Every Friday it seems there is a new parasite on the loose in the Nascar world. For at least the last three Fridays, it seems that Kyle Busch has opened his mouth and disparaged Dale Earnhardt Jr.
On Friday, June 19th, 2009, Kyle said some things, and I'm only paraphrasing here. Kyle apparently said that he was truly the most popular driver in Nascar. He's the most popular because he keeps the sport and it's followers buzzing. That is true, in one sense, I suppose. Kyle also said that Dale Jr. is not the most popular driver, in fact he's the most loved. That probably is also true, at least the part about being the most loved.
Kyle Busch seems to be thriving off of Dale Jr.'s so far dismal season. Since Dale Jr. left DEI and made the move to Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Jr. has won only one points race, while Kyle has won a lot of races in all of Nascar's top 3 series. Kyle has also publicly set himself a goal of snagging 200 wins the three series before he hangs up his helmet for good. It would be an impressive, if somewhat meaningless goal. 200 wins in Nascar makes one think of Petty's 200 wins, which all came in the top series of Nascar, the old Grand National series, now called Cup. 200 wins spread among all three series, would be impressive, and as a personal goal, nothing's beyond reason.
The fact that Kyle Busch keeps bringing up Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s name in his weekly forays into stirring the pot are interesting, to say the least. The fact that he spends so much time trying to stir up not only Nascar fans, but in particular the Earnhardt fans is in part genius, and also in part pathetic.
Kyle Busch epitomizes exactly why Darrell Waltrip was not one of my favorite drivers. Yep, Ole DW did much the same thing early in his career. He disparaged Richard Petty as as being too old to see. He disparaged Dale Earnhardt as being illiterate. Waltrip has often expressed his admiration for Kyle Busch, and it's easy to see why. Kyle is now what DW used to be. DW might want to remember that he used to be, and still is called by some people, a different nickname than 'DW.' They used to call Darrel Waltrip 'Jaws.'
In the less polite society which is the 21st century, people call Kyle Busch more names than I can remember Waltrip being called. At least publicly. But what many have yet to realize is that there is genius to Kyle's seeming jealousies
In fact, it's a calculated ploy that is paying huge dividends. To some people, all press, whether or not it's good or bad, is a good thing. Kyle Busch is one of those people. Darrell Waltrip thrived on such press early in his career. Dale Earnhardt did as well. Now Kyle Busch is not only enjoying the press, he seems to be thriving on it.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. seems to have always taken the opposite approach in his professional career. The haters out there will never agree, but Dale Jr. has tried to be a good guy. It appears to not be in his nature to be the bad guy. Dale Jr. appears to be a genuinely likable man, who wants to make not only his sponsors happy, but his fans as well. The former party guy is now a major league business man, and he's still Nascar's official Most Popular Driver, despite what Kyle Busch says.
Kyle Busch enjoys a lot of notoriety in the press now. He's enjoying the role of being Nascar's official bad boy. Dale Earnhardt eventually turned the corner and became a popular driver near the end of his career. Darrell Waltrip also became a much loved driver.
Can Kyle Busch do the same? Maybe when he gets older.
Right now, Kyle Busch is a parasite, capitalizing off of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s fame and popularity.