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Kyle Busch: More Sr. Than Jr.?

by Patrick Snow

Kyle Busch is in First place in the Sprint Cup standings as the NASCAR circuit prepares for the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. And if you have watched how he tries to dominate the field each lap of each race, you have to admit how good of a driver “Wild Thing” is and how exciting he is for the sport.

That sentiment might not sit too well with the many Dale Jr. fans in our Swampland region, especially after Busch and “Little E” got into each other at Richmond a few weeks ago. Additionally, many have compared Busch’s aggressive driving style to that of Dale Sr. himself. That is a comparison that Junior doesn’t like, but I do see a similarity with the two on the track. I also believe that Busch’s “Go for Broke” style is exactly what the sport of racing-which has become increasingly boring and antiseptic- needs very badly.

I don’t want to sound too negative about racing because it’s a sport I still enjoy. In fact, I host a podcast each week dedicated solely to NASCAR. It’s just that I get increasingly frustrated-as many of you do- with “racers” seeming quite content with finishing in the Top 10-12 each week. This sport wasn’t born on that type of sentiment. I think the rivalry between Busch (who was let go by the Hendrick team so Junior could come aboard) and Earnhardt Jr. could provide some excitement that NASCAR desperately needs. In this era of ‘points racing’ and cookie-cutter tracks outside of the South, some rivalry and aggression is just what the doctor ordered.

I’m not trying to turn anyone into becoming a Kyle Busch fan, and I would agree with the sentiment that his personality is much different than the late, great Dale Earnhardt Sr. The young hot rod definitely needs to mature in some areas, but I do believe his driving style is great for the sport of racing. Check out this excerpt from the Darlington race recap regarding Busch’s desire to win:

“He battled his way back to the front, patiently picking off Jimmie Johnson, Earnhardt and finally seven-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon to reclaim the top position. From there, the kid who chases the checkered flag every time he's on the track pulled away, forcing spotter Jeff Dickerson to beg him to slow down a mere 50 laps from the finish.

"I know you are digging, dude, but you've got to take care of that thing there,"

Dickerson radioed. "You're scaring the fans. There's not enough security up the Turn 2 wall. Just nice and easy."

But Busch isn't capable of going slow, and he stayed on the gas until the finish while stretching his Sprint Cup Series lead to 79 points over Jeff Burton.”

Kyle Busch may not be an old-school Southern boy —but he sure races like one - or at least, how they used to.


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