Thursday, March 19, 2009

Is Kyle Busch Rowdy-ing On Down?

Are we witnessing the emergence of a kinder, gentler Kyle Busch?

Sure, he was his arrogant, hot-headed self at Daytona, but ever since the "wreck that will live in infamy," Rowdy's on-camera remarks have been disappointingly blase. Last year, you could always count on Wild Thing to fire off a controversial answer to almost every on-camera question. But now, he's saying surprising things like he has learned a lot since last year and is trying to take "the bad days easier."

Good lord, the Kyle Bush fans either love or hate doesn't take bad days--period. I want him throwing a helmet and shaking his fist at the Jumbotron. Heaven forbid he turn into an uber-talented gentlemen driver.

Unfortunately, the pre-race press release from Busch's team leads one to believe that some enterprising brand manager at Joe Gibbs is trying to give bad boy Busch a gradual image makeover.

Take, for instance, Busch's take on losing races this year: "Losing isn't a lot of fun, but you've got to deal with it better. You've got to learn that every day isn't your day, but you can make the most of losing, sometimes, and try to turn it around and win the next week. It's kind of a double-edged sword because you want to win badly, but it's just trying to take those days where you have a third-place racecar and bring it home in third place."

And then there's Busch's ruminations on what he has learned since 2008: "I think to probably take the bad days a little easier. But I hate bad days. I'm still not going to take them as easy as I should. It's unfortunate we weren't able to capitalize on our great season in the Chase (in 2008), and run in the Chase the way we wanted to. But I feel like we've been able to not let the bad days haunt us and maybe also turn some days that should be bad into something better than we should have had. We didn't let Daytona haunt us. We went to California, ran a smart race and finished third. We went to Las Vegas and didn't have the best car, but we ran a smart race and ended up winning. We weren't the best car at either place, but we were the best car in Daytona, and I felt like we missed out there. You're never owed one in this sport. You've always got to take what you can get. Unfortunately, some days are bad days and you just put it behind you and look forward to the next week."

I'm all for racing smart. But come on Kyle, don't lose your talent for drama. NASCAR needs you as its resident villain--now more than ever.


  1. Love him or hate him, Kyle is a fun one to watch. I just love how he chafes my father-in-laws' ass.

  2. Kyle can be un-boring without destroying things and talking trash. He can be fun to watch by driving well without deliberately putting other drivers in the wall.

    Actually, I think the "Rowdy" Busch persona was created by a marketing professional. (See my link for the rest of my theory.)