Kyle Busch Offers No Apologies but Brad Keselowski Fires Back

Photo courtesy of NASCAR/Getty Images

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

DOVER, Del. – He’ may be partially known for his mic dropping antics in the media center or his fiery comments post-race on pit road but 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch says his behavior isn’t a personal attack it’s genetic.

This past week, Busch, who is on his way to being one of the winningest drivers in stock car racing, was ridiculed by numerous media outlets for the way he handled his post-race press conference as the runner-up in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. When asked if he was surprised that Austin Dillon was able to get his first career Cup win, “I’m not surprised about anything. Congratulations.”

In his defense, Busch had already given in-depth answers to live television and radio on pit road but during the mandatory trip to the media center, he said, the loss began to weigh on him. As the laps wound down, he thought he’d made the winning pass and was on the way to checking off Charlotte as the only track that he’d not been to victory lane for a points-paying Cup race. Dillon had played the fuel-mileage card and it paid off.

“It doesn’t necessarily matter sometimes how you win these races or how you lose these races, that is just the way the day kind of comes out of it,” Busch said, in response to a question posed by Kickin’ the Tires on why he is so volatile at times. “But, certainly, different people show their emotions in different ways and unfortunately for me mine has never been very gracious and I don’t know that it ever will be. I am kind of learning that as the days go on when my son is two-years-old I see where it came from. It’s genetic. I am sorry, that’s just who I am. That’ what I was given. I mean if there is anyone to blame it is probably the guy upstairs. Umm, I can probably get better and go to training and classes and everything else but I don’t know, it is the way it is.”

Video clips of Busch sitting at the dais giving his response quickly made their way around the Internet and social media channels. Fans and hates immediately made memes of his less than 30-second press conference and even Dale Earnhardt Jr. talked about it during his post-race Periscope.

“Damn. Holy moly, my gosh, he needs a Snickers,” Earnhardt Jr. said, as he was laughing and cutting up with his producer and wife, Amy. “You’re not yourself. My gosh. That’s Kyle, man. That’s why we like him. Mic drop.”

Earnhardt Jr. followed up with a plea for Busch to not to change because the sport needs people with personalities of all types.

But Busch’s actions didn’t sit well with another driver in the garage. Brad Keselowski said the behavior, “makes me want to throw up.” He also called out media that wrote in defense of Busch’s actions.

“The way that (you guys) portrayed it, the hunger to win,” Keselowski said. “There are some really funny bounces in life, especially in this motorsports world. But you’re desire to win is not connected to how angry … any of those types of pieces…in my mind. That’s one way of expressing it, but it’s not the only way to win. So, when people go out and write articles or the media comes out and says that’s a reflection of him having the most desire to win makes me want to throw up. Not only is that a terrible message to send to anyone who’s aspiring a part of the sport, it’s a terrible message to send to anybody in general in this world, that it’s a reflection over your desire to win. When I look at teams and people in this sport they all want to be associated with those who have the strongest hunger and desires and passions to be successful. That’s natural. That includes myself. That message to convey, whether it’s through the media or through different mouthpieces is a terrible message that has serious effects, not only on our sport but on our society and I don’t think that’s acceptable. Your desire to win can be expressed in a lot of other ways that are productive.

“I’m mean, everybody is different. I can’t speak for him specifically but I can speak for the message. If I’m going to send a message for my daughter or kids or fans of mine, I want the message to be that (it) is not by any stretch of the imagination the true definition of the most desired, most passionate way to win. You want to show me desire and passion to win it’s when nobody is watching. That’s what desire and passion is to win. So, I would say to anyone who wants to aspire to be great in this sport or in life, that’s what they should be looking at and that’s the message we should be sending to kids and other people in society and the sport.”

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