Bad Weekend At Bristol For Kyle Busch Haters

Bristol, TN (August 22, 2010) – They booed him, cursed him, shot him ‘the bird’ and committed various other forms of deranged personal conduct so crazy that decorum prevents us to report them here, but when the dust settled at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night, all the Kyle Busch Haters in the crowd could do was file out in silence.

All the witty repartee and gesturing were gone as the massive crowd left in awe after Busch had won all three NASCAR events at the famed Bristol oval this weekend. For the Busch Haters – and trust us, there are legions of them – perhaps it was the sheer weight of being beaten into submission and the realization that Busch is the most amazing talent in NASCAR racing today that kept them silent.

After this weekend, who would dare to say someone is better?

To be sure, Busch certainly has his ‘moments’ – the ones his detractors like to point to. The temper tantrums, the perceived aloofness Busch exhibits at times doesn’t exactly endear him to the haters. Even Busch’s supporters cringe when he exhibits those behaviors. Frankly, I know I do.

On the race track however – and especially at Bristol – Busch has no peer right now. This past weekend, Busch led 116 of the 200 laps in winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on the Bristol .533-mile concrete oval. Busch won from the back of the pack after having to give up the pole for the event won earlier in the day because (repairs needed to be made to his truck while in post-qualifying impound).

It was his third-straight Bristol Truck win – something no one else has ever done – and he did it with a drive from the back.

If that wasn’t sweet enough, Busch led 116 of 250 laps to win Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide race at Bristol. This time, Busch gave the Haters something to talk about all night and into Saturday when he dumped Brad Keselowski to take the lead for the final time.

Busch easily had the fastest car Friday night and he used it to perfection increasing his lead while in traffic with a masterful display of weaving through the backmarkers. He sliced through like butter with high, low and a couple of spectacular split the middle passes. His pursuers – first his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano and later, Keselowski – couldn’t match Busch’s skill in traffic.

Keselowski got past Busch on a restart, about the only place Busch was vulnerable all night. For the next 15 laps, Keselowski kept the lead as Busch dove, faked, and darted his way inside and outside trying to get while by never touching the 22 car once.

That all changed when Busch finally powered through with a great inside move up off of Turn 2 only to have Keselowski turn him into the back-straight wall. Somehow, Busch quickly recovered control and unceremoniously dumped Keselowski as they raced through Turn 4.

Where I grew up racing, that’s the way it goes. You dirty me, I dirty you. NASCAR obviously saw it the same way choosing not to penalize Busch by putting him to the back or parking him for rough driving. Busch went on to win the race, an amazing 10th Nationwide triumph this season. It was also the 40th Nationwide win of his career.

Leaving the giant stadium Friday night, the Busch Haters were in full song, their tune loud and proud about how he had wronged Keselowski. Keselowski – who in case you haven’t noticed is at in the middle of a lot of these kinds of things – fanned the flames by first ripping Busch after the race and then calling Busch an “ass” while introducing himself Saturday night.

Classy move, Brad. You sure it wasn’t Kyle who gave you that line and not Juan Pablo?

All of this just drove the Busch Haters into a frenzy as they screamed and gestured at Busch lap after lap or when his photo or car were shown on the Jumbotron during the first 250 circuits of Saturday night’s race.

By Lap 300, Busch was dominating the mostly green-flag race quickly clicking off lap after mind-numbing lap. Suddenly, it was over, Busch was autographing the Bristol main straight for the third time in four days with a righteous burnout to be followed by the now all-familiar bow to the crowd.

Busch’s weekend total – three divisions, three wins, 514 of a possible 950 laps led. That’s epic stuff. Even the Busch Haters knew they had just seen something special. Their silence said it all.

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