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 Ive worked with Roger in the past, it was clear and it was cut, and Im 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 wasnt 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. Its time to put a little bit of fun back in racing for me.
Byrnes: Kurt, in all reality, this couldnt have come at a good time for a driver looking for a ride. There arent that many rides. I know its early in the game, but do you have any opportunities as we head into 2012?
Busch: Im considering all options and Im encouraged by the quality phone calls today, texts and other ways. Its 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 wasnt the best fit for the Penske Racing team and at times, my frankness and intensity maybe just didnt lay well. And Im just a regular guy and I wear my heart on my sleeve and I think everybody knows that and thats really some of the decision that went into everything back and forth.
Alexander: You mentioned that youve 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, its 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.
Its time to do that in other areas. Im excited about the future. This is a fresh start for me. Ive got a champions provisional that will guarantee me a spot in any race that I want to go to.
Theres all types of other racing options, so its been a unique day. Its 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 didnt necessarily smooth into, as well. It was tough to enjoy those.
Its still a great program. I cant thank Roger enough. Those guys were so caring and they still are. That bridge is still there but its 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 havent thought about that. Theres plenty of options. Ive got unique situations here, there. Ive also got my problems that I need to fix and prove that Im moving forward.
Lots of good things are brewing and I just want to say that Im looking for a fresh start.