Its defending Sprint Cup champion took a decidedly different stance on Busch's remarks Tuesday night on SiriusXM Satellite Radio's NASCAR channel.
"I'll be honest, I liked (Busch's) answer," Tony Stewart said. "I kind of thought it was good when it pertains to Bob Pockrass. Bob's a decent guy. But there's just so many good things to write about in our sport. There's a couple of reporters that strictly want to be tabloid journalists. Unfortunately, he's one of them."
Busch's latest outburst occurred after finishing fourth in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway. Asked by Pockrass whether being on probation impacted how he raced Justin Allgaier, Busch replied, "It refrains me from not the (expletive) out of you right now because you ask me stupid questions. But since I'm on probation, I suppose that's improper to say as well. If you could talk about racing things, we could talk about racing things, Bob."
After Pockrass responded, "This is racing," Busch replied, "It's not racing. You're in this just to start stuff. That's all you're out here for."
Busch apologized in a statement Monday after being punished. But speaking on a special edition of Tony Stewart Live to promote his Prelude to the Dream charity all-star exhibition race Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway, Stewart stood up for the 2004 champion.
"Sad but true: Kurt is right," Stewart said. "Bob Pockrass is probably the biggest mixer in the whole media center. Everytime he interviews somebody, it is strictly about something controversial."
Stewart's view isn't that surprising considering he has had countless run-ins with the news media throughout his 14 seasons in NASCAR's premier series. In 2002, he was put on probation and fined $10,000 by NASCAR for striking a photographer after the Brickyard 400. His weekly media sessions usually are the most curt and often caustic among Sprint Cup drivers.
Pockrass, who was named the 2009 National Motorsports Press Association writer of the year, is among the most respected and well-liked members of the NASCAR media corps because of a tireless work ethic and a strong reportorial acumen. When Busch's suspension was announced, Pockrass didn't learn of it for hours because he was in a Charlotte courtroom covering a lawsuit.
Alan Cavanna, a TV reporter who works for WSOC in Charlotte, called Stewart's program Tuesday to challenge the three-time champion's take on Pockrass. "A lot of fans read his articles and he puts out so much content throughtout the week, and it covers all aspects of the sport," Cavanna said. "And it sounded like you pigeonholed him into just doing controversial stories."
Stewart gave Pocrkass credit for being among the first journalists at the track each week and for logging long hours. But he also said Pockrass was squandering his talent by acting like "a big bass fish that lays behind the rock until something comes by, and then he grabs at it."
Stewart continued, "The problem is he's also the first one that anytime anything controversial comes up, he's the first one to ask a question. People cringe when he comes up. You know it's about whatever the controversial topic of the week is. It's gotcha journalism."
http://www.freep.com/usatoday/article/7 ... =sportsmod
NW: 7, 31, 3, 11, 60, 88, 12
Trucks: 9, 88, 3, 7, 17, 31
IRL: 10, 11, 12, 26, 3, 38, 27
RIP Dan Wheldon
"Fight for Four"- Annalee
You got to have a big gigantic drum kit.