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Radio silence not in NASCAR's future

Kurt Busch shouldn't expect to get his wish anytime soon.

Radio transmissions between drivers, owners, spotters and crew chiefs will continue to be available to NASCAR, media and fans.

Flak over a torrid exchange between Busch and car owner Roger Penske last Sunday at Martinsville - in which Busch called his owner 'dude' - evoked a familiar refrain on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.

"The radio, I always thought, has been a team tool that should be utilised just by the teams," Busch said. "We don't get to hear what the coach says to his offensive and defensive coordinators in the NFL. I don't think that we get to hear what they do in baseball when they call to the bullpen.

"You don't get to hear what they say in the huddle, and what they say in the huddle is pretty animated. Roger and I are on the same page. Martinsville is behind us."

That may be, but NASCAR isn't about to budge when it comes to keeping the airwaves open.

"The more access we can give the fans, that's a part of what made NASCAR what it is, the accessibility of the drivers," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of corporate communications. "In my opinion, drivers - even in the heat of battle - need to be able to control their emotions. They're driving a racecar around at 200 miles an hour with a bunch of other people.

"NASCAR needs to be able to hear what's going on with the teams during a race, and we've extended that to the fans."

Jeff Gordon is one driver who says he has never had cross words with his car owner, Rick Hendrick, on the team radio.

"I've never screamed at the car owner, I can tell you that," Gordon said. "(But) I think it's intense out there - it will get the best of you. I lose control many times throughout most races and say things that I wish I hadn't said. Usually, when things are going good, you don't say a whole lot."

Hendrick won't hear Gordon calling him 'dude', either.

"I never called him dude - just boss," Gordon said. "Yes, sir, boss. Whatever you say, boss. 10-4, boss."

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News


Related Pictures

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