Kurt Busch is out at Penske Racing.
Drivers get fired all the time. Drivers leave teams all the time. Regardless of who spins what how, moves involving drivers of this magnitude rarely happen in December. Let’s break things down Bert Convy style.
Win: Roger Penske
We all work with jerks who keep their jobs because they’re really good at what they do. Roger Penske didn’t have to change drivers. Conviction mattered. You have to respect that.
Win: David Ragan, David Reutimann and Brian Vickers
None have a 2012 ride. One will when this is all over. The other two will have a smaller logjam.
Lose: Kurt Busch
Dumping on your crew all the time is bad. Dumping on Dr. Jerry Punch, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, is worse. NOTE: Language in the link is NSFW. Being dumped on by the media probably trumps both.
Plus, who takes a chance on Kurt in this economy? The driver is good enough. But what brand wants Kurt Busch as its ambassador after getting caught lying and following it up with a temper tantrum? Keeping a gig will prove to be much easier than getting a new gig.
Kurt Busch is the pro wrestling bad guy that fans pay to see get beat up. This needs to take place on the track, not Twitter or the web. Some of the best crowd reactions all year were when drivers failed.
And in order to have heroes, you need villains. With Kurt gone for now, against whom can you root? That number is dwindling.
Draw: Brad Keselowski
The good news is he’s the face of Penske Racing. The bad news is his new running buddy won’t have the talent Kurt Busch had.
Draw: Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr.
Based on their Nationwide Series work, each deserves a full ride on the Sprint Cup at some point. That time might not be now with this team in this kind of crisis situation. Just ask Joey Logano how getting to the Sprint Cup too early impacts your career.
Kurt Busch is out at Penske Racing. There are so many ramifications for so many teams that we won’t see the full impact for months, maybe years. And to think, December is supposed to be a slow month for NASCAR.