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It was just after this point when Kyle Busch ‘lost it’ last year

By admin | August 30, 2009

By Richard Allen

Up to this point last season Kyle Busch looked like a sure bet to win the Sprint Cup championship. He had won eight races and had a commanding lead in the standings. However, something happened from this point in the season which caused his season to go off track.

During that 24th race in Bristol, Carl Edwards bumped Busch out of the way and went on to win the Sharpie 500. Busch was obviously aggravated and let Edwards know it with a post race retaliatory bump. From that point, Busch seemed to lose his winning rhythm. Whether the incident at Bristol had anything to do with Busch’s later demise is doubtful, but it did mark the point at which Busch’s season started to go wrong.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup season has completed 24 races thus far. After last year’s 24th race, the series moved to Fontana, California for the Labor Day weekend. In that race Busch finished a very respectable 7th. However, from that point on, the driver of car #18 would not have many more respectable finishes. Besides, prior to that point in the season Busch was not really about respectable finishes. He seemed to either run in the top-3 or have poor results.

After California, Busch began a string of five straight races in which he finished 15th or worse, including one 43rd place run in Dover. The major problem with those five consecutive runs was that they served to essentially eliminate Busch from championship contention.

This year, Busch may have already had his string of bad luck. Unfortunately for him, that string may have come at a time which will prevent him from even having a shot at the Sprint Cup title.

However, if Busch does indeed have his bad run of races behind him, as last week’s Bristol win may indicate, then he may be able to work his way into the Chase for the Championship just in the nick of time.

And more, if Busch does make the Chase, he will go in with at least 40 bonus points. That would possibly put him at least tied for the lead of the standings after the Richmond race. This fact reveals either the beauty or the folly of the Chase system, depending on your point of view.

Should Busch go on the type of top-3 run he is capable of, he could actually run away with the points lead and the championship. However, if he should start the same type of streak he began just after this time last year, he need not worry about where to put the championship trophy.

Maybe the ‘new and improved’ Kyle Busch of the last few days will have new and improved results over the next few weeks.

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

Sunday’s Nationwide race proves NASCAR should never race in the rain. Click the link below:

Topics: Articles |

13 Responses to “It was just after this point when Kyle Busch ‘lost it’ last year”

  1. Joe W. Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 8:01 am

    I did not see any “new and improved” Kyle Busch at Montreal. He did his usual run and hid after the race. He was mad because he didn’t win again. He needs to learn the world does not revolve around him. He is still the same spoiled brat as before and I doubt he will ever get any better.

  2. John R. Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I see Mr. Busch’s behavior from a different perspective than the previous commentator. Kyle is a fierce competitor who races hard, gennerally races clean, and only cares about winninng. He doesn’t race safely just for points.

    He has learned to give himsef a few minutes to calm down before talking to the media. When I have just finished fighting traffic I need a few minutes to decompress; I can’t blame Kyle for dng the same.

  3. Joe W. Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 9:53 am

    John R. With all due respect you must be watching a different driver. I do not see Kyle Busch as racing clean. He wants to pump people whenever he needs, then complain when he gets the same treatment. He is truly one of the least classy drivers I have ever seen.

  4. Larry G Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 10:59 am

    The biggest crybaby in the garage is the #48 team of Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson. Only difference is the media does not highlight when they whine off after a race. Just like at Bristol where JJ was whining.

  5. William Holmes Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Joe W.
    You must not have been watching NASCAR very long or have had blinders on. This is the same attitude that was exhibited by Dale Earnhardt and everyone loved it. It is the same attitude that Dale, Jr. has, “it is everyone else’s fault”. The only difference is that Kyle can actually win a race, quite to the dismay of “Little E” fans.

  6. Joe W. Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Sorry William but I have been watching Nascar for quite some time. I saw Dale Sr. do things in a car that Kyle Busch can only dream of. I think it is you that is living revisionist history. Dale had his share of fans and haters but he was NEVER like Kyle Bush. This one really ticks me off. When Kyle Busch has taken a car from the back to the front several times in one race at Bristol and raced his way back from laps down, then you can talk. He is not the talent Big E was and he never will be. How about finish a race in the top ten at a short track with no power steering like Mark Martin or Jeff Gordon have done. Has your new hero Kyle Busch done that? No, I didn’t think so. He is in good equipment and always has been. He has some talent but not like some of you seem to think. Oh and by the way, I am not a Jr. nation member. I like him fine but my favorites are Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. You know what they all have that Kyle Busch does’nt? A championship in at least one of Nascars top three series.

  7. Curt Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Could it be that Kyle really is trying to show more respect on the track, yet because of his past actions isn’t getting much back in return? At Bristol, Mark Martin mentioned that they had both given each other room to race. Now he may not be the most unforgiving driver on the track, but that does raise my eyebrows. Perhaps it will just take time for other drivers to notice that Kyle is trying to turn a new leaf and thus appropriately change their attitude towards him in return?

    I’m no Kyle Busch fan, but the thought had crossed my mind that this might just be the case. Tony Stewarts path to post anger management days started much the same way.

  8. Matt Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Where is the first commenters sly remark about Marcos Ambrose who did the same thing. He got wrecked by morons on the last lap of a race he was running second in, with bad racing conditions, cautions that took way too long, and an overall long day in general. NASCAR has run faster 500 mile races. It was a frusturating day for everyone except Edwards and apparently Andrew Ranger.

  9. Joe W. Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Matt, Marcos does not make a habit of being a bad sport like Kyle Busch does. He is usually very accomadating. He did also speak before he ran off. You Busch fans are great. Let’s see if you still like the jerk when he isn’t winning. That will be the true test.

  10. Rachel Gaines Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Joe W., I have been watching NASCAR as long as you have and I indeed HAVE SEEN Dale Sr. act much worse both on the track and off than Kyle Busch ever has. Sr. simply needed to push the button on his tape recorder each week that said, “I hate that it happened,” after he put yet another competitor in the wall only because he had neither the patience nor the ability to pass cleanly. Senior also held the land speed record for leaving a track after a race was over - interviews be damned!

    Funny how death has sanctified some people - Michael Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Dale Earnhardt. All seriously flawed personally and professionally, but treated as gods now that they are gone.

    I am just glad to still be around to watch Kyle drive. He pulls off moves in traffic that defy physics. And unlike your hero, those moves do not necessarily cause mayhem for the competitors. Kyle is the driver Dale wishes he could have been and tried to convince us he was by his slam-bang, thank you mam style of cheating.

    Kyle is the most talented driver I have seen in 25 years of watching this sport. I love his attitude, his skill, and his sheer joy at winning. “Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser.” Thank you, St. Vince Lombardi for those words that still ring true.

  11. Joe W. Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Sorry Rachel you are completely wrong. Have you ever been to the night race at Bristol? What Dale did there was amazing and Kyle Bush will NEVER be that good Period end of story. He is not even the most talented driver now. How many championships has he won? Ask those around him about his moves. They cause plenty of mayhem. His attitude stinks too. You really need to watch without your Kyle “rose colored glasses on. I can think of several more talented drivers. Tony Stewart is much better than Busch to only name one. He has two championships also.

  12. Rachel Gaines Says:
    September 2nd, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Joe W., how old is Kyle Busch? 30, 40, 50? OOOPS! He is 24 and has won over 50 races in NASCAR’s top three series. However the championships fall (and they will mostly fall to JJ and Chad because they work the system to perfection), Kyle is on track to become a 200-race winner. He is by far the most talented driver out there today and he is nowhere near as dirty a driver as Senior the Saint. Tony Stewart has “mellowed” into Kyle-light. This may serve him well in this year’s Chase, but his career is essentially over because the fire is gone.

    Kyle, keep those fires burning! You have WAY more fans than you realize. And NASCAR needs Kyle so badly right now with the white bread alternatives they have to offer. If Kyle did not exist, NASCAR would have to create him. And realistically, they have done exactly that to a degree. Kyle is on a very long leash with NASCAR because they know how much they need him.

    As for championships won, I wonder if when JJ gets to his 8th or 9th, you will be singing the same tune about the importance of winning the Cup. At that point, you will be whining about the Chase, the rules, the COT, Hendrick domination and everything else that you can pull out of your hat to discredit JJ’s winning more championships than your self-destructive hero. The only driver more over-rated than Dale Sr. is Dale Jr.

  13. WIlliam Holmes Says:
    September 3rd, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Joe W

    Yes, I have been to plenty of day and night races at Bristol. The only moves I remember was when he wrecked Terry Labonte on the last lap of the race in 1995 and 1999. Then he had the gall to say “I only wanted to rattle his cage.” The Earnhardt’s have always been the most arrogant crowd in racing from giving intervews to signing autographs for fans.