The Frontstretch: Kyle Busch's Constant Chase Obstacle: Himself by Summer Bedgood -- Monday October 7, 2013

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Kyle Busch's Constant Chase Obstacle: Himself

Summer Bedgood · Monday October 7, 2013


To say Kansas Speedway was a wreck-fest would be an understatement, with a record number of 15 cautions slowing the field for a total of 71 laps. However, no driver was happier to leave Kansas Speedway than Kyle Busch, who wasn’t even fond of Kansas Speedway to begin with as he had come into the weekend with two previous finishes outside of the top 30 which were both DNFs.

Busch finished the race in the 34th position after being involved in no less than three cautions, which was just adding insult to injury after a crash just a few seconds into the first practice session forced the team to go to a back-up car. With this already being such a hated track for Busch, there was no love lost by the time his hauler headed out and Busch was headed home at the conclusion of the race.

Kansas may have also been detrimental to his championship hopes. Busch fell two spots to fifth and is now 35 points out of the lead. Meanwhile, leader Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson are separated by only three points heading into Charlotte next weekend.

While I’m not going to “put a fork” in Kyle Busch, I do not believe that the trophy will have his name engraved on it at the end of the season. Simply because Kansas was such a hurdle for him, which is a track that typically isn’t known for its harrowing escapades. Even though it was a trying race for everyone, with the new tires, cold conditions, and newer pavement, Busch just can’t seem to get past a track that is so like many others.

It’s bigger than just Kansas, though. Many of the incidents Busch was in were either his fault or a result of mind games that he didn’t need to be involved in. The first incident involving Danica Patrick on the first lap was hard to pin on Busch, since it happened in front of him and didn’t give him much room to slow down. The other two, though, are hard to see as anything other than Busch’s fault.

For starters, on lap 188, Busch was racing Juan Pablo Montoya for position when Busch spun off of Montoya’s front bumper and sustained some damage in the process. Upon further review, Busch had cut Montoya off while the two were racing just a lap or so prior. When they came back around the track, Busch appeared to again cut down on Montoya all the way to the apron and, when Montoya had nowhere else to go, Busch began to spin.

On the last incident, he came down on Carl Edwards, suffered severe front end damage, and was completely out of the race.

His temper was nonetheless set off. Though he tried to remain calm during his interviews in the garage area, his aggravation with Montoya over the radio was clear when he began making comments like “He won’t be missed” referring to Montoya’s departure from NASCAR to IndyCar at the end of the season.

Even aside from that, Busch got upset with former teammate Joey Logano on a restart when Logano had a run and decided to make it three wide. Though Logano didn’t do anything outside of the NASCAR rulebook, or even wrong, Busch was still aggravated by it and voiced his displeasure by giving Logano a shove under caution and expressing his frustration on the radio.

In other words, Busch beat himself at a track that has historically beat him. This wasn’t bad luck. This wasn’t someone wrecking him intentionally. This wasn’t anyone else’s fault but his. And though he has made strides in a maturation process that has been a long time coming, the long-awaited Chase meltdown arrived last weekend in Kansas.

All drivers have obstacles, but champions overcome them. And Busch just can’t quite seem to wrap his mind around the fact that the other drivers aren’t out there for him. While it sucks that a cookie cutter track has been such a struggling point for him, he needs to find a way to get past it, not just from a racing standpoint, but from a mental standpoint. There was no reason Busch couldn’t have finished in the top 10 on Sunday, and now he might be on the outside looking in when Homestead rolls around in a few weeks.

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Carl D.
10/07/2013 11:59 AM

Every year I wipe the slate clean and give Kyle Busch the benefit of the doubt. He’s just too talented not to win a championship. Then he goes and does something like his wrecking Brad Keselowski on Saturday, and I revert back to the “old” Carl D. who hopes he finishes dead last in every damn race he enters.

10/07/2013 12:32 PM

I love both Kez and Kyle. Kez effectively neutered Carl Edwards who hasn’t been the same.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of this. I don’t think Kyle will drop away like Carl did…we’ll see.

Many have already forgotten Kez’s history, reverting back to the “hate Kyle” movement. LOL.

Carl D.
10/07/2013 12:50 PM

I haven’t forgotten Brad’s early days, but I also haven’t forgotten Kyle’s. I remember him dumping Brad in a Nationwide race at Bristol in 2010 which was followed by Brad’s “Kyle Busch is an ass” announcement the following week. I don’t have a problem with drivers getting physical on the track, but what I think is pretty stupid is dumping another cup driver in a Nationwide race who has nothing to lose the next day. If Kyle Busch used his head as much as he uses his bumper, who knows how many championships he might win.

10/07/2013 02:26 PM

This year everybody is saying how the Busch brothers have “changed”. I knew this would happen and it did. Kurt is next, imo. Leopards don’t change their spots.

10/07/2013 02:47 PM

We need to stop talking about Kyle maturing—he’s 28 and has been in the cup now for over 8 years. At JGR, he’s not maturing and isn’t going to mature to the level of a true champion, that is, one that has the titles as well as the respect around the garage.

Like his brother the one thing Kyle needs is redemption—he needs to lose it all so that he can gain it back. Only then will he recognize what he has been given rather than what he thinks he is entitled to. He has been given the opportunity to run on some of the best equipment, he’s on one of the best funded teams and has a great pit crew and chief. Few drivers have those opportunities and yet Kyle feels the need to dump and wreck these drivers at will. After all they are in the way and it’s just hard racing.

His disregard and lack of respect for other drivers is seen weekly— it’s a shame that there are not more Juan’s out there to put him in his place.

Bill B
10/07/2013 07:39 PM

I guess Montoya didn’t get the message that non-chasers were supposed to move out of the way for chasers. And, while I don’t think much of Logano (or Montoya for that matter), for Busch to get pissed that Logano made it 3 wide, just shows how one-way Busch is and how selective his memory is. Hell, he practically invented the “go three wide” move on the restarts when NASCAR started the contrived double file restarts.

10/07/2013 08:48 PM

Kyle Busch….LOL

I LOVE that guy. He pisses off so many.

I sure would like to see him win a championship, but he takes himself out most of the time. Damn, I wish there was no stupid chase.

I like Kez too. He was awesome when he won the championship. And he (usually) speaks his mind…and so does Kyle.

Nascar needs 20 more Brad K’s and 20 more Kyle B’s. Leaving one for the PR split tail of course.

10/07/2013 10:39 PM

I was surprised that Kyle was mired back in the 20’s when by then, he should’ve been closer to to the top 10 (before wrecks). I didn’t realize KS was so mean to him. He knew this I’m sure. Had it been me, I would’ve just cruised to get the best finish I could get. Oh, but not Kyle. If he can’t be up front, he loses his mind like we saw yesterday. And the nerve of him to say on Saturday that he has never intentionally wrecked anyone. Let’s ask Ron Hornaday about that.

Kyle’s on his downward spiral. He’s a hell of a driver, but his attitude is his undoing.

I’m waiting for the day when Joe Gibbs professes his love for him. As we know, it’s code for “you’re out of a ride”, ala JoLo.

On a side note, Kurt has been humbled (and doing well), maybe Kyle needs to be too.

10/08/2013 12:00 AM

Sad thing Dot, Joe Gibbs really does like Logano and his family…goes to show it is a business first..sadly. Joe still is a big believer in his talent.