Penske sacks Kurt Busch from Cup ride

Kurt Busch with 2011 crew chief Steve Addington at Homestead-Miami Speedway last month

The Charlotte Observer’s website is reporting breaking news that former Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch has been sacked by Roger Penske.

Reports suggest that Busch’s consistently poor attitude has been his downfall, coming to a head recently when a fan caught Busch verbally abusing ESPN reporter Dr Jerry Punch when he retired in the early stages of the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (see video of Busch’s outburst at base of story).

Despite his temper, Busch is regarded as one of the most talented drivers in the Sprint Cup garage and made the Chase this year for Penske in the #22 Shell/Pennzoil sponsored Dodge, which Busch switched to after several seasons in the Miller Lite entry now driven by Brad Keselowski.

Further reports have linked David Ragan to the #22 ride. Ragan, who won this year’s July race at Daytona, is on the outer at Roush Fenway Racing as the top Ford team is forced to downsize from four Sprint Cup entries to three due to lack of sponsorship.

Other drivers who could fill the void are Brian Vickers and David Reutimann. Vickers has joined the unemployment line after the closure of Red Bull Racing, while Reutimann has been replaced by veteran Mark Martin at Michael Waltrip Racing as that team downsizes its third Sprint Cup entry to a part-time schedule.

CLICK HERE for Jim Utter’s breaking news story on the Charlotte Observer’s website.

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