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Kyle Busch’s behavior in Nashville was an embarrassment

By admin | June 7, 2009

By Richard Allen

I have written columns in which I supported Kyle Busch for speaking his mind and not being afraid to openly criticize his opponents, NASCAR or anyone else who he may deem necessary. It is important that drivers speak their minds rather than spew out scripted, ‘yes man’ type answers.

I have also written columns in which I have been critical of Busch for being engaging after a win but then running to hide when he has a race to go bad. However, even hiding from the media is not embarrassing, just rude and childish.

This time, there is no defense for his silly and immature behavior. He definitely crossed the line.

The folks at the Nashville Super Speedway are rightfully proud of the unique trophy they provide for the winners of their Nationwide Series races. Many drivers proudly display a specially designed Gibson guitar which is the signature prize for a Nashville victory.

Busch decided to treat his a little differently. Instead of putting it on display in his personal trophy case or giving the coveted gift a place of honor at the Joe Gibbs Racing shop, he thought it best to smash the guitar in victory lane.

With officials from the track and no doubt with dignitaries from the Gibson company there, or at least watching, he took something that means a great deal to them and desecrated in front of a live audience and scores of viewers on television.

I have read and heard it said that it is his trophy and he can do with it as he pleases. Well, technically that is true. But let me ask those who think that this question, do you take a sweater your grandmother painstakingly knitted for you and burn it right in front of her? After all, it’s yours so you can do with it as you like.

I have also read and heard that Kyle Busch is a rock star and this is the sort of thing rock stars do. Well, I was under the impression he was a race car driver. I have not heard any  recordings he has put out. But hey, rock stars also do drugs. So I guess if NASCAR wants rock stars they can drop that whole drug testing thing and let Jeremy Mayfield back in.

For many years one draw that NASCAR had over other sports is that their competitors do not act like the thugs and spoiled brats of other sports leagues. With one act, Kyle Busch confirmed that is no longer true.

And to make things worse, instead of being ashamed of their driver’s behavior, NASCAR had the moment displayed on the front page of, almost as if to say, “We are proud that we have punks just like the other sports.”

Apparently to make it all better Busch said he had previously planned to do this idiotic act so that each member of his crew could have a piece of the prize. Then, he intended to buy two more, one for him and one for his crew chief. That makes it worse, not better.

Busch  and the NASCAR apologists keep saying that guitar designer Sam Bass and the Gibson people are fine with what he did. I’d like to ask them that in confidence.

What that confirms to people struggling through a difficult economic time is that NASCAR drivers are overpaid and grossly wasteful. It’s bad enough that they fly all over the country in their private jets and have their oversized, palace like homes thrown in everyone’s faces on special television shows, but they also can take expensive, hand crafted gifts and deliberately smash them to pieces. Then declare, “Oh well, I’ll just get two more.”

If NASCAR wants to impose heavy fines on drivers pick Kyle Busch for his silly, immature behavior instead of hard working people like Carl Long.

Busch should be made to drive, not fly, to Nashville to personally apologize to the people who spent long hours crafting that guitar. Then, when he asks to have two more made I hope they tell him to… Well, you fill in the blank.

Wonder what he plans to do if he wins that grandfather clock in Martinsville?

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

36 Responses to “Kyle Busch’s behavior in Nashville was an embarrassment”

  1. Jeff Phelps Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 2:08 am

    I am a NASCAR fan from 1974 and saw the likes of Richard Petty, Harry Gant, I could go on. Kyle Bush I have never liked but it was something I could not put my finger on. Now I know why I have never liked him. His actions were 100% not good for the sport!! He should pay a heavy price for his disrespect of the sport and the race fans.

  2. Kevin Culver Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 3:14 am

    Thanks for saying something about this cry baby from Las Vegas too bad he even gets more PUB from this incident…The beat goes on or in his case the smash makes it worth it…

  3. Lynnsy Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Well said Rich. I can’t help wondering how long Joe Gibbs is going to put up with this behavior? If he really didn’t want that guitar why not give it to a kid there wearing one of his shirts or caps? There would be a lot of people saying “Well, maybe Kyle Busch isn’t such a bad guy after all” instead of people saying “He really is a jerk and an idiot.” I guess he must think negative attention is better than no attention at all? What a shame for the other drivers, fans and everyone involved in NASCAR.

  4. TOM LANG Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 5:48 am


  5. Scott Beasley Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 7:17 am

    What is the big deal! I think what he did was great! Sam Bass confirmed what Kyle Busch said was correct, he ordered two more of the guitars and is having the one he smashed cut up and pieces given to his crew so they have a part of a unique trophy. Nascar drivers are over paid, just like other pro athletes and all other entertainers! How many guitars has Pete Townsend destroyed doing the same thing? Hundreds! I personally do not like Kyle Busch but what he did is not that big of a deal. I also find it funny that the media now loves Tony Stewart, how many times when things have not gone his way have we seen Tony throw worse fits than anything Kyle has done?

  6. Mary Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Why couldn’t the snotty little rich kid buy a guitar for each of his crew members? Smashing that trophy was akin to spitting on everyone who worked hard to create it.

  7. Tom Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 7:51 am

    GIBSON.COM - Easy to find, easy to send a message. STOP GIVING THE GUITAR.
    I always thought they were “seconds”. NOT - That is a custom-shop Les Paul, as fine a musical instrument as you can buy.
    You can be sure I will continue to organize against giving another one, especially when you have semi-evolved chimps like this motherf***er involved.

  8. Bob W. Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Kyle Busch is the biggest jerk in Nascar and this just confirms that. Just as Mike Bliss said at Charlotte” No one likes him anyway.” That hits home for most TRUE NASCAR FANS.

  9. Racemaster Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    How about all you media types quit giving this fool the publicity he craves? Maybe he will go away and we can get on with real racin’ instead of dicussing the shortcomings of this idiot.

    The more publicity you give him, the more he will show his a**!

  10. Overa88ted Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    GET OVER IT! It was a hoot and Kyle was just having fun with it. Gibson GOT FAR MORE PUBLICITY from it than otherwise. GET OVER IT!

  11. Jamie Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Thank you for this. I’m amazed at how many in the mainstream press are taking up for this behavior and trying to defend it because this guy makes their job easier. Far from condemning him, they’re practically endorsing the action, thus ensuring that he will continue this behavior.

    They’re losing their own credibility, right along with Kyle.

  12. blue duece Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Everyone is forgetting Kyle Busch giving the finger on national tv saturday afternoon. That is where the penalties should come in!

  13. blue duece Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Exiting his helicopter is when this occured

  14. Corky14_39 Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    At first I must admit I was shocked at Kyle’s actions. Then when I found out he promised his crew a piace of the guitar, I overlooked his actions. Now to find out he has asked Sam Bass to create 2 more “Trophies”, I’m cool with that.

  15. Mick Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    As a 50 year owner of Gibson Les Pauls, it really hurt to watch Kyle attempt to smash one at Nashville. He had said he was going to cut it up and distribute it to the team–fine. Smashing it into unrecognizable pieces — useless. Pete Townshend and others typically smashed up cheap, easy to smash stratocasters. (Notice the neck wouldn’t break). Smashing good stuff is trollish and certainly appeals to our reptillian brain.

  16. jerry from buffalo Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    What is his problem, Joe Gibbs needs to do something about him, I don’t care how much talent he has. Well I can do something, I am going to boycott all products thats advertised on his/Gibbs cars, all of Gibbs cars, theres a home dopot 2 blocks from my house, I now will drive to Lows, 5 miles from my home. I like M&M’s, no more. Had enough.

  17. crocko the clown Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Don’t expect Gibbs to do anything. He never did with Stewart when he was out of control. That’s when I lost respect for Joe Gibbs. Everyone acts like he has his priorities above others, but when it comes right down to it money and winning is all that matters. He will put up with inappropriate behavior as long as the money is rolling in.

  18. Skid Mark Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Okay, so…I am NOT a guitar player. I am not a big fan of Sam Bass “artwork.” I am not a fan of Kyle Busch. But, I found Kyle’s actions absolutely disrespectful to the folks at Gibson, to Sam Bass and to the organizers of the Pocono Race Track. Rock and Roll, my a$$. It was typical immature Kyle Busch. He could have given that sweet guitar to a charity and have them auction it off for mcuh needed dollars. So, he’s going to buy two more. Big deal. NOT THE POINT. But, in Kyles world, it’s all about Kyle.
    On the other hand, the advertising value was worth HUGE dollars for Gibson. But again that isn’t the point.

    Yet another dumb move by NASCAR’s most immature driver.

  19. RoyMullins Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Who here is not already on a Metamucil regiment?

    Do you people want humans or corporate robots driving?

    Fair questions I think.

  20. redheadinok Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    RoyMullins - I want drivers who have CLASS and show RESPECT!!! Not some punk who thinks that he can act however he likes. Sam Bass and Gibson spent endless hours working on this guitar just to have a punk like Kyle smash it on national television. I read on another site that Federated Autoparts was a sponsor and walked out of VL after seeing his antics. I would much rather see a drivers spout off his sponsors in Victory Lane than see an immature brat with no respect for anyone or anything act like that!! He shouldn’t even be in Nationwide Series anyway!!! Stay in Cup and leave the Nationwide Series to actual Nationwide drivers!!!! Go on other sites Sam Bass is “heartbroken” to see his hard work destroyed. He took the high road in victory lane but said otherwise after he left. How can you people defend this??? It was a trophy and it was a special one. It’s like the grandfather clock at Martinsville, you don’t see drivers destroying it to give “pieces to their crew”

  21. Drunk France Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Kryle Boosh is a spoiled baby. Hams it up when things go his way, but acts like a four year old when they don’t(running away and crying in his trailer). Typical rich kid attitude “I’ll just buy more”. “F” you Kryle. How about buying my family some food to eat. You should try living in the real world for a while to knock some sense into your fat head

  22. Rachel Gaines Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Who cares? It was a freakin’ guitar, not the Holy Grail. I am just waiting for the day Kyle gets to smash the Sprint Cup trophy over the head of some member of the France family - or the media. Either would be fine. Kyle is the best thing that’s happened to NASCAR in the last 20 years!

    The only people who care about this “incident” hate Kyle because he is not Junior and he is ten times the driver Junior will ever be.

  23. Drunk France Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Why did you remove my comment Rich? It was’t as bad as some of the others I’ve seen on your site. Are you in NA$CRAP’s pockets as well?

  24. Drunk France Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Sorry Rich, computer error

  25. Matt Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    ya know, unlike the first guy, i havent been alive long enough to have been a fan since 74. Instead ive only been a fan since 87, and have no problem with what Kyle Busch did. Whats wrong with breaking the trophy and sharing it with the crew? nothing, you just want another reason to bash Kyle Busch. Whats even funnier is the intelligence of the people commenting, the race wasnt at Pocono skid mark. If you knew anything about Busch you would also know he donates alot of time and money to charity already. You always rag on Busch for disrespecting his crew, and when he breaks apart a trophy so the entire crew can share it, that is “immature” and an “embarassment.”

  26. Scott Clark Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Kyle Busch is a

    The guitar smashing is getting the pub… but what about the way he was signing stuff and then just dropping it on the ground after he was finished. People paid a lot of money for those “All Access Passes” to be close to the drivers and the pre-race activities at the Nashville Superspeedway only to be treated like trash by this jerk!!!

    I have worked serveral events that have allowed be to be in and around NASCAR drivers while they are in the pits/garage and this guy is a first class _________!!! Hendrick didn’t dump him for Dale Jr he dumped him because of who he is and how he acts… However nothing is going to change until he has a Jimmy Spencer intervention like his brother had.

  27. Matt Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    And to all you folks who say that money is all that matters, I hope you say the same thing about Dale Earnhardt Jr. selling out to go to Hendrick because he couldnt get majority ownership in DEI. If it wasnt about the money, then why did he leave?

  28. Greg Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    As a citizen of Nashville, and being in attendance for Saturday nights race, I have to say that what Kyle Busch did in Victory Lane was the most disrespectful slap in the face to the city of Nashville and to the fans of NASCAR. While I certainly agree that the guitar is not the holy grail of trophies, it is representative of Music City and very special in our eyes. To witness someone take a gift that was given to the winner and smash it on the ground was truly insulting.

    Having watched the race first hand, you would not believe how he got around the track, and Kyle is truly a talented driver. However, his arrogance, lack of respect, and disdain for those of us who pay a crap load of money to see him and 42 other drivers race completely takes away from his god given talent as a racer. Over the last year, I have heard people compare him to Dale Earnhardt Sr., and I just shudder. Can you imagine Dale Sr. doing something that disrespectful to the fans of Nashville? Certainly not. Kyle is no man, and his daddy should be ashamed of him. I know as a Nascar fan, I am terribly ashamed that he is in our sport. I am also embarrassed that a class act like Joe & JD Gibbs support & acquiesce to someone so low class like Kyle Busch.

    What happened in Victory Lane Saturday was disdainful and Dover Motorsports should refuse to have a new trophy made. In fact, they should ban him from all future Nashville races until he apologizes to the Speedway, it’s employees and fans. And you guys that laugh it off as no big deal should rethink your stance. What would you say if someone took something special to you and threw it on the ground right in front of your eyes? You would be pissed too.

  29. Larry Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Greg, I agree with you and I agree with this article. And, to all the folks who compare this to a rock musician breaking his guitar well there isn’t a comparison. Those rock guitars are probably cheap ones and this was a one of a kind custom designed art work trophy and for him to do that in front of the designers and Nashville track officials is a slap in the face to everyone. Just like someone said you don’t destroy an award (trophy) like that in front of the people who worked so hard to make it unique and valuable. Driving was never the reason Hendrick got rid of this idiot. Joe Gibbs claims to be such a cristian man but having people like this drive and work for you sure doesn’t show it. You can say things all you want but your actions is what people remember.

  30. Rhonda Says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 12:22 am

    LOL it amazes me how what Kyle did was “embarassing” when Jr who has been in the sport for 10 yrs now STILL cant make a pit stop right….I love how people concentrate on Kyle to take the spotlight off of jr’s screw ups! As for Kyle buying everyone a guitar, do all you “haters” realize he give 100% of his winnings from Nationwide AND Camping races to charity?…How many of YOUR drives do the same?…Smart you all are not, the hate u poor out on Kyle is like adding gasoline to a fire it make him drive harder and better!
    As for him getting ‘to much publicity’ to bad, we are sick of hearing about little jr who still cant get it together even after handed the golden goose! Give it up people no matter how u whine it doesnt make Kyle a bad driver. I wonder if we spotlighted all of your stupid or “unethical” acts in life how you would turn out looking…I suggest you make your houses spotless before u look at anothers…Rant/whine on! :)

  31. Larry Says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Rhonda, this post has absolutely nothing to do with Jr.! Why are you trying to get attention of your driver to someone else. There are reasons why Jack Roush and Rick Hendrick fired the Busch Brothers and it has nothing to do with their driving ability. Get over it! It’s about this spoiled rich kid brat driver that you are a fan of. Will you still be a fan when one of his antics on the track gets a driver seriously hurt or killed? It could very well happen. What will your driver do then, leave the track without making a comment like he does now when things doesn’t go his way or he causes a wreck?

  32. david Says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    i will never watch or go to another nascar event this makes me sick i better not say any more, a rich little round cap on top of head makes me sick

  33. Rhonda Says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Of course u dont want anything brought up about ol jr because u would have to admit he is no better than Kyle in actions. I have seen drivers stand in the track and throw helmets at card, drivers get out and push each other around, call others out for a fight…Literally show their asses and you people get down on Kyle for “sharing” what his team and him WORKED/EARNED. So it took smashing, GET OVER IT!…its theirs to do with as they please!

  34. Rhonda Says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    at cars*

  35. redheadinok Says:
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Rhonda - How can you defend such disrespectul actions? IT WAS A ONE OF A KIND TROPHY!! It took Sam Bass hours and hours to create just to see it destroyed by Busch. I suppose you think it’s fine for the next winner at Martinsville to turn over the Grandfather clock that someone spent hours and hours creating and destroy it? IT’S DISRESPECTFUL. If he wanted to share it with his team he should’ve bought them all guitars, Lord knows he makes enough money to do so. And this has ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY nothing to do with Jr. I’m not a Jr fan , but how in the world does Busch acting like a spoiled rich kid and ruining a one of a kind trophy have to do with Jr? NOTHING. Sounds like you need to get over the obsession with anyone not liking Busch automatically being a Jr fan - they aren’t! Busch’s childish actions are why people don’t care for him, his lack of respect for anyone and everything is what people have a problem with! Throwing a helmet or gloves at someone is not even close to destroying a trophy that was pain stakingly created as a special trophy.

  36. Tracy Says:
    June 27th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Liked your article alot Rich!
    I was embarassed at what he did too. I didn’t think he could be that much of a moron, not with a trophy anyway, he should have split up his winnings check with his crew if he wanted to ’share’ something with them.

    Ky is a big cry-baby. He needs to change the sig on car from ‘Rowdy Busch’ to “Powdy (pouty) Busch’.
    I can only imagine what he does when he gets back in his trailer. I hope he doesn’t go down the DV road.
    He drives brilliantly (at times) but yet will shun the media and fans. Well, Ky it won’t last forever, people don’t like you now, what will you do when your racing talent isn’t so great, how will you handle the media and fans shunning you. You’re gonna need the fans and media alot more then, than the fans and media need you now.