Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Enough about the "new" Kyle Busch

It seems there has been a lot of talk suddenly about the “new” Kyle Busch after winning Richmond this past weekend. I am sure this talk has been going on for a few weeks, but I choose to disregard all this non-sense. But now we have Kyle himself believing this assertion. There are plenty of new things in Kyle’s life recently – he is engaged, he owns a Camping World Truck series team, and of course, he has a new crew chief in Dave Rodgers. There have been some changes in his life for sure. However, I chuckle listening to how Kyle Busch is more mature and how the “old” version of him would not have won Richmond. Look back to a similar situation at the 2008 Chicago race. Kyle had the dominant car, but lost the handle late in the race, just like he did this weekend. Busch got passed by Jimmie Johnson with less than 20 laps to go and looked destined for a runner up finish. A late race caution gave him one more chance, and he got one hell of a restart on Johnson to take the lead and win. He certainly didn’t give up in that race, during the so called “old” Kyle days.

How many times have we heard of other drivers becoming more mature? I remember how Tony Stewart was supposedly a changed man after the 2002 season. Kevin Harvick is another who had “transformed” into a good guy. Even Kyle’s older brother, Kurt has allegedly grown up. Truth is, I see the exact same behavior from these guys that they had five years ago. Some may have more conservative driving styles, but personality wise, they are still the same.

Kyle Busch is an amazing driver – he is arguably one of the most talented stock car drivers today. As far as maturity, he is still has room for improvement. I agree that his interviews have been more pleasant this year, but let’s wait until the end of the year before we make conclusions. Think about it, he hasn’t had a devastating late race loss in the Nationwide series this year, when he had plenty in 2009. These races were the best in demonstrating his lack of professionalism. He did have that tough break at Phoenix a few weeks ago, but we didn’t get to see an interview. After his win on Saturday, his response to a reporter saying we wanted the old Kyle back was, “Make up your mind, people.” Well for me, it has never been an option because there is no such thing because the old Kyle Busch has not left yet.

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