Kyle Busch neutered UPDATE
This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' now. When Busch was winning everything, he had an air of invincibility and walked through the garage without a care in the world. If he minded being NASCAR's bad boy, he sure didn't show it. With his trademark celebratory bow to the crowd, and his refusal to back down to anyone, Busch had established himself as the centerpiece in almost every NASCAR story line. Now? He seems somewhat defeated. The constant booing from fans, the nasty messages on Twitter, the stifling media scrutiny and the never-ending sponsor glad-handing he's got to do as both a driver and a team owner has pushed Busch to the edge of bitterness. He wasn't cocky or confident in his media availabilities at Bristol; he was fulfilling an obligation with zero enthusiasm. How is NASCAR Neutering Busch? In Trucks, Nationwide and Sprint Cup, speculation is that how strict they are in the technical inspection line governs how fast you go on the race track.
|His eyes say it all. Kyle Busch has lost interest. He's been neutered by NASCAR|
04/26/12 If Kyle Busch has appeared to race a little less aggressively this season, don’t think that it has anything to do with his confrontations with drivers last season and his NASCAR suspension.
Busch dismissed that theory when talking about his 2012 season on Thursday, a day prior to Cup practice at Richmond International Raceway.
The 26-year-old driver, who has 23 career Cup wins, has tried to distance himself from last season, when he had dust-ups with Kevin Harvick, team owner Richard Childress and Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday.
Busch and Harvick feuded all season after Busch wrecked Harvick at Darlington Raceway, and Harvick tried to punch him through his car window. Childress later punched Busch in the garage at Kansas Speedway.
When Busch intentionally wrecked Hornaday, a Kevin Harvick Inc. driver, in the truck race at Texas, NASCAR suspended him from the Nationwide and Cup races that weekend.
Is Busch racing any differently or less aggressively after those highly publicized spats?
“Not that I know of,” he said.
Busch is 13th in the Cup standings with one top-five and three top-10 finishes. He has led in only two of eight races and only 132 of the 2,526 laps (5.23 percent) this season. Last year at this time, he had led 19.3 percent of all laps and for the season, he led in 26 of his 35 races.
“We’re just trying to … get ourselves to where we have good handling racecars, good driving racecars to where you can get more out of the car,” Busch said. “If you’re comfortable in a car, you can drive it harder and make it do something.
“But when you’re two-tenths (of a second) off the pace, and you’re scared to drive it any harder because you’re already out of control, you’re not going to be picking up any time.” Sporting News