COMMENTARY | If you missed this weekend's NASCAR action at Kansas (aka the land of eggshells and spinning cars), Kyle Busch was in the news a lot.
First, he was in the news for wrecking in practice and having to go to the rear of the field . Understandable, as this particular tire and this particular race track didn't seem to get along too well this entire weekend.
On Saturday, Kyle was in the news again -- for all the wrong reasons. Battling Brad Keselowski for 2nd place in the Nationwide race, Kyle did something that was pretty shocking -- he drilled Keselowski into the fence unprovoked. Up to that point, it was just good hard racing for a top spot (and potentially the win, because leader Matt Kenseth might not have had enough gas to finish). Then, Kyle revealed himself to be, as Keselowski said after the race, "a dirty driver."
But was it so shocking? Not really, when you think about it. It was less that two years ago that Kyle was parked from a Cup race based on his actions in the Truck series, when he dumped Ron Hornaday (a championship contender in Trucks that year) under caution.
Are we noticing a trend here?
After Saturday's incident, Keselowski hinted he would have some retaliation for Kyle on Sunday when Kyle had a lot more on the line than he did (being in the Chase when Brad wasn't). Luckily, for Brad, that part of the issue took care of itself.
So what happened Sunday? I am a big believer in karma -- which is basically a variation of "do unto others ... ." If you don't treat others well, you will not be rewarded with good results yourself. Bad things happen to those who do bad things, most of the time.
So when Kyle got dumped by Juan Pablo Montoya in Sunday's Cup race, shooting him downward in the Cup point standings, I was not upset. And neither were most folks watching the race.
(Side note: Though it's probably a coincidence, JPM will become Brad's Penske teammate next year, driving in Indycar for the Captain),
No one will deny that Kyle Busch is one of the most talented drivers on the racetrack every week -- his win totals are proof of that. But when you act the way he does, you're not going to endear yourself to many people.
When you blatantly lie to the world about how you race ("I have yet to wreck a person on purpose" was his quote after the race), you won't have many fans among the viewers.
When you run over your fellow NASCAR competitors for no reason, you won't have much respect among your competitors.
And when you treat fellow drivers like that, it's a safe bet that many of those you battle each week look forward to a chance to put you in the fence. And that, Mr. Busch, is not a recipe for winning a Cup title.
Kyle Busch is fixated on 2012. He's still mad at Brad Keselowski for wrecking him at Watkins Glen in 2012 (a non-intentional act, by the way), which was part of the reason Kyle missed the 2012 Chase. Kyle says that after that incident, he had opportunities to wreck Brad in the Chase last year but didn't because he's not a dirty driver.
But he's forgetting the 2013 Watkins Glen race. Keselowski was desperate for a win, so he could have a better chance to qualify for the Chase. All he had to do was wreck Kyle and the win would be his.
But Brad didn't wreck Kyle. When asked why, Brad said he had a code, and that didn't include wrecking people on purpose. Brad learned this past Saturday that Kyle obviously doesn't have that same code and wouldn't return the favor, and Brad will likely drop that code next time Kyle is near his bumper.
Kyle Busch will probably never win a Sprint Cup title, in large part due to the disrespectful way he races his competitors in all three of NASCAR's top series. His rivals remember that and take it into consideration when deciding how to race him on the track each week.
You have to respect people to earn respect, and Kyle Busch simply hasn't done that.
Matt Myftiu lives in Michigan, has been a walking encyclopedia of NASCAR since immersing himself in the sport over 15 years ago, and has worked as a journalist for two decades. His blog on the sport, NASCAR: Beyond the Track, has been published by The Oakland Press for the past 5 years. Follow him on Twitter @MattMyftiu.
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