Friday, November 16, 2007
Is this the best driver in Nascar?
I've been hearing this all week, from various sources, which I won't name, but if you've read or watched a lot of Nascar news this week, you've probably heard the same thing. My question is this: Is Kyle Busch really the best driver in Nascar?
I will give Kyle some kudos, first of all. Kyle Busch can drive a wicked loose race car better than probably any other driver I've seen in many years. He can drive his car with the tail hanging out and still pass people. It's pretty amazing to watch, really. He can hold down the throttle longer into the corners and get on it faster than just about any other driver out there. He can keep that car on the very razor edge of out of control, that I find him a very entertaining driver to watch on the track.
For a driver that exhibits such skills at car control, he unfortunately exhibits some very poor decision making skills. Kyle tends to push when he needs to let up, and he tends to get upset when a cool head would keep him out of trouble. Kyle is still very young, and I imagine that when a little maturity kicks in, he really might be the best driver in the sport. Right now I see a hot headed kid that not only wrecks himself more than he should, but he also wrecks other cars by being in the gas when he should be on the brakes, and by just letting his temper get the best of him.
We were all young once, and some of you dear readers still are, but Kyle Busch is different from other drivers that are booed loudly at the race track. Sure Kyle has talent, and he's won some races, but it seems to me that he gets booed because of his attitude and his tendency to shoot off his mouth.
This weekend marks Kyle's final ride in the hallowed Rick Hendrick 5 car, where Kyle got his start in the Cup series by getting in the car vacated by past champion Terry Labonte. Kyle will be driving the 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing beginning next year, a new team and a new manufacturer. He will also have two teammates that have made their own news with reputations for having hot heads: Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.
2008 will a crucial season for Kyle Busch. Can he cope with the new team and the new car? Will he be able to work with Denny and Tony? Regardless of his driving skills, all the above abilities will determine whether Kyle Busch is truly a great driver or not.