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Kyle Busch is so dominating that he's almost intimidating: The next Dale Earnhardt?

   Smoking! (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Mike Mulhern

   BRISTOL, Tenn.
   The best driver in NASCAR?
    Kyle Busch keeps making a very strong case for that, and he's off to a hot start again this year, with Sunday's Bristol 500 victory his second in the season's opening weeks.
    Kyle Busch as the new Dale Earnhardt?
    Wow! Now that's a burden no one would want to shoulder, even son Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    So Busch tried to quickly dismiss the comparison: "We all know who's number one and who always will be."
   Steve Addington, Kyle Busch's crew chief, chaffed at the push to compare Busch at 23 with the great Earnhardt.
   "Kyle Busch is not dale Earnhardt Sr. He's Kyle Busch," Addington says. "But he's got a ton of talent. He knows what the car needs….
   "I don't like the comparison. Kyle is his own man. And we should enjoy that."
   "I don't think it's really fair to compare him like that," team owner Joe Gibbs added. 
   "And I'd like to stay humble and hungry."
   However the late Dizzy Dean once said "it ain't bragging if you can back it up."
   And Busch says he's likes that philosophy: "If you've bragging you've got to be able to back it up. Now I haven't been bragging about anything…but I put on a great effort today for the fans."
   After Busch's loss in Saturday's Nationwide race, which he dominated, until the last pit stop, he said some pretty harsh things about his pit crew. But Busch insists that didn't upset the apple cart for Sunday: "The guys were great on pit road today."
   And Addington agreed: "You've got to have tough skin in this business…or you don't need to be in this business.
   "I get yelled at when the car doesn't handle well.
   "Saturday the pit crew didn't get it done on the last stop…but today they did get it done."
   "Kyle knows he's got a pretty darned good pit crew," Gibbs said.
    Nevertheless Busch is pretty darned outspoken on a number of issues, not afraid to speak his mind. When he won here two years ago, it was the first run in the car-of-tomorrow…and Busch was outspoken that afternoon in his criticism of the awkward machine. And his opinion hasn't changed much.
   "It's still not one of my favorite cars to drive," Busch said. "I'd rather be driving a Nationwide car or a Truck. Those things are more fun to drive.
   "These things are more on the edge."
   Whether that's the reason for the relative lack of Bristol's typical thrills and chills…..well, promoter Jeff Byrd enjoyed a full house of 160,000 for the show, on a warm, sunny afternoon. But the three-hour race was not really as exciting as races were here on the old concrete.
    And this afternoon the show was all Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.
   Ford teams were particularly disappointing. Carl Edwards, 15th, was the highest finisher.
   But Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevy's newest, showed promise, with a good run, finishing ninth. He's running engines from the Richard Childress shop, and he was the second-best finishers among the Childress men.
   However Kyle's older brother Kurt Busch, winner at Atlanta the last time out, was a no-show for this showdown. The elder Busch, like most others in the field, was never a factor. He finished 11th in the 503-lapper, overtime after Joey Logano lost an engine in the final miles to trigger the last caution.
   "We had a great Dodge, just got in trouble early on," Kurt Busch said. "We kept battling back. On long green runs I thought we could catch up.
   "But, man, everybody had good cars.
   "We just need to get our cars to turn better at the short tracks. I think we've fixed the 1-1/2-mile stuff."

Uh-oh. This looks like trouble for the rest of the NASCAR gang (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)



I love watching Kyle Busch, and love that his sponsor allows my kids to have his car and posters in their bedrooms. But one can NOT be *intimidating* with a green M & M on the rear quarter panel all freaked out due to impending contact!

good point....nothing like a

good point....nothing like a solid black car......think i'll ask j.d. gibbs if they can come up with some black m&ms....

The new Earnhardt?????????????

Your tag line disgusted me so much, I didn't read your article.

Get real! Shrub will never even make a pimple on Ironhead's butt!

'Nuff said.

Al Sorensen

i see kyle busch as a tim

i see kyle busch as a tim richmond type driver .... think the big e would have loved the challenge.

"Comment moderation" by administrators

If you havn't got the cajones to print my comments, don't bother to publish the "modified" version.

Al Sorensen

modified what? straight up,

modified what? straight up, dude, you got it right here. no kool aid.


Busch's style is not that of Earnhardt. He doesn't seek to put the bumper on someone before trying to pass them clean. Earnhardt got his "reputation" from doing that, not so much from simply being a great driver. Busch is the best driver in stock car racing right now, and one of the few I would pay good money to watch. Even when he's stuck back in the pack, you know he's trying to get the truck/car to 1st. Points racing is for pansies. Nobody raced their bicycle/big wheel for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc., to get a good points day when they were a kid. Go for the win, or put somebody in the car who will. I never thought a race at Chicagoland could be exciting, but the pass he made on Johnson last year to take the win was one that most would not have had the nerve or the talent to make. Kyle Busch brings excitement to wherever and whatever race he is running. Maybe he needs to be the new Mr. Excitement. Jimmy Spencer and the Junior lovers cringe at the sound of that. I think "Rowdy" works just fine, though.

Kyle is exciting to watch,

Kyle is exciting to watch, that's for sure, and he brings out the best in the guys who have to race him....and that's just what earnhardt did -- he made rivals work for it. remember some of those early Jeff Gordon vs Earnhardt races...and of course those classic (all too few, unfortunately) duels with Tim Richmond. Earnhardt made you race at his level...if you did, he was fine with it. otherwise it was 'get the hell out of my way.' and while he would rattle cages, he wasn't a dirty driver when he did that (thought terry labonte might take exception). he was just a darned hard racer. i'd love to see earnhardt-versus-kyle -- wouldn't you?

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