"Kurt Busch is a premier talent, one who gives you the opportunity to win races every week and contend for a championship every year,” co-owner Gene Haas said. “When he became available, we seized the opportunity to make him a part of Stewart-Haas Racing. This is an organization built on winning, and Haas Automation is a company built on performance. Kurt embodies each of those qualities, and it’s why we’re investing in his abilities.”
\All true, but here is the rub. Kurt Busch is still an immature kid. He hasn't seriously contended for the title, since he won in in 2004. In that time he has been flat out fired from two jobs, by two of the most respected owners in the sport. Not to mention, reports this weekend say that SHR co-owner Tony Stewart asked Gene Haas to slow his roll in the Kurt Busch hiring process.
And here is the big question, is Kurt Busch a real upgrade from Ryan Newman?
Newman doesn't have a cut title, but he does have 17 career wins and he is the top quailfier in Sprint Cup, even considering the fact his pole number are way down after moving to Stewart-Haas.
And more importantly to me, and hopefully to sponsors, Newman has more class. He has clashed with former teammates Busch and Rusty Wallace, both well known hotheads. He's never been fired from a job (unlike Busch) and the way he has handled the situation since he was dismissed from SHR, including a win at Indy, shows he has way more class then Busch. I have always say you learn more about a person on how they react after they have a new job or have been fired. Newman has showed he's a class act.
Busch on the other hand, even at Furnature Row where he claims he is happy, continues to burate his crew on the radio, even as he fake smiles for the tv cameras. He's the same old Busch, he's just better at the dance.
Gene Haas has what he wanted. He has three of the best drivers in the sports in Stewart, Busch and Kevin Harvick. He also has three of it's biggest hot heads. Remember the mid 90's Seattle SuperSonics? Tons of talent, but still no titles, because winning takes more than talent. It takes integrity. Something Gene Haas might need to learn the hard way.