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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."




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Kyle Busch - Joe Gibbs Racing   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
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Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
A general view as cars pit during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

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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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