(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
Four time Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson is not the only driver capable of getting into their competitor’s heads. There is at least one other driver that puts fear into the driver’s helmets. No it is not “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski, who seems to have a target on the back of his car larger than the Target Stores logo! Additionally, it is not the Jekyell and Hyde of Carl Edwards, either.
It seems like the one driver that strikes fear in the helmets of his competitors is none other than ol Kylie Busch, who keeps the competition on edge in all three of NASCAR’s upper tier of racing!
When Kevin Harvick won the Camping Series Truck race in Atlanta last weekend, he was most proud of beating Kyle Busch, or “protecting his turf”, as he put it. “A lot of the reason why we race trucks is so that Kyle doesn’t win all the races,” Harvick said jokingly.
Busch has won 10 races over the last two years running on a limited basis in the Truck Series, and has proven that he can show up and win in just about any series. For 2010 Busch has put together his own Truck team, thus staking a claim as a bona fide threat to win anytime, any place,any day, a threat to Kevin Harvick, Inc. and their dominance over the past few years in the Truck Series.
When his brother, Kurt Busch, won the Kobalt Toools 500 last Sunday in Atlanta, giving his new crew chief, Steve Addington, his first victory since coming over from Joe Gibbs Racing, one of the things that Addington was most proud of was beating his former driver, Kyle Busch. That victory was a bit of vindication for Addington, who led Kyle to 12 victories in two years at Joe Gibbs Racing before his termination.
Even big brother, Kurt, seems threatened by the younger Busch! Kurt has 21 Sprint Cup victories, 5 more than Kyle, and won the 2004 Sprint cup championship. Nevertheless, he seems driven to beat his younger brother, which is somewhat a role reversal for sibling rivalries!
Why is everyone so concerned about beating Kyle Busch?
Because he is widely considered the most talented race car driver in the sport today, aside from Jimmie Johnson. Even though Busch and his JGR race team are going through a down time with growing pains, Kyle Busch is the one driver that could be the new dominate factor, and everyone knows that is a fact!
He strikes a raw nerve with the fans and his competitors alike. Busch has a no care attitude, wears his emotions on his sleeve, and wears the air of a confident swagger, much like a gunslinger of the old Wild West. He comes to the race track looking for a fight…..and generally finds one!
Kyle Busch’s love-hate relationship with the race fans stands to turn him to the biggest villain of all time, if he isn’t already, or eventually turn into a popular megastar. Either way he stands to make millions!!
At only 24 years of age, he turns 25 in May, Kyle has 16 Cup victories and a total of 63 in all three series combined. He is the 21st Century Mark Martin, a driver capable of winning races in any division, on any day, at any race track! If Kyle continues to race in all three divisions of NASCAR, he will quickly rewrite all the records.
In 2009 Busch won 9 Nationwide races and finished second 11 times out of the 35 race schedule. He won 7 of the 15 Truck races that he competed in. What the Sprint Cup drivers are worried about is that he will soon dominate like that in the Sprint Cup Series.
The concenus is that the only thing that is standing in the way of greatness for Busch is….Kyle Busch! He needs to harness his immaturity and his inability to control his emotions! Once that is under control, the sky is the limit for this young, aggressive, talented race car driver.
If you are an alumnus of the University of Maryland Terrapins, the phrase you hear is “Fear the Turtle”.
If you are a Sprint Cup driver, you will soon hear the rumblings of “Fear Kyle Busch”!!!
Who do you think is on the precipice of greatness?
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!