Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How Jimmy Spencer REALLY feels about Kurt Busch

   It's no secret former Sprint Cup Series driver and now Speed analyst Jimmy Spencer has his own history with Kurt Busch. 

   Read a reminder of that history here.

   Spencer, thus, is no stranger to controversy and he decided to weigh in on Busch's actions last weekend at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and the penalties he has subsequently received by NASCAR.

   Here's Spencer's comments in their entirety:

   "You’d think a driver would know when he has stepped over the line and would learn from it. But not Kurt Busch. He got fired from Roush after he won a championship. Then he got hired by one of the most honorable men in motor sports and in the business world, Roger Penske, and you’d think he would learn something from Penske. But it’s obvious Kurt didn’t learn anything from him either.

   Fines and probation are just a joke to Kurt. I think they just make him angrier. I think Kurt needs to be suspended for a week or two or even longer. Bill France would have suspended him. You do not conduct yourself in the public eye the way that Kurt has. You just don’t do that. He has gotten to the point that he has not only offended the media and fans; he’s also offended his fellow drivers.

   He ran into Tony Stewart’s car on pit road at Dover a few years ago, and fortunately missed Stewart’s crew guys. I said then that he needed to be suspended, but NASCAR didn’t do it. He drove through the 39 pit at Darlington on Saturday and could have hurt some of those guys. He is dangerous, not only to himself but to other drivers and crew members because he absolutely short-circuits. Kurt has major, major problems. Everybody has faults and we try to work on them, but it seems like Kurt tries to make his worse.

   Kurt should be suspended for his conduct in general over the past five years. His brother, Kyle, was suspended at Texas for something I thought was much more of a part of racing than what Kurt has been doing. Kurt has done stuff way more dangerous than any driver I can think of in history.

   NASCAR needs to put their foot down. The guy is a talented driver and the sport needs him because of his talent, but the way he acts out gives the sport a black eye. He has no respect for this sport, and to me, that's the worst part of it all.

   Look at Matt Kenseth, Bill Elliott, David Pearson and other guys who have been level-headed. They didn’t scream at their crew members and car owners like Kurt has. He has gotten away with it, so a couple of weeks off might put it all in perspective for him.

   Kurt doesn’t have respect for anyone and doesn’t have it for the sport. NASCAR needs to suspend him to teach him the sport doesn’t need him. Take a couple of weeks off and figure out if you really want to race, and if you do, then you learn to play by the rules better. That’s what Bill France would have done.

   Never have I seen a driver act like this. Every driver has gone through a problem at some point in their career – Rusty Wallace, Geoffrey Bodine, Ernie Irvan, Dale Earnhardt, me – every driver has had an issue at one time or another, but they’ve all straightened out. I was suspended for poking Kurt Busch in the nose, and I learned my lesson. We've all been reprimanded and learned. But I’ve never seen a driver where the same problem goes on for years and doesn’t get any better." 

Who's competing for the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge title?

   Entering its eighth year of competition, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge will feature 24 of the top Cup team pit crews in a head-to-head competition at 7 p.m. Eastern on Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. 

   Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling Time Warner Cable Arena box office at (800) 745-3000. Speed's broadcast of the event begins at 8 p.m.
   The 20 teams eligible for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19 automatically qualified for the Challenge. The remaining four positions were assigned to the car owners ranked highest in the 2012 Cup series owner point standings as of May 14.

   The official entry list for the event is outlined below.

   No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
   No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet
   No. 9 Stanley Ford
   No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota
   No. 14 Office Depot-Mobile 1 Chevrolet
   No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota
   No. 16 3M Ford
   No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
   No. 18 M&M’s Toyota
   No. 20 Home Depot-Dollar General Toyota
   No. 21 Good Sam-Camping World Ford
   No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
   No. 27 Menards Chevrolet
   No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
   No. 31 CAT Chevrolet
   No. 34 MHP-Power Pak Pudding Ford
   No. 39 U.S. Army-Quicken Loans Chevrolet
   No. 48 My Lowe’s Chevrolet
   No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet
   No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota
   No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
   No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
   No. 88 National Guard-Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet
   No. 99 Fastenal Ford