Friday, November 11, 2011

Busch: "I Got Burned By My Own Fire."

Kyle Busch said everything right Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, but it is his actions in the coming months that will determine his fate.

Wearing a Joe Gibbs Racing shirt devoid of sponsor logos, a contrite Busch shouldered the blame for the Camping World Truck Series crash at Texas Motor Speedway last week that saw him intentionally turn championship contender Ron Hornaday, Jr., into the outside wall under caution. The move prompted NASCAR to park Busch from the weekend’s Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series events, and triggered a series of events that left Busch’s very future with the team in doubt.

He will drive in Sunday’s race in Phoenix, but with the Interstate Battery colors on his #18 Toyota instead of his customary yellow M&MS livery. The candy maker announced yesterday that it will withdraw as Busch’s sponsor for the final two races of this season, with plans to return in 2012. In addition to sanctions imposed by NASCAR – including a $50,000 fine, probation through the end of the year and a promise to suspend him indefinitely for any further missteps – Busch will also face what team owner Joe Gibbs called “substantial” financial penalties from the team. While declining to speak specifically on the amount of the fines, Gibbs said the #18 team’s drop from seventh to 11th in points last week “was a big deal” financially.

Busch, meanwhile, said he regrets the turmoil created by his actions and has no one to blame but himself. “I understand my actions last weekend were uncalled for,” he said. “They were disrespectful. “(I have) no one to blame but myself, (and) I apologize to everybody involved in this whole ordeal.”

He said he was not surprised by NASCAR’s crackdown, saying, “I felt like it was a decision that they needed to make. I respect that decision and I (accept) the consequences and the repercussions of that. We’re still dealing with them today and we’ll still be dealing with them for a while.”

Busch said he feared Friday’s incident would ultimately cost him his job. “Was there a point at which I thought, ‘Do I have a ride?’” said Busch. “Of course there was. I thought that (I might be fired).“ He revealed that Gibbs never questioned his status with the team, adding, “Joe has been there, stuck by my side and held my arm through this whole deal. I want to be with Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Busch. “I want to be in NASCAR, I want to race the M&M’s Toyota.”

Busch understands that he lost the respect of many in the garage area last Friday night, and can only regain the trust of his fellow competitors by dealing with adversity in a more positive manner going forward. “You’ve got to be smarter,” he said. “I certainly was not smart in my actions Friday night, and I get that. For me, the decision needs to be different come next time around, in the heat of the moment. I’m here to make sure that I can continue on in a positive manner and make it to where everyone believes in me from this week forward.

“Sometimes -- when you’re that close to fire -- are you just going to stay warm, or are you going to get burned by it?” he asked.

“This week, I definitely got burned by my own fire.”


  1. "♫ I fell into a burnin' ring of fire, I went down, down, down and the flames went higher and it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire, the ring of fire ♫" , Kyle Busch

  2. I hope Kyle can restrain his apparent natural tendencies to fly off the handle, because his unpredictability is a plus for NASCAR. Love him or hate him, he is interesting, a good driver, and draws eyeballs to the sport.

    We've seen the contrite side of KyBu before, but it's pretty clear the "old" Busch is lurking just under the surface at all times. We just don't need anyone killed because he threw another temper tantrum.

    He's been given another chance. I hope he takes advantage of it and learns some self restraint.

  3. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Only time will tell if he changes.
    Have a newfound respect for Mars Inc, and a loss of repect for Interstate Batteries.
    Hard to predict the future but I'd be surprised if the next time I need to purchase a battery it will be an Interstate.
    Robert Y

  4. Just checked the M&M's website and there is no mention of Kyle Bush as part of the M&M's race team. I would call that complete disassociation with Bush. I doubt M&M's will have any thing to do with Bush in 2012.

  5. Carol from South Jersey4:26 PM

    I will believe it when I see it.

    Until he gets professional help I doubt there will be a change. It may look like it, but SOMETHING will trigger his anger and it'll be back to square one.

    Mars made a good decision removing their logo and sponsorship. I think it still leaves it open for 2012, no matter what has been reported.

    Reese's Pieces are really good. That is, as long as one doesn't have a peanut allergy. Try them.

  6. He'll be ok for a while... He will explode/implode again I predict... Too bad too because he is one hellova wheel man!!!

  7. What Kyles' crew chiefs need is a remote off switch on the pitbox. That way when (not if) Kyle has another tantrum, his crew chief can just turn off the car. Posted TIC

  8. Tracie B2:19 PM

    NASCAR needs every sponsor they can get! Look at all the cars with out! I applaud Mars and Interstate for staying with Kyle and Nascar. As a fan of Nascar not so much Kyle I'll always support you and every sponsor! You are what makes our sport #1.

  9. Anonymous2:51 PM

    everyone can't win this is a sport where score is kept. This the real curel world, all you folks whinning about Kyle Bush being a bad man were always the last one to get picked for the kick ball game on the play ground. The tuff need to just get meaner. Nascar should let the real men in racing handle the problems back in the garage or at the local bar or the next time they see each other on the track.
    Mike Ashley, Rome GA

  10. Anonymous4:52 PM

    I agree! This man is a race car driver. Sort out penalties for what's necessary & go on. What a bunch of ridiculous people whining about what they will & will not buy. This is racing -- not buying candy,batteries & whatever comes next. Shut up & watch the race.

  11. Anonymous12:49 PM

    Let us not be critical of someone else's actions until we are perfect in our own right. Hypocrisy is not very pretty is it?