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September 18, 2014

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Kurt Busch is now a YouTube sensation

Maybe it was the transmission failure at Homestead. Maybe it was the fact that his crew chief is leaving. Maybe his neon yellow firesuit was a little too tight. Whatever the reason, Kurt Busch, in a moment of frustration, has once again strayed from his public relations script by giving us another obscenity-laced tantrum.

I'm sure you've read the stories and viewed the YouTube video (see below) of Kurt's eruption that was directed at ESPN's Jerry Punch. Busch's cussing tirade wasn't something a TV network would have aired unedited, but when a fan recorded the tantrum and posted it on YouTube, the raw version was exposed to the world.

Busch got caught with his pants down and once again we learned that his persona in front of the cameras is a highly sanitized version of the real Kurt Busch. Other drivers should take notice that a fan with a cellphone can report on your actions without the filter of an editor.

But the more important message is that the public relations blitz by both brothers is just spin and, unfortunately, doesn't represent any real change in behavior. I would not say this if the Busch brothers' outbursts were rare and exhibited only under extreme circumstances. Anyone can have a bad day and act out of character. But the Busch boys show a consistent pattern of behavior that NASCAR seems to be unwilling to accept any longer. And, in Kyle's situation, it is behavior that a sponsor is no longer willing to tolerate.

Kurt lashes out

Kyle and Kurt are too talented to continue to let their personalities, instead of their performance, define who they are as athletes. But the Busch brothers are who they are and it's possible that we'll ever see them truly change.

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