Penske Racing says it is "reviewing" Kurt Busch's comments toward ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch after Busch retired from Sunday's Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale.
Busch, who broke a transmission in the early laps of the race, drove straight into the garage. A part that broke off the car was reported to have hit Tony Stewart's nose, which could have been the culprit for Stewart's damaged grille that needed repairing.
When asked about the situation, Busch told Punch off-air that “makes me feel better” in a sarcastic, condescending tone, and proceeded to direct several expletives at Punch and an ESPN cameraman before any interview ever made it to air. The footage was captured by a fan on a cellphone camera and posted to YouTube.
Penske Racing posted a statement Tuesday afternoon apologizing to Punch after Busch's actions:
“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 behavior, respect for others and professionalism. This matter is being reviewed internally with no further comment at this time.”
UPDATE: Several hours after Penske Racing released its statement, Busch released one of his own to the Associated Press:
“Unfortunately, our result in the season-ending race at Homestead on Sunday was not what we had hoped for as a team. In my frustration with the loss of my transmission early in the race, I let my emotions get the better of me. I regret having done this and apologize to the sponsors of Penske Racing, to NASCAR, its fans, to the media and in particular, Dr. Jerry Punch.”