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Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Wednesday May 31, 2006
I watched on TV in March as Jeff Gordon shoved Matt Kenseth at Bristol. I saw last year at New Hampshire as Robby Gordon threw his helmet at Michael Waltrip's car. I watched from row 5 at Bristol again when Ward Burton threw his heat shields at Dale, Jr back in the day. Any fan can recite a list of memorable heated exchanges, whether it is on the local dirt track or the greatest superspeedways. Emotion defines NASCAR; it's a big part of why so many love the sport so much.
Usually, that outburst of emotion, while maybe not the best example of sportsmanship, was somewhat justified, as in the examples above. Close quarter racing is going to result in some bumping and banging; sometimes you're the bumper, sometimes the bumpee.
With that thought in mind, I must say that Kyle "The Child" Busch's outburst last Sunday after his accident with Casey Mears was the most childish and pathetic thing I have seen in all of sports in a long time.
Now, "Child" Busch did not cause this accident; his car simply just didn't get by it. For those who didn't see it, Busch was caught up in something that was beyond any human's control once the 42 car of Mears broke loose while running by itself and started to spin off turn four. While I do understand Busch's frustration at being an innocent victim of a wreck not of his making, the directing of that frustration at Mears just baffles my mind. If someone were to make a list of the most immature acts EVER, in ALL of PROFESSIONAL sports, "The Child" throwing his HANS device at Mears upon exiting his car would be right up there with Mike Tyson and the ear biting episode.
There is a reason kids play college ball before going pro. There is a reason the Major Leagues have a farm system. There is SUPPOSED to a reason NASCAR has a Busch Series. That reason is to learn a little maturity. Unfortunately in NASCAR, the "farm system" has broken down, and "Child" Busch is a shining example.
Nothing matters at the top level of the sport other than winning and producing top fives. That translates into money, and money is what it is all about. Drivers are getting younger and younger and given top notch equipment right out of the gate. If they don't meet increasingly higher expectations within an increasingly shorter amount of time, they are chewed up and spit out. Any stupid fool at that age can be fearless and drive a car fast. Most of us did that in our younger days. Ask yourself this question, though; are you a better driver now then when you were twenty? All you needed was a little more experience to get you the maturity and knowledge you needed to drive by the rules.
I'm not saying that the Busch brothers aren't good drivers. What I am saying is that they are both prone to extremely childish and immature outbursts that make them appear as idiots. Even their own colleagues have no respect for them. Could this be some kind of new "business plan" the Busch family has mapped out for their children? “You're real good, kids! Go out there and make an ass of yourself! Make us proud!”
Now, I realize that there are a couple of Busch fans out there (and I mean that literallyâ€¦a couple) that will write every time a column like this comes out and say that us media are just picking on them, and it is no big deal. Believe it or not, I for one actually get tired of writing about the Busches, but their behavior makes it soooo easy! Just when you think they couldn't possibly do anything dumber than what the last incident was, they go and take their ridiculousness to another level. The most amazing thing about it is that it's not just one Busch that continually sinks to new lows, but both of them! How do you logically explain that?
Personally, I liked Rusty Wallace's idea that came out this week when asked about the Busch - Mears incident.
"If I had been there I'd have stopped, backed up and got out of the car, and smacked Busch's face off,'' Wallace said. "Then I would have gotten back in the car and took off.”
I would have loved to have seen the look on "Child" Busch's face had Casey slammed on the brakes and got out of the car right then and there!
If the Busch brothers, especially Kyle "The Child," are any indication as to the future of NASCAR, then by all means, you can have it for yourselves. I want to watch professionals, not amateurs. Kyle may have the ability to drive in the big leagues, but he doesn't have the maturity.
Stay off the wall,
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WELL SAID, AND ALL HE GOT WAS A SLAP ON THE WRIST. NASCAR WON’T DO ANYTHING TO A HENDRICK’S DRIVER FOR SOME REASON.
Imagine. The 5 car goes from having one of the classiest drivers in the league with Terry Labonte to one with the least class in Kyle. Hope Hendricks happy now.
Here’s your token letter from one of a couple of Busch fans.By the way i’m pretty sure they have more than a couple.Kyle was wrong for what he did for sure but he’s human he lets his emotions get the better of him from time to time.I have a feeling you dont get tired of writing articels on the Busch boys.I mean there easy targets right?You people wouldn’t dare wright and article of this nature about Dale Jr,Tony Stewart or Carl Edwards.But then again there flawless and even if they did have a flaw you’d never diss one of the “in” crowd.
Another thing that irks me is that the Busch brothers get so much TV time. When there are so many more interesting stories.
Jimmy Spencer is racing at Pocono for both races this year and I suggest the baby boy Busch’s suspend their immature behavior within reach of Mr. Excitement.
Seemed to me that on Victory Lane Jimmy Spencer mixed a lot of “I’ve been there,” sympathy with his justly deserved criticism.
No one is taking the position that Kyle did nothing wrong and deserves no penalty. But fact is that he did nothing that many other drivers—most far his senior in age and racing experience—have not done before him.
Over the years drivers have thrown enough assorted gear at each other to outfit an entire race team. And many of the more dramatic incidents are staples of race marketing efforts. So calls for absurd and unprecedented levels of punishment are absolutely silly.
The levels of punishment some are calling for—a month’s suspension, 50 to 100 points, etc.—are so extreme that on that scale the only appropriate penalty left for truly serious offenses such as intentional cheating would be to line up a firing squad.
They don’t taqlk about Dale Jr, Tony Stewart, and Carl Edwards, because those guys don’t act like the childish Busch brothers.
Casey Mears has wrecked Kyle Busch TWICE without accepting blame (Phoenix & 600). Casey did not take tires and was driving above his head in 600 mile race… Since Kyle is not fan favorite, Casey is getting a free pass while Kyle is taking heat for something throwing a HANS device which was funny for those who watched. The biggest childish driver is Tony Stewart…another free pass… It is Karma that Tony may not race a Dover…the place where he wrecked Jeff Gordon last year and offer to start a car wrecking war. Casey wrecks Kyle while Kyle throws a HANS device…now who has been wronged?
Way to go Kyle. Now win at Dover and shut everyone up. I for one am a huge Busch brothers fan. Awesone talent, best raw emotion since Ward Burton,
What’s all the fuss about. I say let them handle it the way they did in the old days, after the race behind the garage. Then afterwards they shake hands and become buddies.
Unfortunately, this isn’t about who’s been wronged. It’s about immaturity. Kyle has potential. However, he needs to learn to control himself. Both Busche brothers need that. NASCAR did not do the right thing with him. 25 points I bet he’s sitting at the track saying “so what”. He needs to be sat a race period. Rousch did it to Kurt and it seemed to give him a new light on what being in Cup is all about. If NASCAR won’t sit him then please Kellogs or Hendricks do it. This childish behavior will not stop unless you correct him. The only thing these guys will really feel is missing a race.
From what I saw at Phoenix Busch came into Mears, not Mears wrecking Kyle, and his overreaction there was worse than the 600. My question is did his spotter or Crew Chief tell Kyle it was an accident, or did they egg him on, telling him the 42 took us out again, or something similar that he might not have known the whole story. If he did know the whole story of the wreck he should be parked until his anger management issues are resolved. If it was his CC or spotter who mislead him they should step up and take blame.
In any event Kellogs shoudl really find a driver that better represents their product – Kyle is just not who you want selling cereal to children.
Yes Kyle Busch did look like an idiot for throwing his neck brace at Mears but, really who cares its part of NASCAR. Give the Busch brothers a break. How about say some thing about their talent instead of always having something to say about thier behavior. What about when Tony and Matt got together at Daytona, they were running each other all over the palce but what did we hear about that? All I heard was lets see what happens next week between these guys. Give the Busch’s a break let them race.
I wonder what their parents are like. I wonder if their parents are proud of them. Sadly, they probably are because the size of the boys’ checkbooks.
It amazes me on how some of these young “kids” can be so disrespectful in a sport that has allowed them to compete at the pinnacle of racing. As a racer myself, I would love nothing more to be afforded an opportunity to be in their position and would be greatful for it. Young drivers today seem to take for granted where they are and what they have a chance to do for a living. Kurt and Kyle Busch just take it to another level.
Just another reason why I’m rapidly losing interest in the NASCAR of today-too much like WWF. You didn’t see Marco Andretti throw a tantrum just because he came in second in the Indy 500 this year.
I think jeff meyer should stop writing, you suck and have no idea whats going on.
If only the Busch would take each other out some race – then we’d all be treated to a sissy slap fight…
Now we will pick who we think acts in an imature way. This was nothing more than Kyle reacting before he saw the tape of the incedent. Dale Jarrett threw his helmet at Bobby Hillin at Bristol, Mike Waltrip punched Lake Speed on national tv, Dale Earnhardt gave Jeremy the “bird” at Pocono and Terry LaBonte had one of the foulest mouths on the scanner several years ago. But only Kurt is immature. Blow it out your ***. I don’t even like the guy but let’s be fair.
I think both Busch “boys” need to go to Anger Management classes. However, I am not sure if anything can improve their personalities!!
Please don’t ever compare either of the Bush brats with Ward Burton. Not even close to the same in any world.
Sorry Norman I think Rob said that.
To Mike, (# 3 response)
Obviously you are a newer reader to my stuff here on FS. I have always called a spade a spade no matter who it was. If there is anyone that I may be a little biased towards it is Dale Jarrett, as he is my favorite. Luckily for me, DJ is one of the classiest guys in the sport so I don’t have to fret to much!
During my almost 3 yrs here at FS.com I have equally pissed of Stewart, Gordon, Harvick, Kenseth, Johnson, and Shane Hmiel (whoever he was) fans alike. I am proud of that!
Folks, what more evidence do you need? Kyle Busch is a punk. Even I could kick that kid’s butt! So overrated it’s disgusting—his career with a top-notch team will be a short one. The better equipment will deservedly soon go to a better, more mature up-and-comer.
Tony Stewart blatantly wrecks Matt at Daytonna and hardly a word is said.Kyle throws something onto the track and you’d think he shot a policeman.This is only a story because his last name is Busch.Nascar fans should thank Kyle and Kurt for that matter if you didnt have them to run down you’d have nothing to talk about.And i see in the paper and computer that most you really enjoy talking about them.
To Mike #25. Oh My! I was just waiting for somebody to bring up Tony Stewart. The Busch brothers are no where near Tony Stewart, he is in a class of his own and I’m proud to be his fan.
It is Karma that Tony may not race a Doverâ€¦the place where he wrecked Jeff Gordon last year and offer to start a car wrecking war… Tony Stewart is in a class of his own!
Yeah, Tony Stewart was childish. But he realized his problem and he worked at it, and right now he’s pretty calm, the Daytona 500 idiocy aside. His friendship with Kyle Petty was absolutely essential in his growth. His recent charity work is at least partly a result of his work with Petty on the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
Why is this relevant? Because what the Busches lack is a mentor, someone to explain the rules of the road. I know that Mark Martin specifically took Kyle Busch aside earlier this year, but his advice clearly did not stick. Worse, both Busches have been around other drivers, like Johnson, Gordon, and Biffle, who have little reservation in using their bumpers to their advantage, and so give the impression that aggressiveness equals success. I don’t think that they drive recklessly, but they drive on a fine line that can only be held by an experienced driver. This style is definitely not within the capacity of a rookie or inexperienced driver, especially one with a temper. Regardless of the fault in the 600 accident, both Busches, especially Kyle, continue to drive in a way that endangers them and their fellow drivers, and that is unacceptable. Somebody ought to make them go out and fix the cars they damage. Maybe then they’ll learn to play nice.
This was suppose to be about Kyle, not Kurt. I like Kyle he is a good driver and yes he may be childish sometimes but so are a lot of other drivers. And you want to talk about using your bumpers, Look how many times Tony Stewart has just been swatted on the hand and fined, oh wait probation how many times and nothing else is done to him. Cry babies well Lets just start with Tony, he is the biggest of them all. It is never his fault. I think we need to check on how many times he has been fined, put on probation for aggressive driving, or just wrecked someone in his way, oh wait that just goes to probation.
Gordon and Johnson are 2 of the best drivers out there today and yes they get mad also, that is human nature.So if you want to say that Kyle just got a slap on the wrist you need to look at Tony’s record.
KAT, You don’t know what your talking about plain and simple. Tony does admit when he is at fault but only when it really is his fault. There have been alot of times when Tony has been involved in something when it has not been his fault. So of course he is not going to admit to it. And you say it is human nature for Jeff and Jimmie to get mad but when Tony gets mad he is being childish. Get real. Either it is human nature for all the drivers or all of them are being childish. Don’t be going around saying it is differnt from one driver to another. And just look at last year with Jimmie. He took out Tony at Phoenix and blamed that on Tony. Then at Dega he took out over 25 cars in 2 wrecks and never once did he admit to it. But hey thats just human nature right cause it is Jimmie and not Tony.
Sorry man I usually enjoy your stuff but your just jumping on the band wagon here, I mean who’s the childish one here dubbing kyle, “child” busch. Don’t you feel some responsibility here? Anyways it’s not Kyle’s fault or his parents as someone so disrepectfully insinuated, it’s Na$car’s, and Hendrick. Both of wich allow the “farm system” to deteriorate, all for the sake of $$$. Instead of protecting thier future in the sport they rip the busch series up in the name of ratings, and the one in a million chance they will find the next Jeff Gordon (sorry, won’t happen). Tell me the last time a non-cup driver won a busch race at a track cup wasn’t at too, ‘nuff said. That’s why Kyle is so “childish”, he’s a f*%#ing child, not given the chance to mature yet. Don’t you people get it? Or is it too easy not to get it? You just lift, aim, and fire at a target two feet away from your gun. I mean, give me a break. I’ve read better stories to my 3 year old. How bout Tony the terrible, or Greg Sniffles, or Ward’s Hurtin (I’m sorry karen, but ward couldnt see the busch brothers with a telescope, they’re better now than ward ever was). Also, I really hope Spencer does get in the way at pocono, maybe he’ll get wrecked and have to take some time off so we don’t have to listen to his 5th grade grammar and opinions anymore, what a joke! (by the way spencer is proof Na$car’s playing the role of puppet master). Who thinks they know what will set these guys straight ( goota make em sit for a race ), puhleees, maybe you should apply for a job w/nascar, since you know it all. Bottom line busch is more mature than most of your responses, and your article Jeff. Just give him a few years, he’ll be a champion also. By the way, nah, i’m not a busch fan, just hate to see bully’s pick on the defensless.
By the way Jeff, I’m glad you take pride in pissing people off, makes it easier to say this: DJ is a foriegn trading scumbag who sold his soul for a buck, and “class” isn’t in his vocabulary or his discription.
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