Seriously, let Kyle Busch be Kyle Busch
OK, let’s give this Kyle Busch thing a rest, can we? Please?
For those who didn’t hear it, Busch was in position to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway last Sunday night and got beat by Austin Dillon, who led only the final two laps to win, while Busch clearly had a much faster car, led 63 laps and finished second.
This after spending four hours in the cockpit of his car on a hot, humid night and enduring a 1 hour, 40-minute rain delay in the middle of it.
Let’s also consider that Busch is a past champion and Joe Gibbs Racing won 26 Cup races in 2015-16.
But so far this year, JGR is winless, which is frustrating to the team and its drivers. They are paid to win and they aren’t winning. On a macro level, no one in the organization is happy with the way the season is going.
On a micro level, at Charlotte Busch saw a chance to win one of NASCAR’s majors slip away to a slower car that won on fuel mileage. And yes, he was crabby afterwards.
Friday at Dover International Speedway, where Busch led a Toyota sweep of the top four qualifying spots, Busch was asked — not once, but twice — about why he was upset last Sunday night.
Does anybody honestly not understand why he was upset?
Drivers get paid and paid handsomely to win races.
When they don’t win they are inherently unhappy, and they should be. This sport isn’t about participation trophies and good manners. It’s about going all out to win. And when a driver doesn’t win, he should be unhappy.
In all the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve seen drivers throw helmets, throw punches, throw curse words that would make a sailor blush. Busch did none of those things. He was frustrated and it showed. But not out of proportion to his disappointment.
You can like it or dislike it, respect the passion or think it’s childish.
But if you’re wondering why he felt that way, it should have been obvious already.
And I will admit it makes me crazy that people complain about the lack of passion in drivers and then complain even more loudly when a driver actually has the temerity to show his disappointment when he loses.
Someone want to explain that to me?
Because if I’m an owner or a sponsor or a crew chief, I’d much rather have a driver who’s furious after he loses than one who’s happy he had a good points night.
In fact, the last words I’d want to hear out of a driver after he loses are, “Everything’s great!”