By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
Last week at Richmond Kyle Busch came out and dominated by leading virtually the entire first 230 laps of the race, before his car began to falter. Busch would slip back a little, but unlike the Busch of old, he remained composed and kept digging.
“For the old Kyle Busch, he would have folded. The new one, he stuck in there, he dug hard. He kept going.” Busch said.
This “new” Kyle Busch, who had decided not to give up on that night, was rewarded for his hard work with career victory number 17 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Busch was able to maneuver around Jeff Gordon on the final restart of the race to take home the win. So after winning a race of that fashion, you would believe the “new” more composed Kyle would stick around for a bit right? Wrong.
All it took was an entire day of frustration for the “new” Kyle Busch to vanish, and the “old” Kyle Busch reared his ugly head yet again. Darlington Raceway can bring out the worst in any driver, but for Busch the worst is his former self. Kyle Busch is an extremely talented driver don’t get me wrong, but the only reason he hasn’t hoisted a Sprint Cup trophy (Other than Jimmie Johnson), is that he lets his emotions get the best of him when the going gets tough… Friday was no exception.
It all started with Sprint Cup Series practice, where Busch scrubbed the wall. Busch immediately popped off on the radio with his same “old” attitude. However his team was able to get the body squared away, and he would not be forced to go to a back-up car… yet that is.
Later on in the evening Busch found himself on a possible pole winning run in Sprint Cup Series qualifying, however Busch would slip in turns three and four on his first lap which would ruin that lap. Busch wouldn’t let that be where this incident ended, in typical Kyle Busch fashion he became frustrated, and decided to run a second lap… This was a costly mistake. On his second lap Busch would slam hard into the outside retaining wall, hard enough to force him to a back-up car in Saturday’s Southern 500.
As he hit the wall Busch radioed to his crew chief Dave Rogers saying, “Great, Just Great.”
Busch’s great “throwback” day didn’t end there. He started second in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race, and immediately on the start of the race he threw a temper tantrum on his radio. Busch was complaining that his teammate Denny Hamlin jumped the initial start of the race, Busch indeed was right, but in my honest opinion he let this little issue get to him just too much.
As the race drug on, Busch continually found himself slipping back through the field on restarts which prompted him to say, “I hate this race track!”
Busch would go on to finish second, and he was very frustrated with his finish… sound familiar?
It took just six days for that “new” Kyle Busch to transform back into his old self, but the question is when he wakes up tomorrow which Kyle Busch will he be? Remember just in 2008 Kyle Busch took the checkered flag in the Sprint Cup Series race here at Darlington, so he’s capable of putting it all together, but he has to keep his cool. I personally think it could be a very long day for the driver of the No. 18 Toyota in Saturday Night’s Showtime Southern 500.