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Kurt Busch loses crew chief - and his temper

Steve Addington has quit Penske Racing where he was Kurt Busch's crew chief, as more end-of-season changes were also announced at Roush Fenway and Earnhardt-Ganassi.
Steve Addington has left Penske Racing, it was announced this week following the final race of the 2011 season at Homestead-Miami - as the first of a number of end-of-season changes in team, crew and driver line-ups involving Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Burton, David Ragan and Andy Lally started to emerge.

“Steve Addington is no longer with our organisation," said a terse statement from the Penske team. "We appreciate the successes we experienced together and wish him the best in his future endeavours."

Addington was crew chief for the #22 car driven by Kurt Busch. It's believed that he might already be signed up to replace Darian Grubb as Tony Stewart's crew chief for the #14 car in 2012, after Grubb revealed that he was out of a job after engineering Stewart to championship victory on Sunday.

However, Stewart said that all options were still open and no firm decisions had been taken yet. “We're looking at all of our options right now,” Stewart said on Tuesday. “After we get through all the media obligations, I'll get to go back to the shop and we'll sit down as a group and try to come up with a decision and figure it out ... We'll try to sit down and see what we think is the best option and decision for the company."

Grubb could still be relocated within Stewart-Haas Racing, either in an executive role or as crew chief for the #10 part-time entry to be driven by Danica Patrick.

Addington will likely be relieved to put behind him a torrid time at Penske with Busch, with their association coming to another stormy end at Homestead after the #22's driveshaft and transmission failed just four laps into the race. Addington also worked with Busch's younger brother, Kyle, at Joe Gibbs Racing where they won 12 races together.

Sunday's early exit was characteristic of a turbulent season for Kurt Busch at Penske, which has seen several on-air tirades against the team for poor performance directed at Addington and even at team owner Roger Penske himself. This time, the media was on the receiving end of Busch's fury: after he was forced to retire, Busch was lined up for an interview on ESPN with their pit lane reporter Dr Jerry Punch waiting for the studio hand over to him, when Busch became increasingly unhappy at being kept waiting and let loose with a series of expletives.

In the end, Punch finally had enough of being on the receiving end and walked away, telling his producers "never mind, never mind" - an exchange captured on camera and later uploaded to YouTube. Penske issued an apology for Busch's behaviour on Tuesday, saying: "Penske Racing extends its apologies to Dr. Jerry Punch, our media partners and our sponsors and fans for Kurt Busch's inappropriate actions in Homestead on Sunday.

"These actions do not represent Penske Racing and are inconsistent with the company's standards for behaviour, respect for others and professionalism. This matter is being reviewed internally with no further comment at this time."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tony Stewart talks with his crew chief Darian Grubb. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images]
Juan Montoya in the garage area. [Picture Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images]
Roush Fenway #6 driver David Ragan talks to the media. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Andy Lally [Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR]
#22 crew chief Steve Addington with driver Kurt Busch [Photo Jerry Markland, Getty Images for NASCAR]
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage (L) and John Godwin of Duck Commander (R) look on at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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fritz - Unregistered

November 23, 2011 2:09 PM

the author is unnamed. this is never good, but it is bad in this case because the author chooses to characterize penskes short statement as a 'terse' statement, implying some negative emotion. this is a mischaracterization of a short statement. the author erred in using it, his editor erred in allowing it and crashnet erred by publishing it. short does not equal terse.

Motorsport fan - Unregistered

November 23, 2011 6:06 PM

According to the OED, terse simply means 'sparing in the use of words, abrupt'. Other dictionaries suggest 'using few words, devoid of superfluity' and 'brief and to the point, effectively concise' so it's hard to argue that the use of the word here isn't in fact precisely accurate and that any negative connotation is therefore the reader's own. That said, it does seem a rather pointedly blunt statement from Penske to my ears...



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