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Kyle Busch on Raikkonen, Vegas - and being the "bad boy"

Kyle Busch has been speaking about Kimi Raikkonen's move to NASCAR Trucks, whether he himself will enter the IndyCar $5m Vegas challenge - and what it's like to be NASCAR's "bad boy."
If Dale Earnhardt Jr. is NASCAR's favourite son, then Kyle Busch is the "bad boy" all the fans love to hate. Despite his successes in Sprint Car, Nationwide and Camping World Truck, he's the driver the crowds seem to love to jeer rather than cheer.

But as Kyle explained during a lengthy interview at the weekend on SPEED TV's Wind Tunnel programme at the weekend, he has big plans for both himself and for his self-branded team, which has just signed up Kimi Raikkonen for a series of Camping World Truck Series races this year. Both Kyle and Kimi seem to share a vision that this could be the start of a greater endeavour.

"We really wanted to go two fulltime Truck teams this year and then try to venture into a Nationwide deal next year. I'd really love to have a Nationwide deal next year - we're just trying to find the right opportunity, the right driver, the right sponsor to team up for it." But now NASCAR rules only allow a driver to be nominated to score driver championship points in one of the three series, that driver wouldn't be him as his own sights are firmly set on winning the Sprint Cup series.

So perhaps Kimi Raikkonen is the star name the team has been looking for to spearhead that Nationwide challenge in 2012? Maybe - but Kyle admits that he's not yet sure about Kimi's motivation for coming over to join Kyle Busch Motorsports' Truck operation for a limited number of appearances this season, starting at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20.

"I never really got that straight answer from him," confessed Kyle. "He just wanted to give it a shot and see what it's like. He's unfamiliar with the United States and with United States racing and with NASCAR in general, but it's another vehicle to him. He came in with no expectations. He knew that it was a vehicle with four rubber tyres and you sit left of the driveshaft - that's about it.

"He did a great job - he jumped right in the truck and was up to pretty good speed right out of the gate ... I got in the truck right after him on the hot tyres and went out there and ran the same lap times as he did. I couldn't go any faster.

"He knows how to drive a race car. We've seen him do it in F1. I'm not quite sure of his success in the rally car stuff. Coming over here and doing the NASCAR thing, just getting his feet wet, getting a taste of it, seeing what he wants to do, seeing if he can have a future here and whether he likes - and hopefully, if he does, he makes a home at Kyle Busch Motorsports."

For Kyle himself, it's the Sprint Cup championship that dominates his ambitions right now. "I certainly would like the opportunity to win a NASCAR championship first. That's why I'm here. This is what I want to do."

But he admits that the championship itself, should he win it, would open doors and opportunities elsewhere: "Once you're a NASCAR champion, you're kind of in another elite division instead of just being a competitor or a race winner ... If I could get that NASCAR championship [I'd be able to] venture out into the IndyCars and drive them a couple of times and see if I'm any good at it, if I can compete at it. Or the F1 stuff - either way. Just kind of see what it's like."




Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch - Joe Gibbs Racing   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Jake Crum, driver of the #01 My Freedom Smokes Chevrolet, and Bryan Silas, driver of the #99 Bell Trucks America Inc. Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS, qualified seventh Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Menard is 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Harvick is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, captured the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan NASCAR Sprint Cup 400 race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates capturing the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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Joe Jenkins - Unregistered

March 26, 2012 5:44 AM

I may be one of the few that think so , but here goes, I think Kyle Bush is one of the best racer in the hole series , give him a good car , and if he doesn't get wrecked , or Nascar dosen't ruin his day by some nothing penalty , If not before halfway in the race , everyone will say he has a great car! It is not all the car, it is Kyle. He can drive like the Great Dale Earnhardt , in his prime. Kyle is just getting started , watch him from here on-n-n-n-n-n!! Crazy Joe Old but still can see!



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