Kurt Busch, Phoenix Racing decide to soldier on together
By: By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service, Superior Telegram
There's one thing certain about Tuesday's statement from team owner James Finch about the status of wayward driver Kurt Busch -- it should be read with background music, specifically Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."
Busch, who still has two days left on a 10-day suspension that kept him out of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono, met with Finch on Tuesday. Together they decided that Busch would continue to drive the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet.
"We have met with Kurt," Finch said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. "At the end of the day, we are racers so we're going racing together with Kurt and the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet. We know adjustments have to be made but how we fix that is between Kurt and myself.
"We're going to go to the track, work hard, race hard and work on trying to attract a sponsor -- and we're going to do that together."
NASCAR suspended Busch on June 3 for a verbal confrontation with a reporter after the June 1 Nationwide Series race at Dover. Busch was on probation at the time for driving through Ryan Newman's pit in the May 12 Cup race at Darlington, while several of Newman's crewmen were still working in the pit stall.
During interviews throughout the week preceding their meeting, Finch had said in essence that Busch had to improve his behavior and stop wrecking race cars if Busch was to remain with the team. By Finch's count, Busch had wrecked 14 cars since starting to drive for the organization in February.
Finch also said that, if Busch were to continue to drive for him, it would be on a race-by-race basis. Tuesday's statement did not elaborate on the specific arrangements between the owner and driver, but Busch will be in the car this weekend at Michigan.