Monday, December 14, 2009

First NASCAR Day of Christmas: One Smashed Guitar Trophy

Kyle Busch busting the Sam Bass trophy at Nashville was one of the dumbest moves of the season. But it sure did cement Rowdy as one of the most fascinating people of NASCAR.

In one foul smash, Busch took what should have been a stellar night in Victory Lane and fueled a firestorm of consternation among fans, officials and even the artist who designed the trophy in the first place.

As a driver, it was an ill-conceived gesture by a star whose behind-the-wheel talent stands in sharp contrast to his out-of-car antics. But as a big-time owner, would such behavior have had more serious ramifications?

It's a question worth asking. For now, six months after guitar-gate, we learn that Busch is going to own his own truck team. In a Friday press conference, Busch announced that Kyle Busch Motorsports will step up to the Camping World Truck Series and run at least two full-time trucks in 2010.

Although he may yet prove all naysayers wrong, right now it seems inconceivable that Busch's judgment has matured so quickly from that balmy summer night in Music City.

Sure, team ownership has nearly tamed the tiger Tony Stewart. But Busch is years Stewart's junior and can't even be bothered to talk to the media when he loses a race. This is hardly the behavior one would expect from a top-tier owner. Nor is this an example to set for his new employees, drivers Brian Ickler and Taylor Malsam.

So to trucks Rowdy will go along with former KHI crew chief Rick Ren as his director of competition. How the new venture will pan out remains to be seen. But one thing's for sure - if Busch is involved, it sure won't be boring.

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