RCR considering Kurt Busch

Updated: September 7, 2012, 7:04 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

RICHMOND, Va. -- The owner of Richard Childress Racing has discussed putting 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch in a fourth car next season if sponsorship can be found.

Busch
Busch

"I have talked to Kurt about running a full season with a fourth team if we had sponsorship,'' Childress told ESPN.com on Friday at Richmond International Raceway. "He's a very, very talented driver.

"I like Kurt. Kurt and I would get along. There's just not a sponsor out there today that can fill a complete car.''

Busch through a team public relations representative said he had nothing to add to Childress' comments.

Childress said he should know his entire driver lineup by mid-October. He plans to field three Sprint Cup teams with drivers Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and Jeff Burton, as well as three Nationwide teams.

Childress' grandson Austin Dillon will drive one of the full-time Nationwide cars with grandson Ty Dillon driving 8-10 Nationwide races while running a full-time Truck Series schedule.

Nationwide points leader Elliott Sadler and sponsor One Main Financial are leaving after this season, so that seat is open. But Childress said he still has plenty of sponsorship to run three Nationwide teams.

Childress shut down his fourth Cup team after last season when sponsorship could not be secured for Clint Bowyer, who moved to Michael Waltrip Racing. He believes the sometimes controversial Busch -- with a title and 24 career wins -- would be a good fit at RCR.

"He and I would get along, and he would listen to me,'' Childress said of Busch. "One thing he needs is somebody, when he does do wrong, to discuss how to handle it.''

Busch was released from the No. 22 at Penske Racing after the 2011 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where he unleashed a profanity-laced tirade at ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch. He has spent this season driving for underfunded and primarily unsponsored Phoenix Racing.

He was suspended earlier this year after making threatening comments to a reporter after a Nationwide race at Dover.

Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll told ESPN.com recently that owner James Finch would welcome Busch back in 2013 if sponsorship was found.

But Busch's goal has been to return to a top organization such as RCR.

"He's a helluva race driver,'' Childress said. "If the sponsorship was there, we'd race him.''

Asked the likelihood of sponsorship being secured, Childress added, "It's getting late in the year.''

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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