Woody: The Breath Of Fresh Air Needs A Tic Tac
By Larry Woody | Senior Writer
Nashville – Kyle Busch said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, thought Kyle bashing his trophy to bits last Saturday night at Nashville Superspeedway was “cool.”
Really? Then how about this: Let artist Sam Bass, who spent countless hours hand-painting the classic Gibson guitar, crash Kyle’s brand-new race car through the show-room window at Gibbs’ racing complex.
Wouldn’t that be cool?
Busch, addressing the media at Michigan Friday, said he thought destroying the guitar “was a neat idea” and “I don’t regret it.”
On the other hand, he admitted he wouldn’t dare do the same thing to the Daytona 500 trophy or the famous Martinsville grandfather clock trophy.
Why not? If shattering one trophy in Victory Lane is so cool, why not shatter others?
I know why. You know why. Busch knows why and Gibbs knows why:
NASCAR would bust a gasket if Busch did that to the Daytona 500 trophy or any other Sprint Cup prize. If Busch shattered the Daytona 500 trophy in Victory Lane he’d be busting rocks in NASCAR’s gulag.
What shameless hypocrisy – by Busch, Gibbs and NASCAR.
The only reason he got away with it in Nashville is because NASCAR and Gibbs apparently consider it a second-class trophy in a second-class series.
I can assure you that folks in Music City didn’t think it was cute and cool. I can’t recall a similar uproar over any sports incident.
Likewise the track management and the Federated Auto Parts race sponsors didn’t find it amusing. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s not some future sponsorship fallout from the incident.
I used to consider Busch and his brashness a breath of fresh air in a stale sport. But there’s a difference in a breath of fresh air and a Category 5 tornado, and lately that’s what Busch has become.
He not only refuses to grasp the ugliness of his behavior, on Friday he took a shot at the mild-mannered Bass: “I said I was going to buy two guitars after the race, but I didn’t know it was going to be in the spirit of both of Sam Bass’ personalities.”
Bass agreed to pose with Busch and the shattered guitar, forcing a smile/grimace, but afterwards told the media he was seething over what Busch did.
“How would Kyle like it if I took a hammer and did to his race car what he did to the guitar?” Bass said.
Good question. Would the Gibbs people think that that was “cool?”
Look, in his heart of hearts I don’t think Busch really intended to insult and infuriate everybody. I think he thought smashing the guitar would be dramatic and cutting-edge clever – “a rock-star-style celebration” as he called it.
But it didn’t come across that way. It came across as insulting and wantonly destructive (why not donate the expensive instrument to the Victory Junction Gang Camp?) It made Busch look petty and juvenile.
Offering to “fix” the mess by throwing some money at Bass added to the insult: another rich, arrogant, spoiled brat who thinks he can buy his way out of trouble.
I suppose the best defense that can be made for Kyle is that he isn’t a bad guy, just clueless.
I’ve got an idea: in the future if Busch wants to copy a punk rocker, let him emulate Ozzie Osborne, the mumbling wack-o who once famously bit the head off a live bat.
Instead of destroying a valuable trophy Busch can munch a bat and everybody will be happy (well, except for the bat.)
Seriously, Kyle, you’re 24 years old. Start acting like it.