The Frontstretch: Kyle Busch: Who Else Is Sick and Tired of His Act Besides Me? by Vito Pugliese -- Wednesday June 3, 2009

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Kyle Busch: Who Else Is Sick and Tired of His Act Besides Me?

The Voice Of Vito · Vito Pugliese · Wednesday June 3, 2009


It has happened again. The destructive force that may ruin NASCAR as we know it has reared its ugly head once more.

No, I am not referring to General Motors joining Chrysler in bankruptcy – though that is another matter altogether that I will be addressing here in the in coming weeks – but rather another episode in the saga of Kyle Busch, resident crybaby of motorsports and burgeoning NASCAR bad guy.

What has precipitated this latest installment of The World Versus Kyle was the perceived last lap incident between he and teammate Joey Logano at Dover, in the final laps of the Heluva Good! 200 Nationwide Series race. Heading into the final restart, Logano got a much better restart than he had in recent attempts. Busch spun his tires, which helped Logano get to his back bumper entering turn 1. Logano made an effort to keep from running into his teammate, as the nose of his GameStop Toyota visibly dove towards the ground while Logano jumped on the brakes to avoid the No. 18. But he still made contact with Busch, sending him wobbling up the track as Brad Keselowski sailed by both of them on the low side to score his first Nationwide Series win of the year.

After the checkered flag had fallen, the radio transmission from crew chief Jason Ratcliff was a directive to exercise restraint for both driver and crew. He probably didn’t need to tell his driver that, though … since he wasn’t around to hear it. The scene shown next was a familiar one: Kyle storming away from an abandoned vehicle, refusing to comment on what happened or offer an opinion on how another Nationwide Series race slipped through his fingers in the closing laps.

Key point here: Nationwide Series race. Not Sprint Cup. Not Formula One. Nationwide Series – i.e., not your main focus.

If this was 2004, and he was driving the Lowe’s No. 5 and Lance McGrew (ahem…) was his crew chief, I’d understand. However, it’s 2009 and Busch has most recently been likened to Dale Earnhardt, (Sr.), christened the driver most likely to dethrone David Pearson from second place in career victories. Instead, he is pissing and moaning and stomping off like Danica Patrick following a botched Double-A series engagement because – imagine this – a Goodyear tire went flat. It’s too bad that Busch no longer sponsors NASCAR’s junior series, because the best analogy ever would be to call this Busch League behavior; however, that would do much to discredit everybody’s favorite watered-down swill that tastes like horse urine.

Or, at least what I imagine it to taste like. I have no frame of reference… but I digress.

Yet while a Roadrunner-esque dust cloud was seeing trailing the golf cart that drove Busch from the garage area to his hauler — all so he could swap out uniforms, compete in another Camping World Truck Series event, and blow another tire — Joey Logano was beside himself, shaking his head, his voice quivering like a 10-year-old kid who just hit a line drive through a neighbor’s bay window. At the time, he didn’t know that yet another Goodyear tire had liberated itself of air at precisely the wrong moment, and neither did the majority of the fans in attendance, those listening on the radio, or the ones watching on television.

Of course, with Busch extenuating circumstances never seem to matter anyway. Be it Nationwide, Sprint Cup, or Truck Series, should Busch lose as the result of his own actions or something beyond his control, he runs away. Literally. The second the checkered flag falls, he pulls in, unbuckles, and breaks out like Usain Bolt to get away from anyone with a microphone or a tape recorder. It’s the same scenario we’ve become as familiar with as celebratory burnouts and post-race donuts – the Kyle Busch “Icing.”

All of this hiding actually began early on in Kyle’s career. Remember back when he won his second career race at Phoenix in 2005, the same weekend his older brother Kurt was arrested for refusing a breathalyzer test and benched by Roush Racing? Somebody asked him about what happened with Kurt one too many times, and he stormed out of the press room.

That’s right; after just 41 starts and winning his second race, he pulled the plug on the post-race winner’s interview.

What, I wonder, has Kyle Busch really had to endure in his brief career that would cause him to act this way? Can you picture Mark Martin sprinting away, swatting at microphones or giving an insulting response to something as simple as, “what happened?” Even Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who for the last three years has had to endure constant criticism, indictment, and assailment of his ability, commitment, and relationships within his own family still shows up, says what’s on his mind, and takes it like a man.

Kyle Busch has no problems being the center of a media frenzy… when things are going his way.

Where, I wonder, was the indignation from Busch two weeks earlier, when he took out two Truck Series regulars for the lead at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, when he wrecked – perhaps intentionally – both Colin Braun and Brian Scott? Instead, he made the sarcastic and flippant comment, “Yeah, it’s my fault…I’m the idiot out here running 160mph…”

When, I wonder, did he provide an apology to half the field at the 2007 Daytona 500 when he lost it all by himself and triggered a 30 car pileup? 15 months later, when he took Dale Jr. out at the Spring Richmond race last year, Kyle made nothing more than a half-hearted apology — prefacing it with that he was feeling sorry for himself for taking out the sport’s Most Popular Driver.

Tito, get me a tissue…

These kinds of things have a way of working themselves out, I guess. Call it what you will – divine intervention, karma, or whatever Darwinian nonsense one could subscribe to – but it seems that the more Kyle Busch acts like the spoiled, pouty, 15-year old girl he is often criticized for acting as, the more these unexplainable foils continue to plague him… as they did in the Camping World Series right after the Nationwide race.

I will be the first to say it: The whole, “I just want to win” excuse is tired, trite, and has completely exhausted its usefulness. Every driver wants to win. That’s kind of the whole point of competition and putting numbers on the cars: to keep score.

Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway, located in the town of Brooklyn, which is less than an hour from the backyard of the Big Three. (Well, with 2/3 of them now in bankruptcy and owned in part by the U.S. government for a foreign entity, I guess you could technically call them the Big One.) Anyways, the automotive epicenter of Earth was always seen as a major stop on the tour, and with recent events involving the largest company on the planet, this could be the last time it really means something.

So, before Busch does something to really turn the public against him, I would caution him about bringing his act to the Irish Hills. This is an area of the country that has been devastated by the current deteriorating economic conditions like no other. This is a state that is dependent on the auto industry on both coasts; the manufacturers and subsidiaries on the east side of the mitten, with suppliers and parts providers located on the west side of the state. Considering Michigan already has an official unemployment rate nearing 13% – a number that is sure to climb substantially in the coming weeks – having to endure the actions of a twenty-something multi-millionaire who runs away from his problems whenever ANYTHING does not go according to his desires is not going to be warmly received by anybody who follows the sport in this area or may be attending the race that weekend, looking for some escape from whatever harsh realities they have been enduring.

Much was made in the moments following the incident at Dover, since Kyle Busch has provided Joey Logano with tutoring and advice as to how the Car of Tomorrow drives differently than the traditional car still used in the Nationwide Series. Well, perhaps there can be an equal exchange of information and mentoring at Joe Gibbs Racing moving forward. Kyle Busch can continue to help Joey Logano get up to speed as a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series, while Joey Logano can teach Kyle Busch how to conduct himself with some respect, class, and humility. That speaks volumes when you need to learn from a 19-year-old how to act like an adult.

It reminds me of that scene from Goodfellas, when they’re all sitting around at 3 AM eating at Joe Pesci’s mom’s house and she starts telling a story about a man who never says anything to anybody. A word describing the man is translated in Italian, which Ray Liotta doesn’t know, so Pesci clears it up for him:

“It means he’s content to be a jerk.”

Now, before you single me out as a “hater” (God, what a stupid word…anybody who uses that term has voluntarily lowered their IQ by about 20 points), or labels me a Martin myopian or Junior apologist, let me say that I actually really do like Kyle Busch. I think he is a talent unequaled, with a working knowledge of these cars and is not just a wheel holder – not to mention the charitable work he does that often goes unnoticed. Lately, however, he has started to achieve hemorrhoid status and become an inflaming irritant.

In closing, you’re 24, dude…lighten up. Wait until you get to be my age – then you’ll really have something to complain about. In the meantime, take a lesson from your 19-year-old teammate and protégé; lighten up, be happy that you’re there, and realize that you’re getting paid millions to just turn left for a few hours. You aren’t trudging up a mountain pass in Afghanistan humping a 75lb pack, and you haven’t had to dodge IEDs in downtown Fallujah. Instead, you drive a bright yellow clown car with cartoon candy emblazoned all over it around in a circle. If you don’t get done first, handle it like a professional, face the music … and realize that things could be worse.

You could live in Michigan.

Contact Vito Pugliese

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Vito Pugliese and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

06/03/2009 01:35 AM

In the last 3 Nationwide Races Kyle has led the most laps and had flat/soft tires for the green, white, checker in 2 races and rain in the other race, also a cut tire in the Dover truck race and rain at the 600. All races he had a legit shot at winning, led the most laps in many of these races, but something besides HIM cost him the race. I would be upsit to. WE have all done things we are not proud of, just think if the world was watching you at this age. Yes I am a fan. No one else is half as much fun to watch drive a race car as Kyle

06/03/2009 04:42 AM

In the top 3 series, it seems that of the races Kyle didn’t win, he had some sort of bad luck in half of them that caused him not to win. The guy should have 2-3 times the amount of wins this year.

I think it takes a lot of effort on his part to keep his mouth shut. I know I’d be kicked out of NASCAR if I was in his shoes.

And I think most people forget that he is about the only thing exciting on the the track these days. Yeah, things happen here and there that are exciting, but he is exciting consistently. There hasn’t been anyone since Dale Earnhardt that could make fighting for 30th so much fun to watch.

He is NASCAR’s excitement right now… and most fans don’t like him, hence, the big drop in ratings.

06/03/2009 06:47 AM

And Vito, I bet your favorite flavor of ice cream in PLAIN VANNILA!

And your favorite NA$CRAP driver is non other than plain old vanilla himself, JJ!

GEE? How about that? A driver in NA$CRAP that tries his damnest to win, and is disappointed when he does not!

What is this sport coming to?



Michael Maurice
06/03/2009 07:02 AM

What NASCAR really needs right now is for Kyle to become another emotionless robot like JJ. I also think it’s simply terrible that he cares more about winning each race than anything else. He should be doing the “cruising and collect” points racing (that’s real exciting) and kissing the media’s butt more.

Bill B
06/03/2009 07:15 AM

Kyle shouldn’t run away when things don’t go his way like a child who takes his ball and goes home. He should give the interview and make an ass out of himself if that’s his nature. That gives us all something to talk about and ridicule. If he is unwilling to do that then he is worse than a vanilla driver.

06/03/2009 07:48 AM

If he goes to the interview and blows up, Vito will be sure to write an article about how immature it was to blow up at a reporter. When Kyle decides to walk away and not scream at reporters, Vito writes this crap.

Basically, Kyle isn’t allowed to do anything right. Like its been said, we are quickly going to have 43 mindless zombies who do nothing but thank sponsors and praise their crews and competitors. That sounds like a ton of fun to watch.

06/03/2009 07:54 AM

Kylee-poo is just a good driving little girl as stated above! If he was really a man, he would stand up and admit his mistakes like the rest of us. I guess it i a sign as to how low our country has gone to have people root for, adore, and make excuses for, instead of someone truly worthy! I can and have admitted he is a great driver, as a human being his parents and ALL who support him have failed miserably. He has apprently never been held accountable for his actions before!! We can only hope his sponsors get a belly full! I for one am sick of hearing of him!

Ed B.
06/03/2009 08:56 AM

Leave this kid alone. He probably does not want to say anything that will cost his team any points or himself any money in the politically correct world of NA$CAR

Ann in DE
06/03/2009 09:06 AM

The words of Kyle Busch keep ringing in my ears. Several months ago Kyle was asked if he thought the recession had anything to do with attendance. I’m paraphrasing here, but this is the gist of what he said….‘There’s a recession? I hadn’t noticed.’ I can’t get that self-serving comment out of my head. Who the hell does he think keeps him in the lap of luxury? Please, all you Kyle lovers, tell me of any other Nascar driver who has said anything near as ugly as that?

06/03/2009 09:14 AM

Vito , maybe you missed the memo , but the reason Kyle went “ wobbling “ up the track was because he had a right front tire going flat and could hardly have done anything else . I know for a fact that as of now , there are no hard feelings between Busch and Logano over that incident .
This hero worship crap is what needs to stop . My god man , you’re not going to marry Kyle , so why all the angst over his actions . Oh i know , he’s ruining the purity of the sport for you . For crying out loud man , get over this foolishness .
You are ignoring , or never knew , the essence of the sport . Appreciating a drivers abilities and a cars’, or brand of cars’ power and handling . Being amazed by a teams’ pit stops or a comeback through the field after a poor pit stop . Those are the things that matter . Who the hell cares about personalities . You are seeing only a tiny snapshot of a driver by watching him on tv , or at the track . The other 6 days and 20 hours of each week , he’s living his life away from cameras and FOX soundbites .
Love or hate their driving . Love or hate the brand of car they drive . But get over the 1% of their personality you think you know . Because it has no bearing whatsoever on the actual sport itself . You’ve just been led to think it does .

06/03/2009 09:14 AM

MMMM, in answer to: “Kyle Busch: Who Else Is Sick And Tired Of His Act Besides Me?”

Maybe not too many Vito!

Joe in Pittsburgh
06/03/2009 09:43 AM

Ryan at 7:48 said it best. Usually I’m with the Frontstretch writers on opinions,however I think Vito is way off on this 1. Kyle adds color to a series that has very very little left. Since Kyle isnt mandated to stay and give interviews unless he is 5,then it is his right to bolt. Otherwise he might cost his team points by saying something wrong as another has touched on here. So I think for the most part we repliers here agree—-We need more Kyles and less JJ’s.

06/03/2009 09:52 AM

Dude, give me a break. I for one am thankful that there is at least one driver who gets pissed when they finish anywhere other than first. As far as not talking to the media, who can blame him. Anything he says is going to be taken out of context and used against him. It’s not like he is the only one that avoids you guys after a disapointing race. I think Smoke and Dale Sr both made a habit out of quick exits when things didn’t go there way. Even the princess, Dale Jr, avoided interviews after his stunning 40th place finish at the Coca Cola 600. Besides there are 42 other guys you can stick a microphone in front of and get a rehearsed BS comment from.

06/03/2009 10:02 AM

Kyle Busch needs some manners branded into him. There isn’t a parent reading this who wouldn’t have yanked him up by the ears and taught him some humility for his actions. He can drive, but so can many more NASCAR drivers. Kyle is a toad who won’t ever change into a prince!

06/03/2009 10:07 AM

Kyle Busch is about the only excitment NASCAR has going for it. He has what most drivers lack, “fire in the gut” no matter what race it is.
I am only interested in what Kyle (or other driver) does while on the track. I don’t care what a driver looks like, what his last name is, what he says to to the media or avoids the media, whether
his family has money or not, whether he gives to charity or not, or whether he drives a Ford, Chevy or Toyota. I am a “race fan” I admire any driver that will get up on the wheel and kick butt. I don`t bother with all the pre-race and post race show crap. If its not happening “now on the track” am not interested. In the history of NASCAR only a handful drivers really had “fire in the gut”, names like Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Curtis Turner, Tim Richmond, Junior Johnson and yes Dale Sr. These drivers where not always the media darlings that the media wanted to cuddle up to. So Kyle Busch keep doing your thing on the track between the green flag and the checkered flag. The rest of it doesn`t matter and leave the media it own goodie goodie world.

06/03/2009 10:13 AM

I was reminded of Kyle when reading this about another talented young athlete. Just substitute “Busch” for “James”: “James has grown up in an era in which the definition of a great competitor has been badly skewed. We heap so much praise on an athlete who “hates to lose” that some players don’t even recognize when that hatred goes too far. . . so many athletes are now cut from that cloth. They think the inability to deal with defeat gracefully is a sign of competitive fire, when it’s often a sign of immaturity. A real competitor gives every ounce of effort to win, but is enough of a man to give respect to an opponent who does the same and prevails.”

Vito Pugliese - FS Staff
06/03/2009 10:22 AM

Ryan –

Maybe you missed the part in my article where I noted that he went wobbling up the track because of said flat tire. That was the whole crux of the problem….nobody knew if it was because Logano hit him or because he had another flat tire.

The main issue here is he blows up at his team, the media, and whomever anytime he flubs a NATIONWIDE Series event or ruins somebody’s Truck Race.

And let’s be honest…anybody who’s seen him on the other side of the fence knows that the attitude doesn’t stop just because there has been another incident on the track.

Kyle Busch is the kind of guy who won’t shape up until some sort of tragedy or life-altering event happens to him. Kurt was the same way. A Jimmy Spencer fist wasn’t enough to get through to him – it took losing his ride in the last two races at Roush as nealry with Penske, reduced to tears on television, for him to make an effort to get his stuff together – and even he has moments of relapse….but he’s a lot differnet than he used to be from what I have seen.

As far as him being “exciting”…why, because he gets loose and denies interviews? Using that measure, Sam Hornish and David Gilliand are a blast to watch as well. JJ Yeley was probably the most exciting driver ever to strap on a helmet.

Bill B
06/03/2009 10:33 AM

I’m tired of people justifying Kyle running off and avoiding the media when things don’t go his way by saying “it’s better than the drivers that give vanilla answers”. Well, all things being equal, if a driver that has a bad day and gives a PC answer is vanilla, and a driver that speaks his mind at the risk of making an ass of himself is mint chocolate chip, then a driver that avoids the media is an empty cone. So when Kyle runs away and doesn’t give any interview people are applauding that? Is that really what you want to see from all 42 drivers?

its about time
06/03/2009 10:34 AM

I would like to see the media not show up if and when he shows up in the winners circle. The guy is a punk no talent that obviously cant take care of his stuff to win a race type driver, oh yeah did i mention i am not a fan of shrub or busch

06/03/2009 10:38 AM

Let him be!! I love it and I love his antics, mostly his driving. It has been a long time since we have had a driver that can drive anything and can back it up with his surly attitude. I almost gave up on Nascar until last year. Tired of everything being politically correct and the drama of Jr. and corporate drivers like JJ and Jeff Gordon. Let him be and let him loose -don’t make him a Stepford driver….

06/03/2009 11:02 AM

Thank God somebody finally had the cajones to call it like it is. No matter how talented he is, he is a still a crybaby. Maybe a trip to the mountains of Afghanistan would help this tot grow up to be a man. It makes me sick to see this kind of behavior when many young men have died giving him the freedom to do what he loves.

06/03/2009 11:03 AM

I don’t blame any driver for dodging press conferences or walking out of them. Those questions could not be more idiotic and repetitive. For example, how many times has Tony Stewart had to answer some variation of “Did you expect this much success?” And I’m surprised that no drivers have abruptly stormed out after being asked yet another question about Dale Jr. But after a race, fans want to know what went wrong. Kyle (whom I do generally like) could just ignore any actual questions, tell us what he knows, and then walk away. As for the Nationwide race on Saturday, I think he should have at least let Logano know about the tire issue immediately, rather than let Joey stand there thinking he’d done something unforgiveable by wrecking his teammate/mentor.

Vito Pugliese - FS Staff
06/03/2009 11:15 AM

Mandy –

I can assure you, my questions are not repetative or idiotic. They are ironic and cryptic. Whatever that means.

06/03/2009 11:24 AM

Kyle speaks the unspoken truth about Dale Jr. and now he must be punished. My guess is Kyle Busch could care less how you feel, and why should he.

Vito Pugliese - FS Staff
06/03/2009 11:45 AM


06/03/2009 11:58 AM

I had garage passes at Darlington a few weeks ago and saw Kyle come out from the coach lot to his hauler. He was the most smug looking person I had ever seen in my life. It seemed as though he would rather be anywhere else in the world than there having to sign a couple autographs as he walked through the garage area. He needs a serious attitude adjustment, that’s for sure.

06/03/2009 12:04 PM

That sould do it. We have heard from the punk’s entire fan club today.

06/03/2009 12:06 PM

Hey MilChad, that’s called a “game face”, typically seen on intent drivers WANTING TO WIN!

And that’s why you think it is unusual, because not many other drivers in NA$CRAP REALLY TRY TO WIN and ARE DISAPPOINTED WHEN THEY DON’T!

Concentration on the duties at hand!


You should be more concerned that 42 other drivers don’t have that “game face”!

06/03/2009 12:08 PM

Why do you write articles about Kyle if you prefer he NOT be in the spotlight?????

Joe W.
06/03/2009 12:29 PM

I have not commented on this page in a while but the comments of all these new Busch fans has got me going. I know sports have had classic cases of “bad losers” for as long as I can remember, but do you Busch fans know what? They have all taken heat for it. Everyone from Dale Earnhardt Sr. to Tony Stewart to John Mc Enroe in tennis. So the fact that Busch is being asked to be accountable is not some sort of “picking on” your new favorite driver. The main difference between Busch and the other infamous hotheads is that he is also a very “bad winner” too. He is arrogant, condesending and sarcastic, and those are his good qualities. If he is the best thing in Nascar then that really does explain a lot. Lebron James is being “called on the carpet” for not shaking hands after a loss. The commisioner wants to meet with him to discuss it. Do you Busch fans know why? James is the “face of the NBA” and as such certain things are expected. This is coming to a guy who is generally very likable and engaging. Now if all these commentors new boy Busch is so great then he is in fact the new face of Nascar, then he needs to be accountable too. It is that simple.

Larry Burton
06/03/2009 12:47 PM

Vito, I agree with everything you said! What are all you Kyle fans going to say when one of his antics that he pulls like the truck race last week where he deliberately took out the leaders and someone gets seriously hurt or killed? Huh, what are ya’ll Kyle fans going to say then? Less hear it? The guy is a spoiled brat rich kid who never had any kind of raising. You Kyle fans can make all the comments you want about how great he is but he is nothing but a spoiled brat rich kid and he could win every race nascar runs but I’ll never be a fan of his. So fans, tell me, what will you say when one of his stunts gets someone seriously hurt or killed? Let’s hear ya’lls excuse. And, remember also, when he takes these drivers out like in the truck race, most of these guys are running for points and don’t have a lot of money and Kyle pulls that crap. One thing you can bet on though is if someone takes Kyle out he shows his butt bigtime. Kyle lost his Nationwide car at Vegas earlier this year and wrecked it. Then, at Bristol his pit crew made a mistake and let a tire get away from them and after the race Kyle parked his car on the track and left it. That is the kind of idiot ya’ll Busch fans pull for. His team must accept it when he makes a mistake but then they better not make one. So tell us Busch Fans, when Kyle gets someone seriously hurt or killed by one of his crazy antics, what will be your excuse then? I’m waiting!

Bill B
06/03/2009 12:59 PM

Sounds like having your game face on is great excuse for anyone. When I go to work in my office and I encounter and issue I put on my game face. So, by your logic, that gives me an excuse to tell someone that comes to me with a question to “go to hell” because I have my game face on.
You see that’s the problem I have with him. If I can’t behave that way, and no one I know can behave that way at their job, then he shouldn’t be able to behave that way at his job. So maybe I am jealous.
I think he is a great driver with lots of talent but I will never like him until he stops acting like a DH.

Colin Baird
06/03/2009 01:19 PM

My Weekend At Dover:
Travel & Motel Expenses- -$400
Race Tickets- -$350
Meals- -$310
Souveniers- -$125
Parking- -$40
Kyle Busch not winning any of the three races- -ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS…!!!

Carl D.
06/03/2009 01:32 PM

Kyle Busch is such a punk. Man, I love to watch that guy race, but when he loses and acts like a spoiled brat, I love it even more! How one driver keep me so entertained is a testament to his great talent and his complete lack of any redeeming social qualities.

Danica Patrick
06/03/2009 02:36 PM

Kyle, keep your chin up. I see nothing wrong with your behavior. I’ll be there soon to guide you.
You Go Girl!!!

06/03/2009 02:38 PM

Hey Bill B, typically a “game face” in my world is for direct competition in “sports”!

Actually I am old fashioned (maybe just old) but climbing into a race car that approaches 200MPH (well, before restrictor plates and the CoT anyway) and placing ones life on the line (well, that’s old fashioned also I guess with that tank they call the CoT that makes every driver completely safe, and also completely boring)deserves a little more “concentration” than walking the halls of your work! (at least in my world).

Gee, did you ever see an A.J. Foyt before he climbed in a race car?

He would be eating nails!

Don’t dare get in his way!

But forgive me, that was the era I grew up in, danger and intensity!

What flavor vanilla you want? JJ? or JG?

Bill B
06/03/2009 03:14 PM

I guess we have differing opinions of what “professional” means. Cal Ripken, Brett Farve, Jeff Gordon they are professionals. I don’t know what you call the Terrel Owens’, Randy Mosses and Kyle Busch’s of the world. To each their own. You are entitled to applaud any kind of behavior you want. BTW, just because AJ Foyt behaved in a certain manner doesn’t make it something that other should aspire to.

Let me ask you this. Policeman are under greater pressure than sports figures, are you OK with them treating you badly when they have their game face on? And what about doctors? If you go to a doctors office and he has a complicated surgery later in the day are you OK with him treating you like crap during your checkup?

06/03/2009 03:19 PM

Thanks Vito for the article as I was having a bad day and you brought me a smile and a chuckle.

06/03/2009 03:55 PM

“Key point here: Nationwide Series race. Not Sprint Cup. Not Formula One. Nationwide Series – i.e., not your main focus.” When you write this it just shows how little you understand Kyle-for him, the race he is racing in is his main focus. The guy loves to race…and sure, there may be some out there who love to race as well, but very few of the current drivers in NASCAR Sprint Cup show the passion that he has for racing itself, not the endorsements and money deals.

And to compare Kyle to Martin and Jr. is like comparing an tiger to a housecat. Completely different temperaments. You want to root for a driver that is always level headed and doesn’t get worked up about anything, go for someone like Martin or Jr. You want to root for someone who clearly shows passion for racing, disdain for losing, and excitement for winning, go with someone like Busch. I will take a driver any day that shows his emotions.

And about Dover and the Nationwide race-give the guy a break. He had another race to be at. Why would he spend precious preparation moments giving interviews when he is in NO WAY obligated to?

And in response to the caption on the photo…Kyle doesn’t spend a lot of time in the media focus even when things are going good. There are a few blips here and there, but nothing compared to the media focus put on other drivers.

All I can say is give him a break. This is his job. If you went to work, busted your butt for the eight hours typing articles like this on your computer, and two seconds before you sent it to your editor your computer crashed, died, and took every single file with it, I am sure you would be just as crabby and unwilling to give an interview to millions of people about what happened. When you think about it in that perspective, I hope that helps you understand what he probably feels. This is his job-he has every right to be happy on a good day and ticked off on a bad day.

(And yes, I am a diehard Kyle fan…long before the bandwagon for #18 started.)

Vito Pugliese - FS Staff
06/03/2009 04:03 PM

A couple of points –

I don’t think anybody would question Mark Martin’s competative fire. Have you seen the temporal vein that is perpetually ready to explode over the last 20 years? Those wrinkles and gray hair have been there since his 30’s. As far as Junior, he has had WAY more focus and attention foisted his way than Kyle Busch has – and he has delt with it MUCH better. Kyle is not the son of a certifiable legend – nor has he had to endure the loss of that figure in the manner in which Dale has. Cut HIM some slack.

06/03/2009 04:27 PM

Hey Vito, your comparison between Jr. & Kyle kinda fell short.

I would have included the fact Kyle tries his best to WIN! Jr. tries his best to be popular!

(using his Daddies name and fortune by the way)

One, Kyle, makes his own way and fights for everyhting he can, Jr. just takes, and takes everything he can. One is along for the ride, the other is the ride!

Ain’t this fun, keeps one’s mind sharp!

06/03/2009 04:39 PM

Just returned from the mud hole “ELDORA” passed more fans leaving their in the rain then I’ve seen at some Busch and Truck races this year. Bill B. you talked about Kyle’s game face and poor behavior before a race, that Dr or policeofficer you talked about is not going to deal with every Tom, Dick and Harry that has nothing to do with the job he is doing at the time, ask them about their golf game or family before a major surgery or while they are in a pressure situation a see what kind of response you get. Vito I’ve seen many a race Mark’s SETTLED for second or third place (the safe bet) instead racing for the win as KYLE does EVERY race.

06/03/2009 04:41 PM

Vito-In response to your couple of points:

Martin is no doubt competitive. But I count him as one of the “nice guys” of the sport. You know…people like him, Burton, and yes, Jr. Not a bad thing to be, but that is the persona they typify. And saying that Jr. is levelheaded is by no means an insult to him, either. It is what he is.

And I agree with Douglas 100% on his opinion about Jr. vs. Kyle.

You really can’t compare the two. And for many good reasons, but the one most relevant to the discussion at hand is that yes, Jr. has had more focus and attention sent his way. But Jr. doesn’t mind it. How many endoresements and advertisements do you see Jr in? It’s too many to count. How many are Kyle in? Let’s see. I may be wrong, but off the top of my head-THREE. The Toyota one, the Gilette Young Guns one, and the dogfight one with hime and Gordon. The difference here: Jr. LIVES off the media. Kyle LIVES off his racing.

So to say that Jr. has dealt with the media a lot better than Kyle has…well, obviously. Not too mention he has 10 years senior on Kyle, so one would expect him to “handle” the media better. But I have to be honest. I would rather not hear an interview from Kyle than hear Jr. stumbling over his words, looking at everything but the camera, and not being able to put a sentence longer than three words together in every interview he has. It’s just a matter of opinion.

Vito Pugliese - FS Staff
06/03/2009 04:54 PM

wcfan –

That’s why Mark doesn’t wreck that often or have to abandon a car with blown tires, or has drivers shaking their fists at him.

I know what’s coming….that’s why he doesn’t have a Championship. I don’t think that has cost him any titles – if anything, it’s what has kept him in the fight, and built the reputation and respect he has earned in throughout his career. It doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to pile into the back of somebody and wreck them. There is no honor or code in that.

It’s not always about trophies – it’s about the relationships built along the way. The memory and reputation endures a lot longer than a gaudy trophy will.

Unless it’s that gigantic bear that Tony Stewart won at Atlanta a couple of years ago. That thing was awesome. I would totally turn somebody for that thing in my heavily fortified rec room.

06/03/2009 05:17 PM

Second Place is the FIRST LOSER if you are not racing to WIN why are you there

06/03/2009 05:43 PM

No Vito , its racing . It IS all about the trophies .

06/03/2009 06:38 PM

Bill B. I know this is a little late but you better move Brett Farve(I’m retired no I’m not retired) to the Randy Moss, Kyle Busch list becauses its ALL about him. Give me A Dale Sr., Tim Richmond, Cale Yarborough, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon(not a fan)in his prime anyday, I do not watch the race for first runner-up, I watch to see a wheel man drive to VICTORY, not settle for a good points day.

06/03/2009 06:44 PM

All that attitude is great…But can he fight? Probably not, all drivers go through a slump.So, Jr will be fine. Kyle will get punched in the face like his sooner or later…

Tram Morehouse
06/03/2009 06:47 PM

Listen, we need to get all the NASCAR drivers who look 12 out of Nascar. Return the sport to the MANLINESS it needs. Scrap BS advertiser like Kodak… and replace them Extenze, and Enzite. Guys don’t want something to take pictures with, they want a massive PACKAGE. Kyle Busch probably needs help in that region. Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall watching him try to pick up chicks? He probably stutters as spit flies out of his mouth, allthewhile pissing his pants. I want guys like Tony Stewart, Robbie Gordon, and Jimmy Spencer to be emphasized and recruited. Go to some podunk dirt track with 10 cases of PBR, and recruit the most white-trash somer-teethed SOB you can find. These kinds of guys will throw down anywhere, anytime, and for anything… including for a stupid race that allowed them to drive 500 miles and still end up in the same physical location.

By the way, Extenze works. Chicks love me.

Nancy Arnold
06/03/2009 07:29 PM

I can`t stand Kyle Bush,I celebrate when something happens that he doesn`t win .He`s a big cry baby .

Bill B
06/03/2009 08:35 PM

$ I $ am $ $ure $ that $ Kyle $ ha$ $ no $ problem $ picking $ up $ chick$ $$$$$$$$$$$$.

Jim C
06/03/2009 09:04 PM

Great article Vito. I personally feel that though Kyle is exciting to watch on the track, his pouting and taking his ball and going home act is getting tiresome. He needs to man up and talk to the media as do the other drivers. If he blows up, so what? It’s all good, so long as he doesn’t say a 25 point word or something. It just adds to the legend that is becoming Kyle Busch.

06/03/2009 09:18 PM

Hey Amanda!

One word!


06/03/2009 09:35 PM

Talent is no excuse for acting like a jerk, yet so many keep trying to use it as justification. There is no justification for self-absorbed, immature behavior.


06/04/2009 10:48 AM

well said! in my opinion Kyle Busch is exciting to watch SOMETIMES but an overall ass ALL THE TIME.

06/04/2009 06:52 PM

How about the fact that every little move Busch makes gets put under the microscope?

I can only imagine how living in a bubble would feel especially if I had the fire and passion about winning that Kyle has. To not win is simply not acceptable in his book, and thats one of the reasons why I love watching him race.

Leading the most laps and being taken out by another car, or by a broken part, or bad luck would not put me in a great mood either and you have to admit, reporters have often tried to exploit and antagonize by the way they frame their questions. They’re in the market to breed controversy.

So if Kyle is cornered by reporters after one of those incidents and is asked one of those ‘pointed questions’ (who know they’ll get a great sound bite out of him, because of his blatant honesty) then no matter what he says, he’d likely be crucified with his response.

If he flees, he’s slammed
If he stays, he’s slammed

Think of it, its an impossible situation.

06/04/2009 11:26 PM

How did a piece on Kyle’s actions become about Junior?

Putting that aside, how bout if Kyle simply thanked the guys who worked their butts off getting his cars ready? Or he might thank his sponsors who are the reason he’s able to drive the cars the guys at the ship work so hard to prepare? It’s not that tough to be grateful for what you’re given.

And back to Junior, I dont pay that much attention to his interviews but at least last week he commented that the media should interview those who finished ahead of him instead of the 12th place guy. I had to appreciate that remark.

earl lewis
06/05/2009 08:46 AM

kule busch is the face of nascar dale jr is the laughing stock of nascar!when kyle speaks, people listen! when jr talks people , point there finger and laugh at him! everyone knows jr is mentally challenged!

earl lewis
06/05/2009 08:49 AM

this will probably be the last yr jr will be at hendricks! i think rick h is looking at putting a busch driver in the 88 car next yr!

06/05/2009 09:52 AM


You pinned it exactly right-if Kyle walks away from interviews he gets chastised and if he stays and says the honest truth he gets chastised. The guy is in a no win situation, and quite honestly as a fan I get sick and tired of having to defend the fact that he is who he is. Once again, give him a break. The people who are constantly going after him and insulting him are the ones who need to find something else to do with their obviously ample free time.

Love him or hate him, Kyle is his own person. And while some people may point out constantly that he is immature (which I have to disagree with), I could sit here and point out flaws about every driver on the track. But thank goodness I choose not to-I would hate to lower myself to that level. I chose the driver I chose because he races the way I like to see someone race and has the attitude to boot. What non-Kyle fans are forgetting is that the people who are fans of Kyle are fans of the whole package-attitude and all.

06/05/2009 10:08 AM

The two most competitive drivers in the sixties and seventies were Petty and Pearson when they got beat they took it and smiled and were polite to the media, behind the scenes they probably acted differently, that’s their business. If being seemingly unaffected by not winning that they were just “cruising” just ask the guys that got between them and the finish line. As for whining he’s just like Dale sr. when he got dumped or when he didn’t win it was someone else’s fault. And what if we could have the coverage of the sport we do now “back in the day” would we think differently of our heros? What I like about Kyle he drives the wheels off a car, if he doesn’t wreck or a tire goes flat, he wins and that really ticks off the Dale Jr. fans, it’s not Dale Jr. I don’t like, its his fans, most are a bunch of obnoxious butt heads who need to learn some manners. What’s wrong with people who cheer when Jeff Gordon hit the wall at Dover last week while qualifying. As for KB stomping off and not wanting to talk. To quote one driver also named Kyle who has a famous last name, “I didn’t want to say anything that I would have to apologize for latter”. Maybe he knows what will come out if he gives an interview, sometimes running isn’t such a bad idea. Don’t most of us wish sometimes in our lives we rushed off instead of opening our mouths………..

06/07/2009 09:57 AM

Give me a break, there is only one winner each race. I don’t see any other driver acting the way Kyle does when he isn’t the winner. I don’t care if he led the most laps or not, grow up and stop acting like a spoiled child that didn’t get his way. While I admit that Kyle can wheel a car, his attitude is what makes me dislike him so much. So all you Kyle lovers stop making excuses for him. It is what it is!

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