Kurt Busch says he's working with a sports psychologist to overcome some of the frustrations that boiled over in that infamous YouTube video from NASCAR's Homestead finale.
Following Thursday's Myers Brothers media luncheon at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, ahead of tonight's Sprint Cup championship awards, the Penske Racing driver said he feels he has made strides this year, but is hoping continuing sessions with a sports psychologist will help him to prevent frustrations with his car or crew from getting the best of him.
“I need to be a better person on the radio, to the team, as a leader,” conceded Busch, who said he began working with the psychologist two months ago. “It's personal issues, of course, and working with a sports psychologist, I've gotten a small grasp. But there's obviously bigger things that I have to accomplish, and things can't happen overnight."
Busch said that, overall, he felt his team had a lot of positives this season, even though it ended poorly with the early DNF at Homestead that prompted his blow-up at ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch. The latter, which, followed an obscene gesture he was caught making by his in-car camera as he drove into the garage following a transmission problem, earned Busch a $50,000 fine from NASCAR. Despite this, and the departure of crew chief Steve Addington (who has now joined Tony Stewart's team for 2012), Busch says he is upbeat about his team's prospects.
"[We had] four trips to Victory Lane when we started off the year with a new sponsor, a new number and a new look," Busch said. "We won at Sonoma. We won a Chase race at Dover. We were nine points out of the lead three races into the Chase. That's the season that I think of. I don't think of those last three races.
"Looking forward, we have to find a crew chief," Busch added. "We have to get better on pit stops. And from the sponsor's concern – yes, they're agitated about what occurred at Homestead, but looking forward, we can find better things.
"You can work 364 days on being positive and building a better platform, and it can take just one day to knock it all back," Busch said. "I need to harness what happens in the racecar and keep it there. Then I need to step out of the car and do a better job to understand that if we didn't reach our goal for that day or that moment, that it's going to be all right at the end."