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Busch aggressive off the track too

Kurt going after members of media in recent dustups

By George Diaz, Tribune newspapers

September 14, 2011

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Love 'em or hate 'em, the Busch brothers are always in the mix when it comes to contentious relationships in NASCAR. Kurt Busch had to be restrained by team members along pit road in Richmond after an incident with NASCAR.com reporter Joe Menzer.

Menzer asked Busch — who had some issues with Jimmie Johnson at the Richmond night race — "Kurt, can either you or Jimmie win the Chase?" Busch cut him off and then said: "How did I see you were going to come with that? We're good." After Busch turned away and started walking down pit road, Menzer called out that the question was legitimate. Busch then turned around and began yelling expletives at Menzer before he was restrained.

In the postrace news conference, Busch challenged another reporter who asked Johnson to respond to Busch insisting that he was in Johnson's head. "I didn't say that tonight," Busch said, later tearing up a transcript that said just that.

Danica on hold: Danica Patrick and her sponsor, Go Daddy, are waiting until NASCAR releases its Cup schedule to determine the number of races she will run on a part-time schedule. Patrick will race for owner Tony Stewart.

"Go Daddy's input is important and they'll play a part, but they're also respectful enough to understand that I'm the driver and the team owners are drivers too, and they're not NASCAR professionals necessarily," Patrick said. "Taking the advice of those around me who have been in the sport for a long time, they realize that's the smart thing to do too."

Danica take 2: John Force, a 17-time NHRA Funny Car team champion and one of the most celebrated names in drag racing, knows a thing or two about generating publicity. He is an energetic, nonstop quote machine. Although Patrick isn't quite so engaging, she will no doubt cause a royal rumble in the NASCAR garage as well.

"She's going to make 'em all crazy," Force said on a recent promotional stop in Florida. "The good old boys never wanted any females. And I love the females because all my daughters, Courtney, Ashley, they all drive. And I don't know Danica. People are always asking me that because I keep plugging her.

"First, it's an exciting story, the change. And it's going to help NASCAR."

George Diaz