Monday, June 4, 2012

Jimmy Spencer: 'Kurt's suspension is long overdue'

NASCAR on Monday suspended Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, until June 13 following a confrontation with a reporter after Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway.

Busch, who already was on probation following an incident at Darlington Raceway last month, will sit out this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.

Jimmy Spencer, SPEED analyst and former driver, offers his perspective on Busch's situation and the resulting punishment:

"Kurt Busch's suspension is long overdue, and that is coming from someone who learned his lesson after sitting out a race for punching him a few years ago.

"Kurt has been given plenty of chances to right his wrongs and put himself back on the right path, but he has failed to take advantage of any of those opportunities.

"NASCAR had to do something to restore a sense of respect toward the sport on Kurt's behalf because he seems to consistently flaunt his disrespect for everything and everyone in this sport. Maybe sitting out and watching the race from the pit box or his couch will wake him up to how great he really has it.

"If Kurt is under the microscope, it is because he has put himself there by acting as if the rules don't apply to him. But the rules apply to everyone, and if you cannot treat your fellow competitors, crew members and members of the media in a respectable manner, you do not deserve to race. He's a hell of a driver, but until he gets his temper under control, he has no business in a race car.

"Speaking from experience, I can say that my suspension was extremely upsetting to me, but it made me a better person off the track. That's what Kurt needs now, and I hope this helps him. It seems to have straightened his little brother, Kyle, out, and I hope the same is true for Kurt."