The Frontstretch: Kyle Busch An Embarrassment to Team And NASCAR by Jeff Meyer -- Wednesday April 18, 2007

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Kyle Busch An Embarrassment to Team And NASCAR

Voices From The Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Wednesday April 18, 2007


Q: What's the difference between Kyle Busch and Michael Waltrip?

A: Well, Michael MIGHT have been drunk when he went home after he crashed.

There is no such excuse for Kyle Busch. Just when I was beginning to believe that the boy known as “Shrub” couldn't possibly do anything sillier than he actually looks with that goatee, well, he goes and proves me wrong. Hard to believe…I know.

In case you haven't a clue as to what I’m referring to, here is the scenario in a nutshell:

Tony Stewart spins at Texas. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. slows to avoid collision in dense smoke. Kyle Busch, who had ample time to slow at the first signs of trouble, plows headlong at speed into the thick smoke and consequently, into the rear of Junior. Kyle then assumes that his car is too damaged to the point that it is irreparable, and proceeds to LEAVE THE TRACK without so much as a word to his crew. Presumably, he had more important things to do. Perhaps Shane Hmiel was having a party and Shrub wanted to get there early…who knows.

Now, I know there will be at least one Shrub fan out there who will write into FS and defend the little goofball, saying he didn't have time to slow down. To you, I simply say; watch the video! He had plenty of time to slow down; he just didn't want to. Simply put, his torn up race car was his fault in the first place; while frustration is a natural reaction to that, you would think the natural response would be for Busch to do everything possible to correct his mistake.

Meanwhile, back in the garage, the No. 5 team finds itself working hard to repair the car, and they eventually do. Of course, all their blood, sweat, and tears mean nothing without someone to wheel that car back onto track. Suddenly, they realize…where is the driver? Anyone seen Kyle? He was nowhere to be found…and in a touch of irony, the team needed to recruit the very driver he crashed, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., to make sure the car finished the race.

Now, I don't know about you, but if I were on the crew that worked to repair that car, I would be pissed! Driving a race car at the highest level of competition is supposed to be this kid’s JOB. He is way overpaid to do it, I grant you that, but it is his responsibility nonetheless. What could Kyle Busch have to do that is so much more important he felt he needed to get a jump on it? How could he have left the track that fast?

I can hear it now. Below this article, someone is going to write that “he is just a kid and kids make mistakes, blah, blah, blah…”

Bullfeathers! That’s a worn and weary defense mechanism, simply because it’s been used for this kid so many times before. Making a mistake on the track is one thing; that's what got him into the mess in the first place. Certainly, if I was a member of the crew, I could forgive him for that. But walking out when he should have been in the garage himself, doing whatever he could, even if only to lend support, simply shows he has no business being at this level in the first place. I don’t think Rick Hendrick was smiling about this latest mistake; in fact, he was one of the most disappointed people in the garage on Sunday. I’m sure he was more than disappointed behind closed doors this week.

It is such a shame that the No. 5 went from being piloted by one of the classiest guys of the sport to the most immature. Who would believe a Busch could do such a thing?!

Stay off the wall, (but at least stay AT the track!)

Jeff Meyer

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Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
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M. B. Voelker
04/19/2007 08:38 AM

I guess you didn’t watch INC this week. Mikey, who makes no effort to hide the fact that he has no love for Kyle, was the one who pointed out that given their relative positions on the track in the turn Jr. could see Tony start to spin as much as 2 seconds before Kyle could see a problem. And Biffle pointed out that those cars don’t stop instantly when they’re going 190.

If any other driver had been having back pain issues to the point that they considered putting Jimmie Johnson in as a relief driver once Jimmie was out — except that Kyle was running so well that he decided to tough it out (information courtesy of a friend who was scanning Kyle’s radio) — fans and media would be worrying about a potentially season-affecting injury instead of blasting away at him as if he’d committed an act of unprecedented evil.

If Jr. isn’t mad at Kyle about the wreck and Alan isn’t mad at Kyle for the miscommunication no blowhard fan or commentator looking to create a major story out of a minor incident has any right to be mad at him.

04/19/2007 09:03 AM

okay, let me make this real clear from the get-go: i do not like kyle busch. period.

and i do agree with a lot of what you’re saying.

however… i don’t like it when facts are misconstrued — no matter who the intended target is…

it was also clearly reported that there was miscommunication with he and the team with regard to the status of the car.

marty smith reported that busch had a sore back and had gone to have it taken care of — when told the car was ready to go back out on the track, it was too late for kyle busch to put on his uniform, etc. etc.

i watched all the post race interviews, shows, etc. and not once did i hear any nascar affiliated person (i.e., driver, crew chief, team member, etc.) utter the words “he left THE TRACK” — they all stated “HE LEFT”.

i don’t like things taken out of context — that’s just plain irresponsible.

that said…

i am a fan of hendrick and ashamed of kyle busch.

yes! kyle busch is arrogant and immature. i think i could actually accept him if he’d just learn from his mistakes and move on — but just when you think he might have a clue – BAM! he does something ignorant again and again and again and…

a swift kick in the pants by either his team, hendrick or another driver is in order. i’m actually waiting, with bated breath, to see him tangle with juan pablo montoya — oh! what a moment that will be!

he needs to be made accountable and therein lies the problem — no one is demanding that from him. yes, demand. there are no ramifications for this kid. none. maybe he needs a very large monetary penalty from his owner and/or sponsors to get his attention.

kurt busch has figured this out — it took an arrest by a sheriff and the ultimate firing by roush to get it through his thick skull — but he’s got it! why can’t kyle? i don’t think there’s a better example than his own brother.

i can tolerate boneheaded moves by any driver — it happens… but to consistently disrespect and embarrass your team, your owner and more importantly, your sponsors will, hopefully, lead to his dismissal.

then, and only then, do i believe kyle busch will finally comprehend how truly fortunate he was to have been affiliated with one of the best racing organizations in the business and to be a nascar cup driver.

i know — in my dreams.

however, kyle should keep in mind that there are many wanna-be’s out there waiting for just one opportunity. hopefully, one will emerge from obscurity and oust this ungrateful sod soon.

04/19/2007 09:11 AM

Kyle Busch is an embarrassment to NASCAR. It is sad that we have a driver in this sport who, instead of grabbing a sledgehammer and doing whatever is needed to get the car back in the race, is jumping in his car and running off to his jet so that he can get back to North Carolina. If you heard his comments over the radio after the race, he already gave up on the car. He had no plans for this car to get repaired. Rick Hendrick has every reason to be ticked at him. Every other driver in that field would have done whatever it takes to get the car back on the track.

Rick Hendrick needs to remind Kyle that there are hundreds, even thousands, of other drivers who would give anything to be in his place. He can be replaced tomorrow. Kyle has learned this, although it required an arrest.

M. B. Voelker
04/19/2007 03:57 PM

“A contrite Kyle Busch took at least partial blame for the miscommunication that led to his leaving the track last week, while his Hendrick Motorsports team repaired his No. 5 Chevrolet and was searching for a driver.

“I assumed the car was finished, that there was too extensive damage to fix it. I took that as an indication we were done for the day, went to the hauler and changed my clothes,” Busch said Thursday.

“I never had a team member or anybody say they we were trying to get back out. We just never talked with each other after the incident.” “

Chalk it up to the learning curve — a more experienced driver would have been certain to ask his crew chief. A more experience crew chief — Alan has no more experience in his role than Kyle has in his — would have been certain to tell his driver.

Not that this very simple explaination will matter to those who want to think ill of Kyle.

J. Meyer
04/19/2007 04:06 PM

Oh! Well that makes everything ok then! (messing up hair to look like Jimmy Spencer) I guess I just took it a little personal. I want to apologize to Kyle Busch and his fan for every bad thing I have ever said or thought about him. He is truely one of the finest and most mature racers the sport of NASCAR has ever seen or ever will for that matter.

Does anyone have any chapstick?

04/19/2007 04:16 PM

Actually, I think that Beth likes him too Jeff. She may just be doing that to act out though, so I’m not going to acknowledge it and hope that it will pass soon.


By the way, MB, thanks for keeping us honest! Your comments are always well thought out and usually spot on.

04/19/2007 05:50 PM

I say make Kyle drive that POSH 25 car and put Casey in the 5 car! If Hendrick wants to get even, make him drive the scraps like my poor Casey has to! Bile Busch and his brother Skirt Busch are in the wrong sport! They are a disgrace to Nascar and the world of racing! Hey Bile, do you want some cheese with all that WHINE???

M. B. Voelker
04/19/2007 08:52 PM

Thank you.

04/22/2007 08:26 AM

IMO, The Busch Bro’s ain’t no different than the Bodine Bro’s of yore. Hit every thing in sight,and hope you’re the only one left running at the end. Don’t like any of ‘em. Never did,never will!!!


Contact Jeff Meyer

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