Are you for or against NASCAR driver Kyle Busch? There really is no in-between.

Here are the most recent incidents that make Busch such a polarizing figure.

Two weeks ago, on Feb. 26, 2017, Busch lost air in his right rear tire at the Daytona 500 and crashed. After the race, he said, "You know, obviously Goodyear tires just aren't very good at holding air."

In this undated photo from Goodyear, a tire engineer checks a stack of tires for a NASCAR race.

In this undated photo from Goodyear, a tire engineer checks a stack of tires for a NASCAR race.

Goodyear’s preliminary analysis is that a flat spot caused the loss of air. There were no cuts in the tire.

Is Busch’s comment legitimate or crazy? Is it at least understandable? His brother, Kurt, won the race on tires that held air, so I guess that helps refute Busch’s comment.

Kyle has a bit of a history with Goodyear’s tires at the Daytona International Speedway, which I would guess has colored his opinion.

During practice at last year’s Coke Zero 400, he questioned the safety of the Goodyear race tires after the right rear tire blew and he crashed.

“It doesn’t give you any confidence whatsoever in Goodyear’s ability to make a tire that’s worthwhile to go out there and race on,” said Busch. “I guess we’ll just all suffer through it and hope for the best. Pretty confident in Joe Gibbs Racing and their ability to provide good race cars, not very confident in Goodyear in giving us good tires to go out there and race on and have confidence in them.”

At that time, Goodyear said the tire failure was caused by a cut in the tire caused from debris on the track.

Busch is considered somewhat of an heroic figure based on winning the Sprint Cup Championship in 2015. That was the same year he broke his leg and foot in a crash -- again at Daytona -- during an Xfinity Series race.

In March 2016, however, he had a tire go down on the last lap in the Xfinity Series race in Fontana, Calif., and finished second. He had won the previous three Xfinity Series races.

“Debris all over the race track and they don’t throw a yellow. I’m just so pleased with you, NASCAR. Thanks. Y’all are awesome. Fixing races….”

How often does a professional athlete bite that hand that feeds him like that?

Most recently, he and fellow driver Joey Logano crashed during the Kobalt 400 on March 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Following the race, Busch threw a punch at Logano, and was tackled by Logano’s pit crew.

It appears Busch is at his worst or most candid immediately following a race, when adrenaline is high in a sport where life and death is part of the job. That is when tempers are more likely to flare. However, he has not apologized for any of the aforementioned comments, or his attack on Logano.

Kyle Busch is not a milquetoast, which makes him an interesting personality among his sometimes cookie-cutter fellow drivers. I’m sure NASCAR is not pleased when he says anything negative about NASCAR and its sponsors. But with the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing having attendance problems, it needs him to raise the excitement level.

I would guess Goodyear is not happy with him, because inflammatory comments about the tire by NASCAR drivers do influence their fan bases.

So, are you for our against Kyle Busch? Is he refreshingly outspoken or just a jerk? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

And just so you don't think I'm a milquetoast, I'm in the latter camp. He's a sore loser.

Author

Bob Ulrich
Bob Ulrich

Editor, Retired

Editor Bob Ulrich has earned a reputation as an industry expert thanks to his insightful, in-depth articles and blogs on the tire industry. Before joining Modern Tire Dealer in 1985, Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University. Also, he graduated from the University of Akron School of Law with a J.D.

View Bio

Editor Bob Ulrich has earned a reputation as an industry expert thanks to his insightful, in-depth articles and blogs on the tire industry. Before joining Modern Tire Dealer in 1985, Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University. Also, he graduated from the University of Akron School of Law with a J.D.

View Bio
0 Comments