Race Weekend Central

It’s Very Simple: We Like to Complain About Kyle Busch

Will you be missing the Kyle Busch Series this weekend? Okay, I really meant the XFINITY Series, but it might as well be marketed as Rowdy’s House, don’t you think?  How angry does the near-guarantee that the winner of the Saturday race will most likely be the younger Busch and not a points-earning starlet make you?

Oh, we’ve been chewing over this one for a few years now.  Unfortunately, the answers haven’t gotten any easier to swallow.  There is still no deterrent in place to keep the Cup series drivers where they belong–in the Cup series.  And the young guns who do claim XFINITY points at the end of the race are still being hampered by the fact that somebody else is sitting in the catbird seat.

So, what to do? Or is there something to be done about it?

If you conducted a poll amongst fans, the results invariably come back reflecting the desire to kick the overachievers out of the A-ball series.   However, when you talk to the drivers, teams and sponsors…well, they all say they want Kyle Busch running up front every single week.  They say it sells tickets and TV ratings–which as we know is what makes the world go ’round.

Maybe we’ve been asking the wrong fans to vote.  Maybe those of us with strong opinions when it comes to everything NASCAR are simply not the people who watch the races and buy the tickets.  Could it be that the popular opinions voiced in social media have very little to do with those who open their wallets?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)
“I promise you, Daniel, someday you will thank me for this…” (Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

That’s a frightening thought.  And yet…it just might be the only plausible explanation for the situation that doesn’t seem to have any kind of meaningful change coming down the pipe.

As Americans, over the centuries we’ve come to accept the fact that money is power.  If there’s no cash inflow, then there’s no product.  And all the bean counters down in Daytona keep telling us that if there’s no Kyle Busch in the XFINITY Series, then there’s no reason to show the rest of the world the Saturday race.

It’s such a simple concept! Yet, it’s flawed, mostly because those of us with enough wit to be screaming our displeasure against the system simply don’t like Kyle Busch.  We enjoy watching Bubba Wallace, Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez test their wings.  There’s a thrill to be had when the young gun passes his fellow competitors and grabs the checkers.  Ennui settles in a tad too quickly when that No. 18 pulls out of the pits and disappears into the sunset.  There he goes again…

I know.  I sound like a broken record.  But don’t you feel like one, too?  Could somebody just take Kyle Busch out of the XFinity Series?

And then each time I say it, I do recall another interloper–a Buschwhacker, if you will.  He drove a lovely car with Winn-Dixie emblazoned across that No. 60 hood.  He also won 49 times out of 236 attempts.  Why that’s nearly as good as Kyle Busch’s stats!  If you recall, we complained about it in the mid-90’s, too.  Mark Martin stunk up the show!  He stole all the trophies and those rising stars struggled to make their way to Victory Lane.  Funny thing though, ticket sales on Saturday were always better when he ran with the kids.

Maybe we did mind the same way we do now, at least competition-wise.  Except for one little thing, I can’t recall Mr. Martin ever calling anybody names or stomping his feet or storming off at the end of the race.  We liked Martin. We loved him.

And the bean counters in Daytona said the same things then that they do now–if you want to sell the secondary NASCAR series, you’ve got to have a few of the Cup boys on the roster.  Win or lose, that’s how it’s got to be.

Well, it doesn’t make the pill any easier to swallow, knowing this isn’t a new problem.  However, it does help us to realize that one day Mr. Busch will move on and we’ll find some other new-but-same-old-thing to complain about.  It’s our lot in life.

We’re the NASCAR fans.

Something Shiny

Under the ICYMI category, Auto Club Speedway hosted the sudden appearance of a bee hive during practice activities early in the weekend.  What followed was the broadcast booth’s version of an attempt to give every viewer an ear worm.  Remember, BEE happy!

*no bees were harmed in the making of this film*

Sorry.  I can’t seem to stop…


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I have no idea why!


Doesn’t it seem ironic that, with the ‘new and improved’ ‘chase’ for the X drivers, the likelihood that more than one of two will actually qualify with a win are slim and none? So many fewer stand alone X races make it much easier for Cup teams and drivers to ‘over participate’. And what would the full time Xfinity drivers say NUT they love having so many Cup teams and drivers every week? Looking at the stands and the ratings for the Xfinity races over the past couple years, I challenge anyone to prove that the Cup teams/drivers put butts in seats or improve TV ratings.

Kelly Gleason

Actually the new rule will give more drivers a shot at the championship as Cup drivers and Truck drivers are not eligible to compete for the championship! I will predict right now 12 drivers will make the chase based on points! and that can’t happen in the cup series! right now grandstands are 3/4 full a best on Sunday, Sat a 1/3 at best! Do you really want to gamble on what effect it would have? Right now it is hard for the networks to cover the race and not show the grandstands.


You must be a Kyle Busch Fan.
Take the chance because what is happening ISN’T WORKING….


Fed Up

Everyone is aware that NA$CAR didn’t address the “fixing” comment that was made by Kyle. All the ballyhoo about fines for denigrating the sport should now be off the table and will be until an non-anointed driver says something detrimental. Another no call for Gibbs and Toyota.

Kelly Gleason

Kyle was right on with his comment, Nascar’s new rule this year states” once the leader takes the white” the yellow ends the race! going back ten years in the Xfinity series “Kyle ” has lost at least twenty win’s when Nascar throws the yellow For phony debris cautions, and for foam coffee cups and hot dog wrappers citing it’s a judgment call in the interest of safety ! Really Kyle just called them on the carpet ! Steel fender parts braces, brackets. inter liner, tire and he was leading the entire field had to run threw the mess! Great call Nascar! And it is what it is people! if you watch the lower divisions on television and want to continue watching STFU. The cup series continues declining numbers in the ratings It wont take much more complaining for TV to renegotiate everything! besides any driver worth his salt wants Kyle and brad and Kevin there, if for no other reason but know where they stack up!r


Do you really like to watch a race that Cup Drivers win a majority of the time.
You really must be a Kyle Busch Fan……….


Broken Arrow

No problem, Kyle-haters! He will be stinking up the Truck race this weekend for your sniping pleasure.

Of course, you ignore the fact that Kyle has made the careers of Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell and others possible by giving them quality rides with the money he makes and the sponsors he attracts in the lower series. If you can’t see the whole picture, you really have no excuse for your whining except personal dislike.


You must enjoy watching BORING one sided races and you must be a Kyle “PEE WEE HERMAN” Busch fan.
And it’s not just him it’s ALL the Cup Drivers that come down to Prey on the Xfinity or Truck Series younger drivers THEY NEED TO STAY OUT OF THE MINOR LEAGUE OF RACING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Here’s one idea: Put all non-points-eligible drivers at the back of the grid. It’ll take the Buschwackers a few laps to make their way thru the field – and they might get beat up in the process!



dave in ohio

I suspect it is a love/hate relationship with the X and truck regulars regarding the buschwackers. You can bet Ryan Blaney’s first X series win was much sweeter and much more significant when he held off Kyle for the last 6 laps at Bristol. And you can bet those X drivers are pushed to excel that much more by the presence of those same best drivers in the race. And when they do move up to cup, you can bet they are that much more prepared to do well, as they have already been rubbing fenders with the best on their way up. Sure they may hate not getting that trophy some days, but any real competitor would rather be challenged by the best out there, win or lose, than winning every weekend and knowing the are just the best of the average drivers allowed to race that day.

dave in ohio

Also, as a fan, generally the only reason I watch the truck or X race is when there is a driver or two that interests me in the race. The racing is just a mediocre as every other Na$car division, so if I want to watch an exciting race where I don’t know any of the drivers, I’m going to find the Australian V8 Supercars, not a lower tier Na$car race. Now THAT is a race worth watching.


Dave the last sentence in your post hit’s the nail on the head. The post at 3:42


Don’t mind me, I’m just posting this so that I can see the other four comments (only three of the seven show up). What does it take to get someone, anyone from Frontstretch to address this issue or at the very least let us know that you’re aware of the situation.

Bill B



Kyle Busch aside, Cup drivers have won over 83-85% of the races each year since for at least the last five years with at least one of those year being at around 93%. I ran the numbers for another article a couple weeks ago but can’t find my comment now that broke each year out. If anything that should give thought to whether Cup drivers are really good for the Xfinity series. Look at how comically the Xfinity Chase is working out as Cup drivers have won every race so far.


Please let me retract those numbers in my last statement as I just found a Word doc that I of the percentages. My memory also failed me as it was not 83-85%, it was actually lower than that (The 93% was close though as it was actually 94%). You can see that 2011 was the highest year at 94% but then it dropped down to 76% the next year. Overall for the five year period Cup drivers won 78% of the races:

2015 24/33 72%
2014 22/33 67%
2013 27/33 82%
2012 25/33 76%
2011 31/33 94%
129/165 =78%


The issue is that there are only a few cars mechanically that can compete with the Gibbs prepared Xfinity cars; yea, they are run out of Busch’s shop, but they are Joe Gibbs racing built cars and engines. They are essentially a Sprint Cup operation providing Xfinity cars. How many of the 35 Xfinity cars running every week can compete with those cars and engines. What, maybe 4. That’s where the problem lies. The per race budget for Busche’s Xfinity cars when you take into account the Gibbs Chassis, TDR Engines, Gibbs pit crew, etc,is drastically higher then anything else; even Jr watches where every dollar goes in his shop and he has to, he literally is now running a rental car race team. With Busch in the Xfinity Series, It’s a playing field within the rules, but by no means equal.


i’m losing interest in nascar.
i’m not losing interesting kyle.
jeebuz that man knows how to drive a racecar.
any racecar
sure he can be an ass.
so can you
he’s just good at what he does
are you?

Bill B

I could be, but if I acted like a child at my job when things didn’t go right, I’d get fired.


Here is my take on the subject. Nascar is a business that needs to make money.Nos energy drink is a business that wants to market their product and someone at Nos is savvy enough to understand that the television broadcast keeps the camera on the leaders a large majority of the time so Nos chooses the best driver to sponsor to get the most bang for their buck. Nascar, JGR racing,and Kyle deserve to be able to make the most money while they can like you said one day it will be someone else. I DON’T Believe Nascar is in a position to be turning down sponsorship money especially during these tough times. But the real bottom line is ,it’s Nascar’s sandbox and they can and will do what’s best for them JMO.

Bill B

Nothing to say, just wanted to see the comments and the only way I can is to post a comment.

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