Monday, October 01, 2012

COMMENTARY: Busch's Outbursts Come With A Cost

Kyle was unhappy Sunday.
Let’s be clear about one thing, right up front.  

Kyle Busch can say anything he wants, anytime he wants, about anyone he wants. Sunday’s post-race, in-car radio tirade was nothing new; the mercurial Joe Gibbs Racing driver has made a habit of such outbursts over the years.
It cannot, however, have been good for him, his team or its engine builder. 

Busch dominated most of Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, leading the field for an incredible 302 of 400 laps. In the end, however, he came up short on fuel, pitting with just 10 laps remaining en route to a disappointing seventh-place finish. The incident clearly touched a raw nerve with Busch. He was a vocal critic of JGR’s decision to outsource their Sprint Cup engine program to Toyota Racing Development during the offseason, and has remained outspoken through a maddening season of engine-related failures and DNFs. 

At the drop of the checkered flag Sunday, Busch unleashed a torrent of expletive-laden unhappiness, calling TRD “piece of s#*t mother@$%&ers” over his in-car radio. “Thanks a lot, TRD for @$%&ing up another one,” he said, prompting crew chief Dave Rogers to key his own microphone in an effort to block any further profanity.  

“Yeah, nice try covering up the mic,” said Busch to Rogers seconds later. “Whatever.” 

Busch was absolutely entitled to his anger. Losing a race he so thoroughly dominated was understandably upsetting, in the aftermath of a season filled with disappointment, underachievement and unhappiness.  

He is far from alone in that regard, however.

Toyota Racing Development has supplied engines for six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries this season. Those six cars have suffered nine engine failures; either on race day or in practice or qualifying.
Too many engine issues in 2012.
By comparison, Hendrick Engines has supplied horsepower for seven cars in 2012. Those cars have suffered 17 engine failures; including four each for title contenders Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Both drivers have voiced unhappiness with those numbers, and rightly so. Unlike Busch, however, they have done so in the privacy of the transporter or the conference room, where teammates can speak openly and honestly with disgracing anyone publically. It’s also difficult to imagine either Gordon or Johnson calling anyone a “piece of s#*t mother@$%&er."
As a result, they are far more likely than Busch to find an actual solution to the problem.
For the record, any conversation that begins with one party being called a “piece of s#*t mother@$%&er” is destined to be counterproductive. Even when uttered in the heat of battle, that kind of language alienates people. After hearing Busch’s comments Sunday, no one at Toyota Racing Development thought, “how can we help that young man be more successful on the race track?” Negativity and name-calling damage relationships, and whether anyone admits it or not, Busch’s comments have damaged the working relationship between JGR and TRD. 

Busch is currently preparing to negotiate a new, multi-year contract with Gibbs. That contract will be paid, at least in part, by Toyota. The automaker competes in NASCAR for one reason; to sell cars and trucks. Their willingness to continue making a multi-millionaire of a man who consistently criticizes their products and bad-mouths their personnel may not last forever.

Busch has the right to explode in expletive-laced anger whenever the mood strikes him. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing is an intense, emotional sport, and there are as many opportunities to lose control of one’s emotions as there are to lose control of the race car. Unfortunately, those outbursts damage race teams, and Busch knows it.
A few years ago, Busch said he regretted chastising his race team publically, knowing those comments to be hurtful and destructive. “I have been a negative influence on my team in the past,” he said, “and I regret that. Unfortunately, I’m an emotional person who sometimes says things before I think. Then I have to go back and try to apologize.
“I don’t want to be that person in the future,” said Busch. “I want to be better.”
Sadly, that’s a battle Busch must continue to fight.

Photos: AP/Ranier


  1. The Busch boys both need to learn something I teach to my children from a very young age..."Just because you can doesn't mean you should". Tony Stewart learned that lesson and he has been the better for it. If the Busch boys don't learn that soon, they won't be around the sport much longer.

  2. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Well since no one would know or care without 1st. A scanner and 2nd people like you , I think this is much ado about nothing. Just like 24 hr news the media always has to have something to bitch about .

    1. Schreib1:41 PM

      without media we wouldnt be able to share and learn about the happenings in the greatest sport on may not care, but others do.its the medias job to report what goes on. if you cant appreciate what the media does, why are you posting here? Dave, keep up the great work!

  3. Anonymous7:32 PM

    I don't think HMS has blown that many engines this year. You must be counting the ones they changed after practice just to be on the safe side.

    1. I counted blown engines on race day, and in practice and qualifying, as it says in the article.

  4. Anonymous7:42 PM

    Maybe it is time for a public out cry on Toyota's fuel mileage issues. They have had 2010, 2011 and 2012 with no improvement. So that tells me talking behind closed doors hasn't worked. Maybe NASCAR needs a new rule make Dodge run a two gallon smaller fuel cell then the ofter brands.Seams fair to me. Toyota has to run a smaller tapered spacer in Nationwide and Truck then the others.Also Nascar outlawed rear sway bars on the nationwide cars because Gibbs had an advantage with them.

    1. It's been 3 years since toyota had a different tapered spacer, and the way the rule was written, it didn't single toyota out, it applies to all 4.5" bore spacing blocks including latest ford, chevy, and dodge layouts.

  5. Knowing that I have absolutely no facts or knowledge to back this idea up, I still have an idea:

    Kyle is in negotiation with Chrysler to bring Dodge back into NASCAR in all 3 divisions with Kyle Busch motorsports, with 2 cars competing in the Sprint Cup series, the other being driven by brother Kurt.

    If I'm right, it will be fun...

  6. Kid keeps burning bridges. Lost the best ride in NASCAR already, but insists on following his brothers path. Sponsership is to hard to come by these days.

  7. Anonymous9:33 PM

    Behavior is consistant of time

  8. Anonymous11:25 PM

    And if the media just stopped highlighting HIS anger, the media would be better off for it. If he has the right, why bother criticizing him? I don't understand that.

    "Busch was absolutely entitled to his anger". That's what you say. If that's the point, why bother with the story? They are HIS demons to fight, not you Mr. Moody or the rest of the media, HIS and HIS alone. And he is entitled not only to his anger, he is entitled to be angry without criticism for an epic fail of a season, which was NO FAULT of his WHATSOEVER.

    Four blown engines while leading or in the top five, horrendous pit calls by a previously reliable crew chief, and missing the chase because of a blown call by his crew chief.

    "Busch was absolutely entitled to his anger". Yes he was, no matter what anyone driving a pencil or keyboard thinks.

    Find a story, a nice negative one, and print it.
    Was it realy that slow of a news weekend?

    1. There is no criticism here, just simple statements of fact. As stated in the article, Kyle has every right to be angry. He also has the right to lash out at his suppliers and supporters, as long as he is willing to acccept the negative impact it has had (by his own admission) on his career.

    2. Anonymous12:34 PM

      His attitude is all "I" or its all about "Me". He does not understand team. Even when Dave Rogers tries to save him from himself by keying the mic, he gets mad. As long as Coach and JGR keep supporting him on his on and off track behavior, he will keep going down this path. No matter how much good he does off track, he throws it all away with his bad behavior. He also has some responsibility in his missing the Chase this year and previous years. No Excuses!

    3. Anonymous6:20 PM

      Milk and oatmeal, that's what our stars should be. No personality, bland and mediocre. Yep, sure makes me want to watch cars go round in a circle when everyone is playing nice and being kind to each other.

      Those of you who aren't satisfied with Kyle being quiet and respectful now, thanks to Mr. Moody, have a great reason to jump on the wagon and castigate him once more. And yes, thank you Mr. Moody, there wasn't anything else worthy of writing about last weekend, Kyle was the best story you could write to make the phones ring and get responses (including mine) to this column. It is more than aggravating how the press (yes you sir) can find the simplest distraction to the chase and bring the hatred of the fans down on one of the Busch brothers yet again.

      One way or the other, the actions of the press will 'purify' NASCAR of the Busch brothers so they can go back to being a replay or filler when a baseball game gets rained out.

  9. Anonymous12:18 AM

    Seems like just a year ago when it was Denny bashing the JGR engine shop and Kyle defending them. Oh wait - it was.

  10. Worst-case scenario, Phoenix Racing is hiring.

    Tony in (NY by way of OH, by way of NY; this isn't funny)

  11. Anonymous9:40 AM

    Moody, I believe these statements are your opinion, yet you state them as fact. It seems your whole article of "fact" revolves around your opinion. Just sayin.

    "After hearing Busch’s comments Sunday, no one at Toyota Racing Development thought, “how can we help that young man be more successful on the race track?” Negativity and name-calling damage relationships, and whether anyone admits it or not, Busch’s comments have damaged the working relationship between JRG and TRD."

    1. If you truly believe that calling someone a “piece of s#*t mother@$%&er” does not damage your relationship with them, you must not have many personal relationships. Just sayin'...

    2. Anonymous2:10 PM

      Thanks for the reply. That's pretty cool. With that being said I was wondering how does the working relationship among the parties involved change? Does TRD stop supplying engines to JGR? Do they not supply Kyle but the rest of the team? Does TRD stoop to Kyle's level and act unprofessional towards him?
      Just taking a page out of your play book. You give callers the business when they pass their assumptions off as facts without having anything to back them up. That's the point I was trying to make. We can all assume TRD is not happy about this but until someone comes out and makes that statement it is purely speculation.

      Thanks for your time.
      D. Gross

  12. Geosez10:23 AM

    The issue is NOT the anger, it's the way it's expressed. Reminds me of a quote I once heard that I think applies to both these boys: when you're at war within yourself, you make casualties of other people. And calling someone, especially your team, a "piece of s#*t mother@$%&er" is not a good thing. Ever.

  13. Moody,

    This website, and your show are piece of s#*t mother@$%&ers.

    Do you think I can get some free Godfather Gear? Free swag? Guest spot on the show? No?

    I wouldn't ever think to say something like that and expect a favorable outcome.

    Funny thing about this site and your show... You put your heart and soul into them. You bust your ass for them. Same as those guys busting open their knuckles on a daily basis for Kyle.

    Kyle can't continue to expect their support with his outbursts. He shouldn't be allowed to. Funny things can happen in contract years.

  14. Did KB get fined or some thing, in the title of the story it said "outburst came with a cost"?

    1. No, it says "Come With A Cost."

  15. Anonymous6:05 PM

    Looks like the phone lines needed filling.

    1. Anonymous9:33 AM

      My thoughts exactly. Last year at this time, Kurt was the badguy. I guess manufacturing controversy is the best way to get people to comment here.

  16. Anonymous8:16 PM


    1st of all I listen to your show quite often and sometimes agree with your opinion about the topic of discussion. And second, I'm a Kyle Busch fan. However, I completely disagree with your thinking about Kyle can say anything he want's about anybody he wants. I don't know about you, but if I talked about my boss the way Kyle talked about TRD, I would be looking for new employment. Just because TRD and Toyota aren't physically calling the shots on the racetrack doesn't mean they don't have a say about team Kyle Busch. Ask Joe Gibbs if he thinks TRD has no part in any JGR decision making. Also, in-car audio and video isn't "in private". Unless I'm mistaken, the driver's are aware of both of these media devices and also probably who might be viewing or listening, including Joe Gibbs or TRD. It would be like myself being on a conference call, having an outburst and then saying "That was private". There would be consequences and I'm sure Kyle will see some backlash from this unfortunate incident. Kyle's presence definitely adds to this sport, but some of his comments have crossed boundary lines. However, a lot of other drivers have and continue to cross those lines occasionally as well. It's just Kyle is this week's center of attention. Thanks for your time and have a great rest of the week.

    1. You're ignoring 50% of my point. I said Kyle has the right to say whatever he wants, IF he is willing to accept the consecquences of his actions.

  17. Anonymous6:46 AM

    Dave, as a fairly new casual listener to channel 90 (just got a new truck that came with Serius) you do come off rather harsh with alot of callers.

  18. Anonymous7:05 PM

    Dear Dave

    I first signed on with XM in 2003. When they merged with Sirius, I got the NASCAR channel on all four of our radios. I became a fan of your show in 2009. I have been an advocate and cheerleader until now. I don't know what the motivation was to start a new Kyle controversy with him not even in the chase, but it offends me deeply.

    No matter what you say, you've lost me as a fan. There was no excuse or reason to do this to Kyle. I believe, as some here do, you simply needed to fill the phone lines. We're all worse off because of your decision. I thought in the past you were fair to Kyle. I know better now.

    Kyle's not just "my guy" From the Morning drive skewering Kurt last year forgetting Smoke was the champ to now your show, the Busch brothers have been a convenient way to stir the pot. And I'm sorry you find it necessary be be the spoon. Today was my last call in, and probably the last time I'll ever listen to your show.

    This will certainly be the last time I comment here.

    Doug from NJ

    1. Doug, I'm sorry to hear that your inability to tolerate any opinion you don't agree with has forced you to abandon "Sirius XM Speedway." On the off chance that you might still see this, I will make a couple of points...

      1. I did not "start a new Kyle Busch controversy." Kyle did. As a highly paid, professional athlete, he understands (as should you) that his actions are watched and his words are heard. Blaming me for what Kyle said Sunday is like blaming your mailman for bringing too many bills. As I said in the article above, Kyle (like the rest of us) can say anything he wants, so long as he is willing to pay the consequences for his actions. You have the right to call your boss a "piece of s#*t mother@$%&er" at work tomorrow. There are consequences to that action, however. For you, and for all of us including Kyle.

      2. I don't need controversy to fill the phone lines, and never have. We've been on the air for 10 years now, and we've always had something to talk about. Honestly, I would MUCH prefer to be talking about the championship battle right now. Unfortunately, Kyle's decision to bless-out one of his most important suppliers has trumped that conversation, at least for now.

      3. I'm not sure why you would be personally offended by anyone's comments on Kyle Busch. They have nothing to do with you. You are a fan, clearly, but Kyle's actions are his, and his alone.

      4. Talk radio is not about telling Doug in NJ what he wants to hear. It's about the healthy exchange of thoughts and opinions, both pro and con. You have every right to boycott "Speedway" because you disagree with me, but that makes exactly as much sense as me banning you from the program for saying something I disagree with. You obviously have a very low tolerance for opinions other than your own, which is your right. Unfortunately, you're never going to learn much by stamping you feet and walking away in a huff when people don't see things your way.

      All the best, and thanks for being a loyal listener --


  19. dave i agree, but angie and danny meyers are bois againt kyle angie hates kyle because he didnt hire your hubby angie needs to be more professial

    1. We all have our opinions, Tom. That's what talk radio is all about.

  20. Anonymous7:28 PM

    Dave, I am an Everyday Listener to your Channel & Show! (And I do have a Life!). I heard you getting beat up over this & after reading it is NOT "Piling ON!"
    I am an 18 Fan. And after many races I thought Kyle was back into Hot water. Daytona, Atlanta! Nationwide or Cup.
    There IS something Kyle HAS TO "Turn the Corner on"
    Keep Up the Great work & I do enjoy your prospective!