Is Kyle Busch Good or Bad for NASCAR?

Feb 22, 2017; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch speaks to the media during Daytona 500 media day at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2017; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch speaks to the media during Daytona 500 media day at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports /

With all of the negativity surrounding Kyle Busch recently and throughout his career, is there a chance that he is actually good for the sport of NASCAR?

When Kyle Busch is in the news, it is usually for one of two things. The first thing is for winning races. The 2015 NASCAR champion has the 2nd highest win total in the playoffs era with 38 victories.

The other is for his temper and bad attitude, which are what really get people talking. And since he hasn’t won a race since Indianapolis last season a whole 28 races ago, Busch has been in the news for this reason as of late more so than for winning.

More from Kyle Busch

His comments about Talladega not being a real race track despite a 3rd place finish and a 5th place effort being a mediocre day at Kansas got a lot of people talking, as did his sarcastic comments after Austin Dillon’s first ever NASCAR victory at Charlotte. All of those comments made Busch a hot topic for the media to talk about as of late, particularly the comments about the Charlotte race. But does this make Busch good or bad for the sport?

A lot of people see Busch as a crybaby who moans and groans whenever things don’t go his way. And many people are turned off because of this, both from him and from the sport.

Many people also see Busch as an arrogant driver who “takes candy from babies”. Busch leads the all-time Xfinity Series wins list by nearly twice as many wins as the next highest driver with 87 wins, and 82 of those wins have come during his time as a full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver.

Busch also sits 2nd on the all-time Truck wins list with 48 victories, trailing 1st place Ron Hornaday Jr. by three wins. Of those 48 wins, every single one of them has come during his time as a full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver.

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What is particularly worth noting is that Busch has more victories in both the Xfinity and Truck Series than he does in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series…yet he is the 2015 champion of the sport with the 2nd highest win total in the playoffs era. Some people just cannot stand that he must go out of his way to beat the little guys, and that in itself is bad for the sport since it turns people off.

But is there a part of Busch’s act that is actually good for NASCAR?

Here’s why I bring this up. After the interview that is shown below, Busch obviously took a lot of heat.

But what is cause of that heat and in turn an effect of it? Media attention. And here at Beyond the Flag, we are no exception, which you can see right here. Given that NASCAR is a sport that was put on the map by a fist fight, the media attention that Busch gets may actually be good for the sport.

Look at what Dale Earnhardt Jr. had to say after Busch’s arrogant interview.

WARNING: The following tweets contain a NSFW word.

Keep in mind who Dale Jr.’s father is: the great Dale Earnhardt Sr., one of only three 7-time NASCAR champions. Earnhardt Sr., who was killed in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500, was idolized and is idolized today by many. And guess what? His attitude resembled Kyle Busch’s. If he wasn’t the winner, he wasn’t happy, and it didn’t matter who he offended in being dissatisfied. And who can blame him? Who wants to finish in 2nd? I’d say Dale Earnhardt Jr. as his son knows a thing or two about what’s good for the sport and what’s not, and that’s without being a big fan of Busch.

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You don’t have to like Kyle Busch. In fact, if you read my previous article, you’d know that I am not a fan of his antics either. But there’s a chance, one larger than most people think, that Busch is actually good for the sport of NASCAR as a whole.

Maybe fewer people would watch the lower series if it was just no-name up-and-coming drivers competing, and then the same fans would in turn be less acquainted with those drivers as they progressed to the premier series, resulting in fewer NASCAR fans attending and watching races overall. Maybe it’s good for NASCAR that Busch is there, even if he does win almost every race, since it draws in viewers who like watching big-name drivers compete.

Maybe it’s good that Busch has the attitude he has. It gives NASCAR a “villain” of sorts, which can intensify the competition as a whole and draw in more viewers. It can pin Busch against the world, and every race can be an event that not just NASCAR fans but racing fans and fans of competition and sports in general do not want to miss.

Next: Does Kyle Busch Need To Grow Up?

Do you think that Kyle Busch is good or bad for NASCAR as a whole? Be sure to follow me on Instagram as well as Beyond the Flag on both Instagram and Twitter. Finally, don’t forget to follow along with Beyond the Flag for the latest news, opinions, and analysis stemming from a number of different motorsports series. You don’t want to miss any of it.