With his worse year in terms of wins since 2007, I beg the question, has the taming of Kyle Busch reached it’s desired affect? With two wins on the season, one a points race, and one not(Kyle won the Budweiser Shootout), I would say..no. I guess the question should be re-phrased..Is the racing better, and is Joe Gibbs Racing better off? Again, I would say..no. So what was the purpose?
I know I am probably going to get in trouble with this one, but can anyone draw a comparison between Kyle, and a young Dale Earnhardt? Dale was disruptive, aggressive on the race track, and played by his own set of rules. He would do anything it took to win a stock car race, and didn’t mind getting in a little pushing and shoving afterwards. Didn’t we all boo The Intimidator once in a while when he did something bad? I don’t remember Dale making a lot of trips to the Nascar hauler on those occasions, or have sponsors threaten to pull out.
The opinion last season was that Kyle’s demanding schedule was at the root of his Sprint Cup problems. He was spending too much time with his CampingWorld Truck Team, and too much time in the Nationwide cars. This was supposedly the reason he was not making and performing well in the Chase. What we ended up with in 2012 was one win, which came at Richmond in the spring, and that was it.
From 2008 through the taming, Kyle Busch won 19 races, had 43 top five finishes, and 70 top ten’s. Since, he has the one aforementioned win, 11 top fives, and 18 top tens. I propose that they have taken the one thing away that Kyle loves, and that’s racing stock cars.
Since the pressure of making the chase, Kyle has had six top ten finishes, with five of them being top 5’s. His only two blemishes came at New Hampshire where he finished 28th, and at Kansas where he came in 31st. I think Kyle had an opportunity to win at Texas this past weekend, but stepped aside as to get out of the way of the contenders. I’m not sure he didn’t have the best car at the end, and just didn’t want to be the cause of wrecking one of them.
Without an active Kyle Busch bumping into other cars, spinning other drives out, and generally creating chaos on the racetrack, Nascar has further created a pristine environment of squeaky clean drivers, mega dollar sponsors who will not tolerate a loose cannon like Kyle, and have ended up with grandstands that are not full, and nothing to talk about around the water cooler at work. The only excitement we get on the track, is Danica Patrick throwing a hissy fit about Landon Cassill, and an occasional helmut throwing incident by Tony Stewart.
I think Nascar should get off Kyle’s tail, and JGR should let the boy run as many races as he wants, after all, it’s his career, and if Racing is what he loves to do, let him race, and if Nascar wants to continue running races at venues that are not sold out, then I suspect Kyle Busch has finally been tamed.
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