CONCORD, N.C. (WVLT-TV) -- Perhaps no driver in NASCAR history has fallen as quickly as Kurt Busch has.
"What did I learn from it? I was doing a lot of things wrong," Kurt Busch recently said during the 2012 NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Doing things wrong like like berating his crew over the radio during a race, or the media following one.
It was that behavior that served as the catalyst for Busch and Penske Racing to part ways at the end of 2011.
It was that behavior that led to a psychologists couch at season's end.
"At the end of the day, is it the money you're putting in your pocket, or the fun you're having while doing it?" Busch said. "There's been a lot of advice I've been given this offseason and it's been a great way to digest and now I'm excited to get to the track and put it into place."
The place is now the small funded, one car team of Phoenix Racing. Driving the #51 car a full season has given life to the ashes of the 2004 champ.
"It was just a handshake deal. It's just a one year outlook. There's no where to go but up with the points from last year. We just don't know where we're gonna fit in. It's one week at a time."
A career full of run-ins put Kurt Busch in this situation. Now the run-in he needs to avoid most is one with the wall. With a smaller team, comes smaller bucks and Busch can't afford to go thru too many racing machines.
"You have to stay cool with it and know that, 'Hey, 15th is gonna be a good day when you can take that best bullet back to the track in a couple of weeks without a scratch on it.' Make it work protecting the car and not finding those vulnerable situations on the track."
This season, it's not the cars that Kurt Busch is looking to rebuild. It's his reputation.