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Kyle Busch’s post-Coke 600 behavior not a surprise

In the days since Sunday night/Monday morning’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, the fact that a driver claimed his first-career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win and the iconic No. 3 returned to victory lane seem to have been forgotten, overshadowed by Kyle Busch’s post-race press conference in the CMS media center.
I have multiple opinions on Busch’s behavior in the wee hours of Sunday morning and the coverage of it in the days since.
I have to admit, I’m kind of surprised at the attention that’s been put on Busch’s behavior in the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center. We’re talking about Kyle Busch, here. Like him or not, isn’t this par for the course for him? Why should Saturday night/Sunday morning have been any different. And quite frankly, it wasn’t. The difference was the attention to it that has come in the days following.
But since Busch’s latest tantrum, or whatever you want to call it, here’s my take:
I do think it shows poor sportsmanship. Supporters say that it’s good that Busch hates to lose/loves to win the way he does. But, really, surly behavior and temper tantrums aren’t the only way to express a deep-seeded hatred for losing.
I don’t agree with everyting Brad Keselowski says; his criticism of NASCAR’s concussion protocol is one such time during which I disagreed with “Bad Brad.” But when it comes to Busch’s antics after the Coca-600, I agree with him.
“Idk. Maybe I should keep my mouth shut. But I was taught to hate losing by working harder next time, not by being disrespectful to others,” Keselowski tweeted.
Of course Toyota’s Andy Graves disagreed with Keselowski, except with the “Maybe I should keep my mouth shut” part of his tweet. But I think Brad was right on the money with this one.
While I’m against the idea of drivers being overly PC and “vanilla,” I think Busch may take the whole “saying what you think” thing too far. A person can be some flavor other than vanilla without acting like an immature child. And speaking of children, would fans be okay when their children throw tantrums? I’m guessing, no. Shouldn’t we hold adults to a higher standard than children?
And someday his behavior may end up biting him you know where. M&M/Mars, apparently, hasn’t felt the need to release a statement regarding Busch’s Charlotte tantrum, but the sponsor has at least a couple of times before.
M&Ms graphics were pulled from the hood of Busch’s No. 18 Toyota a few years ago when Busch intentionally wrecked then-championship contender Ron Hornaday during a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
More recently, M&M/Mars released a statement earlier this season, stating that the candy company didn’t condone and was disappointed in Busch’s behavior earlier this season in a post-race dust-up with Joey Logano’s No. 22 team.
And, while raising money for charity is definitely a good thing, the repeated, snarky “Everything’s great” comments the following weekend and t-shirts donning the slogan afterward were probably in poor taste, considering they promoted immature, unprofessional behavior.
If the powers that be at M&M/Mars have some kind of three strikes and you’re out mindset, Busch may be treading on thin ice sooner rather than later.
Yesterday, Busch’s wife, Samantha Busch, made a social media post, defending her husband. In one sense, I applaud that. Spouses should have each other’s backs and support each other. But was it really a legit defense of his behavior?
She “defended” him by talking about how great his behavior is away from the track, as a husband and father. So, is being an amazing father and husband and being a good guy away from the track a free pass to be a petulant child at the track? Just wondering.
And then there are those who defend him by saying they love how he hates to lose. I’m thinking other drivers don’t like to lose, either. They just behave more like adults when they do. Emotions, both good an bad, can be expressed without immaturity. The passion excuse does get kind of old after awhile.
That being said, again, the biggest surprise of this all, for me, is the fact that Busch’s presser got so much attention, especially news coverage. And I guess, really, I’m being a part of that with this blog post. But, really, isn’t this just more of the same, Busch as usual, if you will?
Maybe we shouldn’t be giving Busch all this attention for his tantrums, as I said before, though. After all, be honest. Was his behavior last weekend really a surprise? No, of course not. And when M&Ms/Mars gets fed up with the immaturity, Busch, not us, will be the one having to answer for his behavior.
Busch told NBC Sports that drivers are treated differently, based on how they show emtion. Well, duh. Shouldn’t they be? Shouldn’t respect be treated with respect and disrespect treated thusly?
Maybe it would be better for us to just sit back and be entertained by his antics. You know, like earlier this season when he blamed Goodyear for his poor finishes, even though, across the board, very few others were having problems with tires. Goodyear doesn’t control the way teams set up their cars.
And then, there was the amusing comments, suggesting Talladega (Ala.) wasn’t a real race track. I must’ve been watching an imaginary race one weekend earlier this month. I don’t know; it sure seemed real.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a proponent of making someone a laughing stock or anything like that. But doesn’t Busch kind of bring this attention on himself?
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on May 31, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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