Kyle Busch Can Dish It Out — But Can He Take It?

October 4, 2010 by · 69 Comments
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Kyle Busch had no problem spinning David Reutimann into the infield on lap 51 of Sunday’s Price Chopper 400.

But when Reutimann returned the favor 100 laps later Busch was livid.

Kyle was racing just behind Reutimann as the two cars were running near the front of the field. Kyle had a faster car and could have passed Reutimann at that point. Instead Busch drove through Reutimann and turned him.

“He wrecked me,” said a red faced David Reutimann after the race. “I’m going to put it this way — I don’t care if you’re in the Chase or not, you need to think about who you’re running over when you’re running over them.”

After making some quick repairs Reutimann returned his No. 00 Toyota to the track and on lap 154 found himself along Kyle Busch. Reutimann pinned Kyle’s No. 18 car against the wall doing extensive damage to the rear suspension.

“I have a serious problem with what just happened,” Busch said immediately following the wreck. “I don’t think anyone in the tower is going to do anything about it. And if they don’t, we’re going to have a meeting about it.”

At the time Busch was running in the seventh position, just 11 points off the championship lead. If Busch had practiced a little give and take he would be in the hunt for a Sprint Cup Championship.

Instead he now sits 80 points back in seventh.

So who was right in this situation – or were both drivers wrong. And should NASCAR do anything about it?

Has Kyle Busch Earned Your Respect?

August 22, 2010 by · 69 Comments
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Does Kyle Busch deserve more respect from NASCAR, it’s fans, and it’s drivers?

Kyle Busch may never have as many fans as Dale Earnhardt Jr or Jeff Gordon. But after his sweep of Bristol this weekend he has earned the respect of a few of them.

“It’s so cool to be here three nights on this weekend,” said Kyle Busch of his sweep at Bristol.

With his victory in the Irwin Tools Night Race Kyle Busch capped off a sweep of all three of this week’s NASCAR National Touring series races at Bristol becoming the first driver in history to do so. He went to Victory Lane in the Camping World Truck Series, the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup series.

“It was pretty special,” said Busch. “This team has worked so much through the past few weeks to try to get ourselves back on track. Coming to Bristol you could say, yeah, well, we’re supposed to run well here. But still, it’s cool to be able to put it all together in a complete weekend, with the truck, with the Nationwide car and with the Cup car.”

But with Kyle being Kyle he doesn’t always do things to help his standing with the fans. After winning the Nationwide race Kyle climbed from his car to a chorus of boos raining down on him from the grandstands. In response Kyle wrung his eyes in mock tears just to taunt the booers a little more. But, that is just Kyle.

“I saw it, but I passed it.” Kyle Busch on Keselowski’s car

Brad Keselowski called Kyle Busch “an  ass” during driver introductions prior to the Saturday Night Sprint Cup race and nearly brought the house down. But that would not deter Busch.

When asked about Brad Keselowski’s declaration after the race Busch responded blankly, “who?”

“Brad Keselowski,” the reporter repeated.

“Yeah, I don’t know who you’re talking about,” Busch insisted.

“He drives the No. 12 car,” the reporter said in a bewildered tone.

“I saw it, but I passed it,” Kyle responded with a sly grin.

Still, there were more cheers than boos when Kyle took his victory lap after the race.

“I just come out here to do my job,” said Busch. I do what I’m supposed to do, and to win races is my job and what that entails.  The fans are what drives this sport and what makes us go round and get us here every week. So it’s cool to have them here, and they’re passionate about who they like and who they don’t like.”

Yet what Kyle Busch pulled off is a remarkable feat. It is hard enough just to win a race in any NASCAR series. It is hard enough to win a race at Bristol. Kyle Busch went 3 for 3 in 3 completely different race cars and trucks. One was fielded by his own race shop, and the other 2 by Joe Gibbs Racing. In the truck race Kyle even started from the back of the field to take the win.

He deserves just a little bit of respect for that. Like him or not.

Kyle Busch’s Biggest Feuds

June 11, 2010 by · 11 Comments
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One thing about Kyle Busch. He doesn’t shy away from mixing things up with his fellow drivers. Cory McCartney over at SI.com put together a list of Kyle’s 5 greatest feuds.

The list includes Dale Earnhardt Jr, Casey Mears, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton.

Can you think of any more?

Photo courtesy NASCAR Media

8 Reasons Kyle Busch is a Racer’s Racer

December 21, 2009 by · 4 Comments
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8 Reasons Kyle Busch is a Racer’s Racer

Whether you like Kyle Busch or not – whether you’re a fan or not – sometimes you just have to give the devil his due.

Kyle Busch is not just a racer – he is a Racer’s Racer. That’s a racer who will race anything – anywhere – anytime. And do it every day if possible. A.J. Foyt, Bobby Allison and Tony Stewart are prime examples of a Racer’s Racer.

Busch drove that fact home when he announced that he was starting his own race team for 2010 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

So what all has Busch done to prove he’s a Racer’s Racer?

 

Here’s a list of his accomplishments in 2009:

  1. 36 races and 4 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
  2. 35 races and 9 wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series
  3. 15 races and 7 wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
  4. Won the Snowball Derby / Late Model stock car race at 5 Flags Speedway
  5. Won the Winchester 400 / Late Model stock car race at Winchester Speedway
  6. Won a CRA Super Late Model stock car race at Lanier Speedway
  7. Became  team owner in NASCAR’s truck series
  8. Scored 20 wins across NASCAR’s 3 major series

Not a Fan’s Racer

Still, Kyle does plenty to keep you fired up. Busch seems to have a way with NASCAR fans.

He keeps Dale Earnhardt Jr fans breathing fire by making comments like “It’s never Junior — it’s always the crew chief,” when talking about Dale Jr’s new crew chief.

Busch has caused his share of wrecks and spins – but I have never seen him intentionally take out another driver to win a race. Although Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr once wrecked at Richmond while Junior was in the lead with just three laps to go. But I don’t believe it was intentional. Still, Earnhardt fans were livid.

When Kyle tried to block Tony Stewart and wound up putting himself in the wall at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona last July Busch accused Tony Stewart of intentionally wrecking him. “It would be considered a dump,” said Busch

It was obvious to anyone watching that the crash was caused by hard racing and Kyle’s over-aggressive attempts to block. So when Kyle made the statement that he was “dumped” by Stewart it did not sit well with Tony Stewart fans.

Busch doesn’t help his cause when he storms off after a race because he didn’t win, refusing to be interviewed. Fans want to hear what he has to say.

Kyle took a lot of flack when he smashed a guitar in Victory Lane after winning. The guitar was the trophy.

It’s when he gets out of the car that the trouble begins

It is usually what Busch does and says off the track that gets him in trouble with NASCAR and race fans.

Still I have to respect him for being angry for finishing 2nd or getting into a wreck. He has a burning desire to win.

Busch has won on all kinds of race tracks in all kinds of cars. From 1/2 mile 5 Flags Speedway to the road course at Watkins Glen to Talladega Superspeedway.

He has proven that he is a Racer’s Racer – even though he may not be a Fan’s Racer.

Kyle just wants to race – and win. Can you blame him for that?

Kyle Busch Wins Snowball Derby

December 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Kyle Busch Wins Snowball Derby

Kyle Busch is not finished winning – even after the NASCAR season is over. Kyle won the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida Sunday.

The Snowball Derby is the biggest short track late model race of the year.

Here are the results:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Eddie Mercer
3. Steven Wallace
4. Bobby Gill
5. John Bolen
6. Grant Enfinger
7. Chase Elliott
8. Wayne Niedecken Jr.
9. Ryan Lawler
10. Ryan Sieg
11. Scott Carlson
12. Ross Kenseth
13. Scott Hantz
14. Dennis Prunty
15. Dennis Schoenfeld
16. Brian Scott
17. Randy Gentry
18. Johanna Long
19. Gary Helton
20. Danny Bagwell
21. Stephan McCurley
22. Casey Smith
23. David Rogers
24. Justin Drawdy
25. Brian Ickler
26. Shane Sieg
27. David Stremme
28. Cale Gale
29. Josh Hamner
30. Tyler Millwood
31. Augie Grill
32. Brian Campbell
33. Hunter Robbins
34. Bubba Pollard
35. Heath Hindman
36. Jeff Choquette
37. Cecil Chunn

Kyle Busch Grows Up

August 23, 2009 by · 47 Comments
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Kyle Busch Grows Up – But Will It Last?

Kyle Busch showed a little more maturity and professionalism this weekend at Bristol – and he may have earned a few more fans for it.

In Friday night’s Nationwide Series race Kyle Busch was wrecked while leading by rookie Chase Austin when Austin turned left in front of Kyle sending Busch’s car into the wall.

The fans erupted in a loud cheer when they saw Kyle crash. Busch simply climbed from his car and headed straight to his hauler. But he came out after a few minutes to speak to the media. Everyone expected him to blast the young rookie who had just taken him out.

Instead, Kyle had this to say:

“Real unfortunate that it happened,” Busch said. “I’ve made mistakes too. I guess the spotter didn’t see the leader coming didn’t have the spotter telling him the leaders were bearing down. It stinks that it’s this early in the race that we’re talking to you.”

“If he had a flat tire it’s a rookie thing. You live and you learn. Chase didn’t have the spotter telling him stay high.”

“I heard a lot of fans were happy about it. That’s how I knew it was Kyle,” said Chase Austin of the crowd’s response to Busch’s wreck.

Then Saturday night after winning the Sharpie 500 Sprint Cup race Kyle climbed from his car – grabbed the checkered flag – and handed it to a little girl at the fence who was wearing an M&Ms Shirt.

I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Kyle Busch’s temper – but he seemed to have it under control this weekend.

Kyle Busch Skips Obama Meeting

August 19, 2009 by · 193 Comments
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Kyle Busch Skips Obama Meeting

Barack Obama invited 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson and the 11 other Chase drivers from last year to the White House for a months late celebration and meeting on the South Lawn.

Kyle Busch decided to skip the ceremonies.

Maybe Kyle doesn’t agree with Obama’s politics. Or maybe he was just in a hurry to get to Bristol for the truck race. But he wasn’t the only one who didn’t show up. Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth were also invited but did not go.

“You know, it is not every day that we have a championship stock car parked out on the South Lawn,” said Obama. “Fortunately, we got Jimmie to agree not to do any burnouts or tear up my backyard.”

Who knew? I thought that that backyard belonged to the American People.

The drivers who did attend were Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart.

Obama also invited past NASCAR Champions and special guests Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Juan Pablo Montoya, Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace and Darrell Waltrip.

This is the ninth time — since 1978 — that  NASCAR Champions have been invited to the White House.

“NASCAR is once again honored to have its drivers recognized by the President of the United States,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “NASCAR is rooted deep in America’s fabric and represents the best of sports and side by side competition.”

Obama said NASCAR is not just about racing — but about America.

“It’s about all the foundations NASCAR has started to support schools and hospitals, combat hunger and homelessness,” said Obama. “And work to help folks in our communities — like the campers here from Victory Junction –  kids who can teach us all a thing or two about courage and hope, and I hope had the time of their lives at summer camp.”

“So today, I want to thank all of you for that and for everything you do to make this country a better country.  And I wish you all the best of luck in this year’s Chase,” said Obama.

“God bless all of you, and God bless the United States of America.  Thank you very much, everybody.”

Obama never made a campaign stop at a NASCAR track when he was running for office. John McCain did. I wonder why he has decided to reach out to NASCAR and its fans now.

Did Kyle Busch make the right decision in skipping the ceremonies?

Kyle Busch Wrecks Himself

July 5, 2009 by · 136 Comments
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Kyle Busch Wrecked by His Own Move

Tony Stewart was a little subdued and almost apologetic in Victory Lane after dominating Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

Stewart seemed to think he shouldered some responsibility for putting Kyle Busch in the wall just yards from the finish line on the final lap.

“I guess I just don’t feel as much gratification from winning this race as I probably should,” said Tony Stewart. “I don’t want any part of earning a race because the guy that was leading the race got wrecked.”

Kyle Put Tony in Bad Position

“I don’t know that we did anything wrong. I’ve seen replays of it, and he’s protecting his position, which he’s got to do.  I mean, that’s what he has to do as a driver. He can’t just sit there and let us make a move like that and not try to defend it. But it puts him, it puts us, it put Kasey Kahne behind him in a bad position where it drove Kyle’s car all the way up to Kasey’s windshield.

“I guess tomorrow I might be happier about it,” said Stewart.

Tony Stewart did nothing wrong.

Stewart Miscue Lets Kyle Pass

Busch was able to drive past Stewart coming to the white flag thanks to a miscalculation on the part of Tony Stewart. “We slowed down just trying not to get too big a gap,” said Stewart, “and I timed it wrong and that gave him a chance to get around us. It was just a mistake on my part. He had been setting that move up for a couple laps, and I tried not to give him too much of a gap to get a run like that.  I slowed myself down too much to protect my spot.  It was a mistake on my part that gave him enough of a shot to get a big run on the outside like that.”

Stewart was faster than Busch and he was trying to pass. When Stewart moved his No.14 Chevy to the bottom of the racetrack Kyle Busch cut him off. It didn’t matter. Stewart had a head of steam and went to the high side and started to move around Kyle Busch’s Toyota. By the time Kyle figured out what was happening Stewart already had his bumper along-side. When Kyle tried to block the second time Stewart held his line and Busch spun across Stewart’s bumper.

“We went for it right there at the end,” said crew Kyle Busch’s chief Steve Addington.  “What are you going to say?  Everybody on this race team worked their tails off and we had a good racecar.  I can’t say anything.  I’m not pointing any fingers at Tony.  He was trying to win the race, Kyle was trying to block him for the win and we got turned around.”

That block ruined some good race cars on the final lap – including Kasey Kahne and Joey Logano who had nowhere to go when Busch hit the wall. Both of them hit Kyle’s No. 18 Toyota – Kasey Kahne lifted Busch’s wheels off the ground and literally drove underneath him.

The finish line was so close that if Kyle Busch had held his line instead of blocking Stewart the two would have crossed the line side by side. Busch could have still won. At worst he would have been second.

Instead Busch finished 14th as Stewart took the checkered flag.

“I’m not pointing any fingers at Tony. He was trying to win the race, Kyle was trying to block him.” ~ Steve Addington

Stewart Lucky He Didn’t Wreck

“I was kind of surprised at where we came out of that ordeal, not necessarily with the lead but the direction we were pointed,” said Stewart.” It really easily could have taken us out of a chance to win the race, too.”

“It happened so quick and he went across the nose so fast, and the next thing we know we’re pointed at the line.”

The move looked similar to the block Carl Edwards tried to put on Brad Keselowski at Talladega. The results were about the same, too.

NASCAR Officials Corner Busch

Following the race Busch blew off reporters who were waiting to talk to him – and he tried to blow off NASCAR officials who wanted him to see a doctor in the infield care center. The officials were having none of that. Busch had to be forcibly turned around and put in a waiting truck to go be checked out.

Kyle Busch’s best shot at Victory would have been not to block Tony Stewart. I do not see where Tony Stewart did anything wrong. Do you?

Kyle Claims More Popularity than Junior

June 18, 2009 by · 122 Comments
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Kyle Busch Says He’s more Popular Than Dale Jr

Nate Ryan over at the USA Today had an interesting story about Kyle Busch today where Busch claims he is really NASCAR’s most popular driver — not Dale Earnhardt Jr.

According to Ryan, Kyle thinks Junior is not as popular as he is. “They should change it to most loved driver,” said Busch as he was quoted in the paper. “Everyone loves Junior, so he’s going to get it. But I’m the most popular with the media and the fans talking all the time, whether they say good or bad things.”

Ryan thinks Busch is growing in popularity due to the way he refuses to talk when he loses — and he says Kyle’s guitar smashing performance in Nashville upped Kyle’s fan base a little bit.

Kyle seemed oblivious to fan reactions. “A lot of people hated it and I guess those are the ones with 88 tattooed on their arms, or maybe still 8,” said Busch.

So, will Dale Jr lose any sleep now that Kyle Busch thinks he is more popular? I doubt it.

Kyle Busch — Never Junior

May 29, 2009 by · 143 Comments
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Kyle Busch:”It’s Never Junior”

In the NASCAR world you can’t escape the topic of Dale  Earnhardt Jr and his new crew chief. Kyle Busch was no exception. Busch is taking shots at Dale Jr.

Here’s what Kyle Busch had to say about Junior and his new crew chief:

“You got to make the most popular driver in the sport competitive,” said Busch. “So you got to do what you got to do, I guess. He’s the one who brought that crew chief on. He’s the one who pulled so hard to bring Eury, Jr. in.  It looked like it was working there in the beginning and it hasn’t worked since the summer of last year, really. Whatever makes them better, I guess.”

“If Junior doesn’t run well, the crew chief is going to be the problem. You know, it’s never Junior, it’s always the crew chief.”

“He’s got his hands full, I guess, having to deal with what’s going on,” said Kyle Busch, talking about Dale Jr’s new crew chief Lance McGrew. “And if Junior doesn’t run well, then he is going to be the problem again.”

“It’s never Junior, it’s always the crew chief.”

Do you think Kyle Busch has a problem with Dale Earnhardt Jr?

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