Busch Scheduled To Make Encore Performance In Nashville
By Larry Woody | Senior Writer
Nashville – Kyle Busch, whose guitar-bashing antics following his June 6 win at Nashville Superspeedway created a nationwide uproar, is coming back to Music City.
Busch is scheduled to compete in the Aug. 23 All-American 150 at Fairgrounds Speedway.
“It’s going to be an interesting reception,” said track operator Danny Denson. “I expect we’ll have a full house.”
Busch had been scheduled to run the race on May 3, but it was rained out. Denson had waited to re-schedule the event until Busch could work it into his schedule.
The Aug. 23 race will be held on a Sunday following a Saturday-night Sprint Cup race at Bristol. The only way Busch’s Nashville plans could be foiled is by another rainout, this time at Bristol.
In the wake of the fallout over the Superspeedway incident Busch said he meant “no disrespect” to the track or to artist Sam Bass who hand-paints the Gibson guitars that for nine years have been the track’s trademark trophy.
The talented but temperamental 24-year-old racer said he simply wanted to stage a “rock star-style” victory celebration when he repeatedly dashed the guitar to the pavement after winning the Federated Auto Parts 300.
Track vice president/general manager Cliff Hawks was not amused, and neither were the race’s sponsors. As images of the incident spread nation-wide – and even world-wide – race fans were furious.
Many fans were already displeased with Busch for his sometimes boorish behavior, and the ugly guitar-bashing display added to his bad-boy image.
On the other hand, it generated unprecedented publicity for the track and Gibson guitars.
“I’d rather get publicity some other way,” Hawks said.
Denson admitted that all the attention – negative as it may have been – will sell tickets.
“Kyle would have been a good draw the first time he was scheduled to be here,” he said, “but he’ll be 10 times greater now. I imagine we’ll get national press coverage when he comes in.
Another Marlin: Sutherlin Marlin, daughter of two-time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin is scheduled to make her Fairgrounds debut in coming weeks.
Her dad raced last Saturday but went out with car problems, and her older brother Steadman is a part-time competitor. Sutherlin’s grandfather, Coo Coo, was one of the track’s first famous drivers and won three championships.
– Larry Woody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments