanity-laced remarks as he waited impatiently for a live interview with Dr. Jerry Punch, the veteran ESPN pit reporter.
"I let my emotions get the better of me," Busch, 33, said in a statement in which he apologized to Penske Racing, NASCAR, fans, media, sponsors "and in particular, Dr. Jerry Punch." Busch's main sponsor is Shell-Pennzoil.
Penske Racing also apologized and said Busch's actions were "inconsistent with the company's standards for behavior, respect for others and professionalism."
Busch also had angry outbursts on his team radio at races earlier in the season, some directed at crew chief Steve Addington, and Penske Racing confirmed Tuesday that Addington had left the company.
Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, won two races with Addington this year but finished 11th among the 12 drivers in this year's Chase for the Cup title playoff.
Photo: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, left, and crew chief Steve Addington at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., last May 28. Credit: Bob Leverone/Associated Press