Getting On My Soapbox: Welcoming Kurt Busch To the Stewart-Haas Racing StablePosted by in General | NASCAR
I interrupt your regularly scheduled race report post (It will post tomorrow afternoon I promise) to get on my soapbox and rant a little. I rarely do this-but sometimes I just have to- even when (or usually because) I know that my opinions are not with the norm.- Amy
I was checking my personal email at work this morning and when I say work I mean the job by which I am a salaried 8-5, M-F employee- NOT this blog which is neither work nor does it make me any money just so we are completely clear on that little point. Anyway- I was quickly wading through a sea of junk mail and press releases on my phone when I saw that there was a Stewart-Haas Racing Press conference scheduled for 2:00 PM (ET) tomorrow (August 27th, 2013) to “to announce future expansion of Stewart-Haas Racing.” In layman’s terms I am sure this means that they are announcing the addition of a fourth driver to the Stewart-Haas Racing stable – that being Kurt Busch. Then a little later in the day (at lunch) I checked my social media sites as well as some of my favorite Tony Stewart/Stewart-Haas Racing message boards and they were all abuzz with the news of Kurt Busch going to Stewart-Haas racing in 2014. Plus there was the little push notification from NASCAR MOBILE 13 announcing it.
The news is NOT a surprise to me. Not at all- this move has been rumored to be happening for a good week if not longer this year. And back when SHR was bringing on Danica- before it was confirmed that the third car would indeed be Danica- it was rumored that Kurt Busch was being courted then for the third team. So the fact that Kurt Busch is indeed joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 does not SURPRISE me in the least because it seems to me that it has been in the works for awhile now.
What DOES surprise me however, is the sheer amount of NASCAR fans that I am seeing who are upset about this move. I am not naive- I know some drivers are greatly loved and other drivers are NOT. I sit in the stands- I hear your accolades and your jeers. I know that the both of the Busch brothers seem to have this negative stigma to the overall NASCAR fan base (this is a generalization of of the most sweeping variety of course and I acknowledge this for all you Kyle and Kurt fans out there). Let me just put it this way- for every one “YEAH Kurt Busch is moving over to SHR” message I saw- there were a hundred “OMG What ARE they thinking” messages and some of those were down right rude and left me questioning how the commenter could consider themselves a human being. Seriously people- nowhere is it written that you have to like Kurt, you are certainly free to take your SHR fandom elsewhere if you are truly THAT upset that Kurt has joined SHR- but you really do NOT have to be so damn rude about it. Nor do you have to attack the other fans who might support the move. I do NOT know what is up with all the trolls on the internet lately but it’s really bringing me down and sometimes they just get in my craw! It’s all I can do not to respond to them – but I don’t because one thing I have learned is not to poke the trolls with a stick- they like it (almost too much).
Personally? I think the move makes sense for both parties. Kurt is looking for a team with potential, as any driver worth his salt would. SHR is a team with great potential. After all- Tony Stewart had a freaking Championship in his pocket 3 years into team co-ownership. That right there is potential to me. Sure SHR has struggled this season. I personally blame it on the Gen6 car- but who knows what the real factor is. Maybe it’s a personnel issue. Maybe it’s just bad luck. I doubt that if they KNOW what the issue is- or they would fix it. I still think, despite these issues, that Stewart-Haas Racing has great potential…so why wouldn’t a driver want to drive for them?
I can only assume as an organization, Stewart-Haas Racing, is looking for a driver that has a good chance of winning. Isn’t that the whole idea of racing afterall; to build a stable of cars/drivers that have a good chance of winning every week? I mean I am not in the racing business beyond my rabid fandom and purging of said fandom onto this blog- but this seems to make sense even to me. Kurt is a really good driver. He might have some issues but it does NOT mean he is NOT a good driver. As a matter of fact- my dad and I disagree about Kurt Busch a lot. My dad does not like him (his prerogative) because he thinks Kurt’s anger management issues have ruined his career and he treats his crew badly. I don’t think it’s ruined his career unless he lets it. I think he may need help channeling his passion and frustration more appropriately- but it does not take away from the fact that HE IS A GOOD DRIVER. Plus PEOPLE are capable of change. I think in the right environment, with the right equipment, cars and support Kurt Busch can thrive as a driver. I can see those things coming from Stewart-Haas Racing.
A small part of me does worry that Stewart-Haas might be taking on too much change too quickly. The additions of both Harvick and Busch next season might stretch their resources a bit. I am looking forward greatly to hear/see who will be sponsoring Kurt Busch’s ride. But this is just the worry wart in me. At least that is what I hope.
But that little part is greatly overshadowed by the part of me that is really EXCITED for the 2014 season for Stewart-Haas. Why? Well you will have a (hopefully) healed and raring to go out there and prove himself Tony Stewart, as well as the powerhouse drivers of Kevin Harvick (he is currently 4th in the championship standings people- 4th as a lame duck driver) and Kurt Busch (who is currently 12th in the standings). Danica will hopefully have gotten the hang of the tracks that she isn’t use to and will do better next season. It’s going to be a good season- I can already feel it.
Oh and WELCOME Kurt…
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