NASCAR fined Sprint Cup Series driver, Kurt Busch, for his actions during last Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
NASCAR made it apparent that the sanctioning body was not happy with both Busch’s obscene gesture (displaying the middle finger), and his abusive action towards NASCAR on ESPN reporter, Dr. Jerry Punch.
“Kurt Busch showed disrespect toward a media member, an incident that followed similar inappropriate media confrontations earlier in the season,” NASCAR said in a statement.
Busch lost his transmission during last Sunday’s Ford 400 that forced him to the garage early in the race.
Busch’s in-car-camera caught Busch making an obscene gesture (giving the middle finger), that was shown to a nationally televised TV audience.
This was not the only issue that plagued the 2004 Cup champion, as the most detrimental actions came much later.
As Busch’s crew worked on his car with hopes of returning to the track, Busch was to be interviewed by ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch, a seasoned veteran in the NASCAR media industry.
A fan standing nearby videotaped an abusive exchange by Busch directed towards Dr. Punch. As the video was later uploaded onto YouTube, both Penske officials and Busch have apologized in separate statements for his behavior.
“Unfortunately, our result in the season-ending race at Homestead on Sunday was not what we had hoped for as a team,” he said. “In my frustration with the loss of my transmission early in the race, I let my emotions get the better of me. I regret having done this and apologize to the sponsors of Penske Racing, to NASCAR, its fans, to the media and in particular, Dr. Jerry Punch.”
Penske officials did also say earlier this week that they would review the incident internally, and could possibly induce additional penalties.
“These actions do not represent Penske Racing and are inconsistent with the company’s standards for behavior, respect for others and professionalism,” Penske Racing said in a statement.
News also broke earlier this week that crew chief Steve Addington had been relieved of his duties at Penske Racing. While Addington’s destination is not 100% certain, we do know Busch will hope to find some sort of chemistry with the next individual who will sit on top of his pit box for the 2012 NSCS season.
Warning: Profanity is used in this video, so please watch with caution.