Kyle Busch has four wins at Richmond International Raceway, and one already this season. That is his lone win in the 25 races so far this year. His only guaranteed ticket to The Race for the Chase is to win Saturday nights Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond. The 27 year old driver from LasVegas had one other victory this year, that coming at the Budweiser Shootout in February. Unfortunately the Bud Shootout doesn’t count as a win, or provide any points toward wining the Sprint Cup. There are a couple of scenarios that would get him into the chase, but I would need a small notebook and another 30 minutes to explain it.
Is it my imagination, or have we seen an entirely different Kyle Busch this season? Kyle has been polite to reporters, polite to other drivers, and the only Busch who has caused any problems in 2012 has been brother Kurt. Also missing from Kyle Busch are the 3-4 wins that he has on the resume long before we get to this part of the season.
In 2011, Kyle had 4 wins, 2010 3 wins, and back in 2008, he had 8 wins and 7 poles. The highest he has ever finished in the points standings however, was 5th in 2007, and by coincidence he only had one win that year. The one major thing missing this year from Kyle Busch are multiple trips to the Nascar Hauler for some kind of reprimand. He’s been a good boy all year.
So has Nascar and the Major sponsors finally gotten what they want from Kyle? A docile individual who races everyone clean, gives friendly consise press conferences and has become totally boring on the race track. I sure hope that’s what they wanted, because that’s what they ended up with. Gone is the kid who can drive anything, and drive it to the front regardless of how it handles.
I pondered this question after the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol, and I will wager a months salary that everyone reading this blog has the same question on their minds. If Kyle Busch had gotten pissed off, wrecked Matt Kenseth, then threw a helmet at his car, would he have been on a fast track to the hauler, and gotten either a suspension, been put on probation, or both? I’m betting he would have.
You have to know that Nascar has always had conflicts, on and off the track, but has a lot of pressure from High Dollar sponsors who have changed the landscape of stock car racing to promote a family image that Wall Street will invest in. Mike Helton has been around this sport a lot of years, and would imagine he has had to break up a fisticuffs or two in his day, you know Big Bill France has.
It’s my opinion that what is wrong with Kyle Busch this season, is a carbon copy of what has become wrong with Nascar. Even professional wrestling understands they need good guys and bad guys to make the show more fun for us fans. And again like wrestling the action in the ring is not enough to carry the sport. Love him or hate him, let Kyle Busch get back to being Kyle Busch and we will all have more fun.
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