We’ve seen it over and over again – the Busch brothers maturing from the common perception of their character and racing technique throughout the season, and gaining frequent recognition from the broadcasting booth for it. But it seems as if every year, something snaps that process at some point: Kyle wrecking Ron Hornaday under caution in 2011, Kurt threatening Bob Pockrass in 2012, and so on.
Right now, the spotlight is on Kurt as he’s on an uphill path in every aspect of his racing that he can control, on and off the track. Before his wreck at New Hampshire, Kurt was solidly climbing his way up through the points standings, even breaking into the top 10. Furniture Row Racing has seen a competitive, optimistic season since adding Kurt to the one-car team, and so far it seems as if they can’t go anywhere but up. While Kurt typically runs well week in and week out, unpredictable events put a damper on many of those days, but Kurt always comes out the next weekend, ready to run with the leaders again and try to avoid uncontrollable outcomes.
Kurt’s post-wreck interview in New Hampshire highlighted that his attitude is on the same upwards path as his racing. But the question is: will Kurt fall to the same fate as we’ve seen in the past – recovering throughout the year and then eventually snapping at an unfortunate turn of events? Is he just a ticking time bomb, waiting to be set off?
It doesn’t seem like it. The 78 team suits him well, and he’s helped them immensely. The pairing just fits, and the mesh has given Kurt a likely permanent attitude renovation. He could have easily snapped at the incident in New Hampshire, after leading a significant amount of laps and putting himself in position to challenge for the win – or one of the many other unfortunate events he’s faced this year – but instead Kurt stayed positive in his interview, eager to get back in the car and collect as many points as possible from the day.
Not to say that Kurt won’t have another meltdown at some point; it happens to the best of them. But let’s all give him the benefit of the doubt, because his demeanor and his Chase hopes are continuing on a steep slope upwards.
By Alanis King