Kurt Busch sports new colors for Shootout, looks to put Punch incident behind him
Busch looks to get beyond his season ending rant at ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch, which we've got at the bottom of this post. Busch gave Punch an expletive laden earful after dropping out of the season finale that can be speculated as the straw that broke the camel's back for Busch's tenure at Penske.
Busch talked about some of the help he got from some of the team owners during the off season. “Yeah, I leaned on quite a few car owners for advice, for help, as well. If there are any leads on sponsor dollars. We were trying to talk with other guys." Busch stated recently. "Talking with a bunch of different owners and key people in the sport. It was a lot of fun dealing with some of the tough deals behind the scenes. Felix Sabates stuck his neck out with me to try to help with Finch, and I owe a lot to Felix for helping make this deal happen. Even Rick Hendrick, who had to give the blessing, because this is his equipment and these are his cars, more or less, that Finch buys from him. But they’re all connected together.” KB said.
Busch had a well publicized sit down with Richard Petty this winter, and he spoke of that while at Daytona for pre-season testing. Busch clearly hopes that he can get back into a major ride for next season. "Well, my objective is to keep the eye on 2013's big prize, and going in and talking with as many teams as I did this off-season, my original plan was to work with as many groups as I possibly could, find four or five races with these guys, those guys, run Nationwide, do this, trucks even, and associate myself with as many sponsors, teams and people. That way they get to know me and go, wow, what's really the problem here, and the problem is when there's a bad day on the track, that's when there's the only issue."
"But talking with King, I was so nervous going into his old wooden office in Level Cross, North Carolina. What was funny is there was a police checkpoint about two miles before I got to his shop, and I showed my ID to the policeman, and they went, Oh, you're going to talk to King, aren't you, and I was just so nervous because I thought something was going to go wrong because I'm scared on my own shadow at certain points, and to talk with those guys, they knew what was going on with me going to talk to King."
"And talking with King, it was weird to hear his comments yesterday because he was ready to throw me in the car and we would have been down the road. But the contracts just didn't align on where they were and where I wanted to be, and so I talked with Finch, made the deal happen. But also talked with Waltrip Racing. I went to meet with Richard Childress at his winery and talk shop."
"Just the doors that were opened during this off-season to talk to people, yes, 2012 is going to be a unique year for somebody such as myself. But to take a step back for me personally and look at all of this, this is what I need. And all along we're going to keep our eyes on the prize in 2013."
Here's the rant, something Busch hopes to distance himself from during the 2012 season.