By admin | February 22, 2009
By Richard Allen
The mere mention of Kyle Busch’s name to many NASCAR fans can cause a scowl to appear and not so nice words to be uttered in response. However, the brash young driver has shown a side that many may have not known existed.
The struggles of Busch’s even younger teammate, Joey Logano, have brought to light the more caring side of his character.
In Daytona, where Logano had a difficult time getting his car to behave the way he wanted, Busch stepped in and practiced the #20 Toyota on Friday to offer feedback to the rookie driver and his veteran crew members. Listening to the scanner talk during that session sounded somewhat like a college professor briefing a young apprentice.
Then, during the all important ‘Happy Hour’ session on Saturday, Busch took time to both lead and follow Logano around the 2.5 mile speedway to demonstrate and advise on the best line for getting around Daytona’s rough surface.
As it turned out, the lessons proved unsuccessful in the sense that Logano crashed out of the Daytona 500 early. However, what the young phenom learned leading up to the big race will no doubt go a long way toward helping him build for success later on.
Busch’s tutoring of Logano did not end in Florida. While practicing for the Auto Club 500 in Fontana, California, the two drivers talked over their team radios during a lull in the session.
The #20 was at work repairing some damage from a brush with the wall and Busch’s #18 crew was working on the setup of his car. As the two drivers waited, Busch offered a verbal lesson on the best way to get around the Auto Club Speedway and how the car should feel at various points of the facility.
Joey Logano’s tough beginning to his Sprint Cup career has provided an opportunity for Kyle Busch to prove he may not be as bad a guy as many NASCAR fans choose to believe.
Often times, those of us in the public form opinions about entertainment and sports figures based on just a few incidents involving that person. Busch actually showed last year that he has another side to his personality. When it became known that NASCAR legend Sam Ard was behind on medical bills, Busch contributed a significant amount of money to benefit his cause.
So, Kyle Busch may not be the complete villain many fans think he is. However, it’s likely he will continue to hear his share of boo birds, and that doesn’t really seem to bother him. As a matter of fact, it almost looks like he enjoys it.
As a period to the story, Busch’s mentoring seemed to help him as well. He won both the Camping World Truck and Nationwide races in California as well as taking a 3rd place finish in the Sprint Cup event.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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