Racer Busch suspended for verbal abuse of reporter
Kurt Busch is the 2004 NASCAR season champion.
June 5th, 2012
06:35 AM ET

Racer Busch suspended for verbal abuse of reporter

Former stock car season champion Kurt Busch won't be racing this weekend in Pocono, Pennsylvania, after NASCAR suspended him for verbally abusing a reporter following Saturday's race in Dover, Delaware.

Busch was already on NASCAR probation following a confrontation with an opponent's crew in Darlington, South Carolina, in May.

When Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass asked Busch on Saturday whether being on probation affected his performance on the track, Busch berated Pockrass.

"It refrains me from not beating the (expletive) out of you right now because you ask me stupid questions," Busch replied. "But since I'm on probation, I suppose that's improper to say as well."

Busch's probation was to have ended July 25. NASCAR has extended that for the rest of the year as well as suspending Busch for any races this weekend in Pocono, according to a NASCAR press release.

"Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing; violation of probation; verbal abuse to a media member) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book," the press release said.

In a statement, Busch accepted his punishment, according to a report on NASCAR.com.

"I put them in a box," he said of NASCAR officials. "They had to take action, and it's my fault for putting them in this position. I apologize for the comments I made to Bob Pockrass."

Busch has 24 career victories and was the 2004 series champion.

Can Busch's career survive his temper?

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Filed under: Auto racing • Sports
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Dave

    This thug and bully mentality should not be acceptable and NASCAR should be commended on how swiftly they addressed the issue.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gatornuts

    Always use appropriate language.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marc Spector

    Busch has to get it together. He's got one championship. He can win on the track. He's just got to focus on Racing and nothing else. He was frustrated because of the blown engine. His future depends on how he handles himself both off and on the track. I'm rooting for him to get it together and start getting to the front, where he belongs.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marc Spector

    I'm not happy with the rules either, but since he's on probation, he has to know that he's under the microscope with NASCAR. He should've just given the reporter a calmer answer. He's got to clean his act up or NASCAR can end his career. They've done it to others. They'll do it to him if he doesn't get it together. He can get the job done on the track but he has to understand that NASCAR can and will judge him by his actions both on and off the track. He already had an incident in May. He doesn't need any more.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marc Spector

    This won't be the last reporter to try to get under his skin in order to make him lose it and get himself in trouble. That reporter knew exactly what he was doing and how Busch would react. Busch has to realize the reporters are going to needle him and not respond to that, like others in the sport who stay above that sort of thing and stay out of trouble with NASCAR.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrim patty

    you cant have real racing rivalrys and politeness in the same breath .. racers racing or actors acting nascar take your pic

    June 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dade Man

    Bob Pockrass asked a STUPID question and he should be the one suspended! This is a sport where there are alot of emotions because you must depend on the equipment, crew, sponsors and your own focus. Media should not be allowed to ask dumb questions that will only add to the hightend drama!

    June 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      Doesn't matter what question was asked. Busch still needs to follow the rules and there was no excuse for his response.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not a Scholar

      So you don't support a free press? You support censorship of the media? Reporters are allowed to ask any question, smart or stupid. The readers determine if they want to read the drivel or the intelligent writings.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike fromCalgary

      Agree entirely – the reporter BOB POCKRASS sounds like an intemperate small-minded provacateur who could have used more discretion. Perhaps Pockrass should not be suspended, but he should perhaps be denied access to the pits and other areas at tracks other than the media rooms and formal news conferences, Surely Sporting News has some better, more knowedgeable reporters who exercise better discretion than Mr. Pockrass is capable of!

      June 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • BioHzrd

      He should expect dumb questions from reporters. That's what they are paid to do.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Revere

      Really??? Seriously??? Have you ever watched the news? Do you not understand how the media operates? Apparently there are no other sports in this world that have emotions tied to them because I don't see this kind of behavior being accepted in other sports. Very weak excuse/defense for him. He sure is doing justice for this sport, I'm sure his comments have made many non-fans jump at becoming fans. The reporter was doing his job, however slimey it may be. If this "professional" athelete wanted to do his then he should have been a professional, like all the other drivers who will be driving next race, and moved on to the next question. If he wanted to fight, he should have taken up MMA or boxing.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    All nonsense...NASCAR is what it is and always has been...can't expect a lot from this bunch!

    June 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dade Man

    Common NASCAR...stop thingking you are the wine & cheese boys like INDY CAR/Form-1. This is a mans sport and men sometimes get heated!

    June 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • NorthropP61

      NASCAR is a man's sport and all the MEN in the sport can control themselves in moments of stress. Busch can't. At least he was able to admit he was wrong, so now it's just his fans who're behaving badly.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. asdf

    Nascar continues to cut their own throat. They want all their drivers to act like the most boring dominant champion in the history of Nascar Jimmy Wheres My Personality Johnson. That tool came along and along withe recession killed the sport. But then again we can't have any characters as it might offend our beloved corporate sponsors.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • NorthropP61

      NASCAR doesn't need to put up with guys like Busch when the rest of the drivers have so much more sense and so much more class. If you want to see a bunch of Bubbas throwing punches, you're too late. NASCAR is big business now and attracts wide audiences who don't want to see Busch throw tantrums.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. asdf

    Why can't all the drivers be like Jimmy Johnson the robot? It might officially kill the sport but the corporate sponsors would love it.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. NorthropP61

    Bucking the trend toward intelligence and self-control in NASCAR drivers, Busch loses it again. All the other drivers face interviews and even stupid questions (this one was relevant, however) and sometimes you can see them pause and rein their tempers in, but they do control themselves – like men – unlike fire-from-the-lip Busch.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tyler

    I am in no way supporting Kurt for his language toward a member of the media, but this guy has been through a lot recently. He goes from a top-end team to a low-end team. Frustrations run high especially when you know if you had the equipment, you could be winning races. Kurt has got the talent, but the equipment is just not there. It appears that he is struggling with where he is at now. Kurt shouldn't have said what he said. To me it looks like apparently Kurt and the reporter have had an issue before. The punishment is fair and I absolutely support NASCAR for not tolerating this type of behavior especially when it's "caught-on-camera."

    June 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • BioHzrd

      Kurt's gone through a lot because he put himself there. He gets no sympathy from me.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • pdirt

      Yes, he broke the rules... but you have to admit that his answer was a heck of a lot more entertaining than any milquetoast baited question that Pockrass could come up with.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cheryl

    First, have you heard the questions the reporters ask people in general. Most of them fall under the "that was stupid to ask" or "I cannot believe you were dumb enough to ask that question and not expect the response you recieved". I can guarantee you people do not go to hockey games if fights did not break out. NASCAR needs to figure out what they want or they will be moving races from the east coast where seats are not selling to other places that will fill the seats.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Marie

    I think both Busch's are rude and lowclass drivers. They might have the talent for driving a car but both of their personalities are offensive. Also, both of them are downright ugly...Yuck

    June 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
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