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Kurt Busch: 'Maybe I wasn’t the best fit'

ThatsRacin.com Report
Monday, Dec. 05, 2011

Kurt Busch, who said Monday his immediate departure from Penske Racing resulted from a mutual decision, appeared on "Speed Center Monday" and was interviewed by co-hosts Steve Byrnes and Adam Alexander. Following is a transcript, courtesy of the Charlotte-based network:

Byrnes: In Vegas, we were talking about things you were building on from seasons past. It seems like this would be a complete surprise to you. Is that correct?

Busch: Well, no, the way we came to a mutual agreement, discussions were ongoing. Obviously out in Las Vegas to celebrate with Tony Stewart as our champion, there was discussions, and behind the scenes, things were developing.

Alexander: So, given the fact this was a mutual agreement between you and Team Penske, what reason was given to you for the split once the announcement was made?

Busch: Well, we both had our concerns and with the way that I’ve worked with Roger in the past, it was clear and it was cut, and I’m very thankful for the years that I spent over there.

We won a lot of races together and what I did this past season, it wasn’t just one moment. There were a bunch of unprofessional moments, and what were the reasons behind those? And I began working with a sports psychologist and seeing some of those reasons and this now allows me for a fresh start. It’s time to put a little bit of fun back in racing for me.

Byrnes: Kurt, in all reality, this couldn’t have come at a good time for a driver looking for a ride. There aren’t that many rides. I know it’s early in the game, but do you have any opportunities as we head into 2012?

Busch: I’m considering all options and I’m encouraged by the quality phone calls today, texts and other ways. It’s important for me to work on my issues and the way that I want to be a better person and a better driver.

As I reflect back on it, maybe I wasn’t the best fit for the Penske Racing team and at times, my frankness and intensity maybe just didn’t lay well. And I’m just a regular guy and I wear my heart on my sleeve and I think everybody knows that and that’s really some of the decision that went into everything back and forth.

Alexander: You mentioned that you’ve hired a sports psychologist. How is that going and what other things are in your future to try to get this anger management under control?

Busch: Well, it’s definitely working at it and taking the right steps to make sure that I find progress and achieve those small moments and recognize which ways I need to channel my emotion and my passion that have made me successful on track.

It’s time to do that in other areas. I’m excited about the future. This is a fresh start for me. I’ve got a champion’s provisional that will guarantee me a spot in any race that I want to go to.

There’s all types of other racing options, so it’s been a unique day. It’s going to be a unique week and month to figure out the next direction.

Byrnes: You mentioned that you may not have been a good fit at Penske. Why did you come to that conclusion and why did you think that?

Busch: I think the way that there was the formality of processes that maybe even Pat Tryson or Steve Addington didn’t necessarily smooth into, as well. It was tough to enjoy those.

It’s still a great program. I can’t thank Roger enough. Those guys were so caring and they still are. That bridge is still there but it’s time for me to put fun back into my racing.

Alexander: Have you thought at all about a Sprint Cup race going on in 2012 without you participating?

Busch: No, I haven’t thought about that. There’s plenty of options. I’ve got unique situations here, there. I’ve also got my problems that I need to fix and prove that I’m moving forward.

Lots of good things are brewing and I just want to say that I’m looking for a fresh start.

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