Tempers flare after the race with Busch and the mediaUPDATE
Kurt Busch rips into media
NASCAR said Monday it does not plan to take disciplinary measures after driver Kurt Busch's unsavory interactions with two media members following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. And, in an apparent effort to clear the air, the Penske Racing driver contacted the reporters individually Monday; both reporters confirmed that Busch had apologized. Busch shouted expletives at one reporter on pit road who tried to ask about his ongoing rivalry with Jimmie Johnson (the drivers had two on-track scrapes Saturday) and had to be physically restrained by Penske Racing teammates. NASCAR, which promotes a "boys, have at it" approach to on-track discipline, indicated it wasn't going to entirely sweep Busch's actions under the rug. "No disciplinary action is planned," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "But we will be following up and discussing with Kurt this week." USA Today
09/12/11 Apparently, Kurt Busch's anger over his incidents with Jimmie Johnson didn't end on the race track. It spilled over to two members of the media afterward. He went after NASCAR.com reporter Joe Menzer after the race was over when he was questioned about his incident with Johnson during the race. When all 12 drivers were brought into the media center to talk about making the Chase, Busch went to the rear of the room where Menzer was seated and attempted to start Round 2. Although words were exchanged, the two were separated by NASCAR public relations director Kerry Tharp.
After taking a few terse comments about the media during the formal media conference Busch took offense to a question from Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press referring to a comment Busch made that he had "gotten inside Johnson's head." Busch said he never said that but when Fryer produced the transcript of the comments that he said on Dodge Motorsports letterhead, Busch took the release, tore it in half and tossed it on her computer as he stormed out of the room. zzzz
"I almost feel bad for her," Matt Kenseth said after the incident.
Instead of celebrating a fifth-place finish, Kenseth had another monumental meltdown at Richmond. This was where he lit into his crew in a profanity-laced tirade back in April which led to major changes on the team.
Busch is a great driver and won the championship in 2004 but his actions on Saturday night were far from the character of a true champion. This is a sport of passionate competitors where tempers flare but it might be time for Busch to hit the reset button before the real battle for the championship begins next weekend. SI.com
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