Love/hate is too strong to use for this fan for Kyle Busch. On the whole, he is good for the sport. Kyle Busch is immensely talented- as indicated by his results. Busch is a colorful character with a playful repartee with the fans. And as his wife Samantha shared in defense of her husband, there is a generous and kind side to the 2015 champion away from the track.
With that being said, the performance of Kyle Busch in the post-race press room was headshake inducing. You can be disappointed, and even mad about losing. Does this mean you have to act like a jerk?
Among all the defenses of Kyle Busch, the most amusing is “we like him because he hates to lose.” What? Um, who likes losing? Isn’t winning races why drivers compete?
Brad Keselowski hates to lose. Martin Truex Jr. hates to lose. Kevin Harvick hates to lose. Newsflash: Jamie McMurray hates to lose. So what’s your point?
I wise man once said that “life is 10 percent what happens, and 90 percent how we react to it.” How about this? What if Kyle Busch had said, “I’m not surprised Austin Dillon won this race. The best in the world race in this series, even the ones we don’t see up front. We have, we should have won this race. We didn’t. Now, it’s back to the drawing board to try to get this right.”
Whether he likes it or not, being a top three finisher requires an appearance in the press room. The media gets a lot of flack- and justifiably so- but there was nothing wrong with the question asked of Kyle Busch. Is it really too much to ask of a competitor to behave like a professional?
Now make no mistake: we’re not suggesting punishment. If Joe Gibbs tires of the act of Kyle Busch, he doesn’t have to keep him on the team. That’s his right as an owner. If Mars feels as though Busch is bad for their brand, they can choose not to renew their deal. They’re free to do that.
Hey, about a little humanity? What if Kyle Busch said, “You know what, I feel like this one got away from us. If Im being honest, I don’t want to be here. I’m sure as cooler heads prevail, I will feel a little more magnanimous about Austin Dillon. In a couple of days, I will have a more reasonable response to your question. That day is not today.” Is it really that hard?
It may sound PC, and I am far from PC. Civility is too often missing. You can hate losing. Most, if not all competitors do. That doesn’t give a person an excuse to behave like a toddler at a press conference.
I give Kyle Busch the benefit of the doubt. He’s a better man than that.