Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Wednesday April 19, 2006
Here we are in the midst of an “off” week, not much to talk about NASCAR wise, when, suddenly; a juicy little tidbit of a story presents itself! I thought for sure, when I first heard about it, that the inquisition would begin in earnest. Except, wouldn’t you know it…nary a chirp was heard!
I am writing, of course, about the incident involving Kyle Busch, a rental car, a bored cop, and a bucket of extra crispy chicken. Let’s hear Kyle’s side of the story"¦
""¦so I pulled out of the gas station, I chirped my tires, went about 20 feet at less than 10 mph and turned into the KFC, which was right next door,’’ said Busch. "As I was in the drive-thru, I had completed my food order before seeing any blue lights behind me. That’s when I saw the blue lights and just stayed put and waited for them to come up to my window.’’
Unfortunately for Kyle, "them" that came to the window was not delivering a bucket of extra crispy, but rather a citation for reckless driving.
Now, as stories go, I thought this one had tons of possibilities. Why, just the day before the “reckless chicken incident” as I like to call it, Kyle was at Richmond International Raceway speaking about NASCAR’s new "Focus on Driving Campaign" which is a program “aimed at limiting distractions for teens behind the wheel.” While I am not familiar with the program myself, one can assume that the wafting aroma of fried chicken is not listed in the “distraction” list. Cell phones and girlfriends come to mind, but not the Colonel’s Secret Recipe. I guess, when you think about it, none of it would apply to Kyle anyway, seeing as how he is no longer a teen at age 20.
Then, there is the “big brother” slant. Perhaps there has long been a sibling rivalry between Shrub and big brother Kurt. Kurt was charged with reckless driving just last year, so maybe Kyle was feeling a bit left out. Look what all the attention did for Kurt’s career. Of course, not being 21 yet, Kyle had to leave the alcohol part out, but the chicken is a classic substitute!
Headline writers could have capitalized on the event and grabbed the attention of some readers who wouldn’t ordinarily be interested in anything NASCAR. “Chirping heard from the Shrub” would make any birdwatcher at least start to read the article. Sure, they might not finish it, but, then again, maybe they might want to find out just why Kyle is called "˜Shrub’ in the first place, causing them to dive a little further into this “NASCAR thing.” Actually, a race is a great place to go birdwatching. We’ve all seen the bird fly at many a racing event!
Did anyone besides me catch the irony of the location of said violation? Laburnum and Route 60! C’mon man! You gotta squeal the tires at an intersection with a name like that. Especially with a rental.
To be quite honest, I personally think a ticket actually being issued in this incident was a bit severe. A warning would have sufficed, but that’s from a guy who has been known to do a “smoke show” in front of the tavern just so we could smell the rubber while watching the race, so I may be a bit biased! I plead guilty, your Honor!
Stay off the wall (and off the gas),
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