How's that anger management working out?


Sunday, May. 13, 2012

Since Penske Racing and Kurt Busch parted ways, the former Cup champion has said he's trying to do a better job of managing his anger.

Ryan Newman and members of his crew probably aren't the only ones thinking that's not working out so well.

"It's easy to say that Kurt blew a fuse again," Newman told Saturday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway after his car was rear-ended by Busch's immediately after the race. Earlier in the night, Busch had roared through the Newman team's pit, narrowly missing crew members and officials.

"I'm not sure why he did it and tried to run over our guys and NASCAR officials," Newman said. "And nobody is.

"I think the chemical imbalance speaks for itself. Kurt drilled me in pit lane and said that he was taking his helmet off, and he didn't see where he was going. I'm pretty sure there were 42 other guys that are taking their helmets off and doing whatever for the last 10 years, and that's the first time that's happened to me.

"Circumstances, I think, are that he lied and was so frustrated that he doesn't know how to deal with his anger."

Weeks before his tenure with the Penske organization ended, NASCAR had fined Busch $50,000 for an obscene gesture and a profanity-laced tirade directed at ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The driver had already drawn attention for his rants over the radio during races, sometimes harshly criticizing his team and Penske Racing's decisions.

There were other run-ins, with other drivers and media representatives as well.

During NASCAR's post-season celebrations in Las Vegas, Busch said he was working on anger issues with a sports psychologist.

“We’re going to be just fine going through all this,” Busch said then. “And we might exceed our expectations, we might not live up to it, but we’re going to have a darned good time while we’re doing it."

Now, Ryan Newman is a smart individual. But engineering is his field, not psychology. Still, it's pretty hard to argue with his conclusions.

On one side of the line, there's NASCAR's "Boys, have at it" policy. On the other there's pointless risk.

Newman and members of his crew probably aren't the only ones thinking Kurt Busch crossed that line – a couple of times – at Darlington on Saturday.

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