Veteran NASCAR driver Kurt Busch got the proverbial boot from Team Penske after a season ending tirade and one-finger salute at Homestead.
It was apparently the last straw for Roger Penske and Shell/Pennzoil, who sent Busch packing after six years, despite the fact that he was under contract for next season.
The 33-year-old racer cooked his own goose following the final race of the 2011 season after finishing 47 laps behind the leaders. While turning into the garage, Busch made an obscene hand gesture, and then verbally abused Dr. Jerry Punch while waiting to be interviewed for ESPN.
The YouTube footage went viral and NASCAR fined Busch $50,000. Penske Racing promptly issued an apology for Busch’s “inappropriate actions.”
The disgraced racer, in an attempt to do damage control, announced on Thursday that he was seeking treatment with a sports psychologist to work through his anger issues.
The whole sordid mess turned out to be too much for the sponsors to stomach and Busch is currently without a ride. Time will tell if he is able to snag a contract for the coming season.
Kurt has 24 career victories and has been in the Chase For The Sprint Cup for six of the past eight years. He ended in eleventh spot the past two years.
The racer’s personal life has also been in an upheaval this year. Eva Busch filed for divorce in early June and Kurt began appearing at red carpet events and races with his new girlfriend Patricia Driscoll before the end of the same month.
Busch is pictured below with the two women at the 2010 and 2011 Sprint Cup Series awards ceremony in Las Vegas. What a difference a year makes. We’ve also included the YouTube video, containing foul language, that sealed Kurt’s fate: