Despite his recent penalty for disrespecting a NASCAR official, Kyle Busch says he doesn’t feel the need to tread lightly around those guys in the future.
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The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was penalized two laps during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway after making an obscene hand gesture toward an official while being held a lap on pit road. Busch was later fined $25,000 for his action.
Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, he said that he wasn’t concerned about any lasting impact of that temper tantrum.
“I feel real comfortable with NASCAR officials,” said Busch, who is also a team owner in the Camping World Truck Series. “I have a great relationship with quite a few of them. Yesterday, (I) was talking with Bill Whelan with the Nationwide Series, (a) few other officials from the Truck series and then today already talking with a few in the Cup garage.
“I’ve got a great repertoire with those guys, and I feel like the time that I’ve built with them has been really good. It’s not something where the whole relationship is tarnished in one weekend. I’ve built a great relationship with those guys where now I’m not on such great grounds but yet I’m a lot better than I was, say, four years ago.”
Busch declined to comment on any meetings he had with NASCAR or team owners this past week.
He did, however, expound upon whether he thought such behavior was detrimental to a championship run. Busch was already out of the race for the 2010 Cup title last weekend — and has a Nationwide Series title on his resume — but his rash actions have arguably, at times, hampered his team’s efforts.
Busch seems to recognize that.
“I think for myself there is a fire that has helped me win the races that I’ve been able to win, but it’s also cost me in some other times — which was the instance last weekend, which was inappropriate and childish — what have you,” he said. “I made (a) mistake. I regret the mistake that I made last week.
“In going forward now — it’s not where I’m in the beginning of growing up. I’m definitely not to the end. I’m somewhere in between. So, there’s a balance there. And, obviously I haven’t learned exactly everything that I’ve wanted to learn yet about being able to control my emotions, or what have you. So, there’s a better way to do things. And I haven’t quite conquered that. Where I’m at, I couldn’t tell you.”
He does, however, dispute the notion that he needs to rein himself in if he’s to win a future Cup title.
“Whether or not that is the cause for me not being able to contend for a championship I’d have to disagree 100 percent,” he said. “I won a Nationwide Series championship last year as the same person I am.”