The Frontstretch: No Bull: What Does Kurt Busch Have Against Hendrick Motorsports? by Nick Bromberg -- Tuesday October 26, 2010

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No Bull: What Does Kurt Busch Have Against Hendrick Motorsports?

Nick Bromberg · Tuesday October 26, 2010

 

Kurt Busch just wants to be the guy to take down Hendrick Motorsports, doesn’t he? If he doesn’t, it sure seems that way.

Earlier in the season, he put it upon himself to be the rival to Jimmie Johnson’s throne — that’s not working out so well — and now Jeff Gordon’s on his hit list. Hell, if Dale Earnhardt, Jr. starts running up front more often, he may find himself unwittingly in Busch’s crosshairs. Beware, Junior.

Oh yeah, there’s also that whole “pretty boys” thing, too.

It seems that Busch has one team on his mind when it comes to misfortune…Hendrick Motorsports.

Gordon admitted that he overdrove the corner in which he got into Busch. Gordon had a very good car for the first half of the race and then got stuck back in traffic after a pit stop, simply getting into Busch trying to make up too much ground too soon. All the contact did was knock Busch out of the groove, and he only lost one position.

No harm, no foul, right? After all, it’s Martinsville. Contact happens.

Apparently not. Busch hooked Gordon on his left quarterpanel and sent Gordon towards the inside retaining wall. And no, don’t even for a second believe Busch when he said over the radio that he was trying to let Gordon go. If you’re going to make it that blatant, just own up to it.

Gordon’s day was ruined, and Busch was lucky that Gordon didn’t retaliate for the contact when Busch passed his wounded racecar late in the race. Maybe he’s going to pounce when Busch isn’t expecting it.

It was reported that Busch signed his contract extension with Penske nine days after it was revealed that Kasey Kahne was going to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. Just a coincidence, right? After all, there weren’t any public reports that linked Busch to Hendrick, and quite frankly, he wasn’t seen as a candidate, at least publicly. No one would start to connect the dots themselves if Busch hadn’t presented them with the paper with the dots on it.

Busch’s “pretty boys” comment was in reference to the contact that he and Jimmie Johnson had at Loudon. That looked even more innocuous than the contact Gordon initiated at Martinsville. The two drivers were racing for the win. Then Johnson and Busch got together at Pocono, with Busch getting the worst of it.

“I like to race the cars and race ‘em hard, race ‘em smart,” Busch commented. “We’ll talk about racing, because that’s what we should be talking about. If the roles were reversed, I’d have been hung…lynched at the gate, you know, for wrecking the four-time champion. But if the roles really were reversed, I wouldn’t have bumped the No. 48 in that fashion, and both of us would have continued on and ended up with good results.”

There was more.

“(Roger Penske) really helped me mature as a driver on and off the track, and, you know, if I even thought that I had a shot of jumping in that No. 5 car, a pretty boy named Kasey Kahne got picked over me, so that could answer your question as well.”

If you don’t want people to think about obscure and previously unthought of angles, you don’t bring them up. Especially in a press conference. Going after Johnson, Gordon, Junior and in a lesser instance, Mark Martin? Fine. But dropping Kahne’s name? Odd.

With his comments and actions over the season, it’s obvious that Busch desperately does want to be the guy to conquer Hendrick Motorsports. You’ve got to appreciate Busch’s candor in taking on the sport’s biggest team and his desire to knock the four-time champion off his perch.

But the way that Busch has gone about doing that is making him look downright petulant. Since joining Penske, Busch has undergone a pretty significant transformation, and it looked like he had the corporate pitchman role down pat — something that the Hendrick drivers do very well, too.

Now, Busch is just making it look personal.

Contact Nick Bromberg

Tuesday on the Frontstretch:
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Five Points to Ponder: Ageless Wonders Join With Earnhardt For Martinsville Magic – Now Can It Last?
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Martinsville Edition
Two Jeffs, Two Long Winless Droughts, and One Big Reason Why
Talking NASCAR TV: Can ESPN Expand Their Storylines Beyond The Chase?

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Johnboy60
10/26/2010 08:15 AM
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Hendrick and all his racecars do not belong in nascrap. felon owner, crooked crew chiefs, getting parts from chevy no one els can, buying off brian. 4 undeserved championships and everybody on the track knows it. Bunch of sissy-men drivers, the ONLY thing worse than hendrick is toyota and Joe gibbs….sold out America and pretends to be such a religious man.

Carl D.
10/26/2010 08:29 AM
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“No harm, no foul, right? After all, it’s Martinsville. Contact happens.”

So does retaliation. That’s short track racing as well. For more on why Jeff Gordon got taken out by Busch, and why Gordon hasn’t made too many friends on the track this year, you should read today’s column by your colleague Doug Turnbull. What comes around goes around, especially at a place like Martinsville.

Bruce
10/26/2010 08:38 AM
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Over the years Gordon has pushed drivers out of the way when ever he could. He is not Mr clean!!!

Jacob
10/26/2010 09:23 AM
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@ JohnnyBoy60: Still fighting WW II? Didn’t Chevy, Ford, and Dodge “sell out” America when they moved major portions of manufacturing to Canada and Mexico?
I mean Toyota did come in and employ Americans while The Big Three, combined, were laying of hundreds of thousands.

I suspect every driver on-track would love to be the one that ends HMS domination. I also suspect that almost every driver out there covets one of the 4-10 seats (depending on how you count them) HMS provides.

Craig
10/26/2010 10:07 AM
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Jealous Kurt? Kurt is the type of driver, if he isn’t having a good day, he will try to take others with him. The 24 was that driver on Sunday, joining J.J., Tony Stewart and Jimmy Spencer to name a few. He’s never been that good since he left Roush. Remember how he quit on them in 2005. Kurt has his flashes where he wins some races, but he’s not in the class of the top teams. It also probably bothers him that little brother is better than him now. He may a have title, but he is the Derrick Cope of Cup Champions. Definitely the least deserving of all Chase Champions. Just look at the 2004 stats, minus the final Chase standings.

Matt
10/26/2010 10:18 AM
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The Busch brothers are missing a few key elements in the human relations area. Apparently, their father never taught them ‘respect’ for others. Kurt lost what little respect I had for him toward the end of his time at Roush Racing. Since then, I really could care less what he does. Same with shrub. They are reality show personalities, useless to me.

Bill B
10/26/2010 10:21 AM
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Hey, Gordon made contact and Busch decided to punish him for it. Whether or not that was warranted is open for debate, either way Kurt has proven time and time again that overall, he is one of the biggest putzes in NASCAR.

glenn
10/26/2010 10:48 AM
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like it or not that contact with JG and KB was one of the things that will keep people watching. Maybe Kurt over-did the payback thing, but I am with him, enough is enough with the Hendrick team and the Press’ love affair with all things hendrick.

Stephen HOOD
10/26/2010 11:10 AM
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Gordon wacked Busch. Busch says to himself, “enough of this BS,” puts his foot to the floor and punts Gordon. Way over the top—yes. Understandable—absolutely.

Chuck
10/26/2010 11:10 AM
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Kurt Busch…what a waist of talent. A jackass till the end. Not a “pretty boy” but for sure a baby boy

Pat
10/26/2010 11:26 AM
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I guess if I am Jeff, I would wait until Kurt has something to lose, like a shot at a championship, before I would retaliate. That way I probably wouldn’t ever have to retaliate

glenn
10/26/2010 11:40 AM
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Nascar needs more jackasses like KB

J.J.
10/26/2010 12:14 PM
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I think Kurt still holds a grudge from when he quit Roush and wanted to land with another team. Busch approached Hendrick and Rick said something like let me see what Jeff and Jimmy say and I’m guessing what they said was, “No.” Something about fitting the Hendrick image maybe…

Plus there’s the whole thing with brother Kyle being fired by Hendrick…

Those Busch boys do hold a grudge.

Bill B
10/26/2010 12:27 PM
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JJ,
And how do you know this? I don’t remember reading anything about Busch being passed over because of Gordon and Johnson giving him the thumbs down. Personally, I would too, he’s a putz.
Where is Jimmy Spencer when you need him?

Kevin in SoCal
10/26/2010 12:50 PM
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Jacob, the Detroit Three auto makers were practically forced to move to Canada and Mexico due to both greedy unions making unrealistic demands, and our wonderful government increasing the emissions standards for manufacturing plants to unreasonable levels. Not to mention giving huge tax breaks and incentives to foreign companies for investing and building in America, while at the same time increasing the taxes and fees on American companies.

Chuck: Waist = the middle part of your body where a belt goes around. You meant waste.

EZ
10/26/2010 12:53 PM
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@ Glenn You are exactly right,would go along way towards stemming the plummeting ratings and attendance.

Craig
10/26/2010 01:47 PM
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Jeff Gordon’s M.O. is that he will wait to get Kurt back when the opportunity is right. Go to YouTube and search for the 2006 Chicago race, that is how he got Kenseth back. When it happens it will look more like a “racing incident” and will probably take something dear from Kurt, like a win. I hope it happens at the 500 next year.

No Spin Gerry
10/26/2010 02:25 PM
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Kevin good job

Jacob
10/26/2010 02:48 PM
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Kevin: They could have declared bankruptcy, legally broken the contracts with the unions, and restructured. But even during our current economic troubles, they take the taxpayer’s money and continue to add to the unemployment lines.
The poor design and reliability hurt sales.
As for emissions standards, God forbid that we should have factories and NOT toxic waste dumps in our cities.

No Spin Gerry: The ONLY thing I have ever seen you give is spin.

MSW
10/26/2010 03:45 PM
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Jeff Gordon is pretty good at “accidentally” overdriving corners, and not meaning to get into someone. So I really don’t have a problem with what Kurt did. I do have a problem with him being to much of a sissy to just own up to it.

DMan
10/26/2010 03:53 PM
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@ Matt: I believe you hit the nail on the head. A short story about the Busches; A few years back i was at LVMS for the Duel in the Desert, Kyle was supposed to drive a modified. Papa Busch and Kyle started to walk through the pit gate and were stopped by security and were told they needed pit passes. Papa goes “Dont you know who we are? This is Kyle Busch and I’m his father.” So obviously they were raised with a sense of entitlement, to say the least.

@ Pat: Gordon might be waiting a long time, lol!

Kevin in SoCal
10/26/2010 03:56 PM
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Jacob, we could debate this all day and probably wont change any minds. I place most of the blame on the unions, because Toyota, Honda, etc, are non-union and are continually turning out reliable cars and profits. While the Detroit 3 are all unionized, and their cars have been considered poor quality and unreliable for years. Not to mention all the bankruptcy issues and bailouts of the last few years. Someone else could come along and say the executives in the corporate office are just as greedy, and I would agree, but as I first said, most of the blame belongs with the unions. They are continually asking for less work, higher pay, and more benefits. In what other job can you go on strike, picket in front of your employer, say nasty things about them, and keep your job once things are worked out?

ginav24
10/26/2010 04:21 PM
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Obviously I’m on Gordon’s side of this argument having been a Jeff Gordon fan for years. I had just started giving the older of the busch boys a modicum of respect since he seemed to have grown up with Penske’s team. But obviously I was wrong in that assessment. Nope, he’s still a jackass, just like his brother. I guess his family must have raised them like wolves for all the manners they exhibit.

Carl D.
10/26/2010 04:39 PM
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Just for the record I have a 2004 Mustang and I’ve never had a lick of trouble with it. Of course, now that I’ve said that, I’ll walk out to the parking lot and it probably won’t start… Still, when it kicks the bucket I’ll probably buy another Ford, despite the fact that Carl Edwards drives one.

DoninAjax
10/26/2010 11:31 PM
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Isn’t overdriving the corner known as aero-push?