NASCAR »

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

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kyle Busch - Joe Gibbs Racing   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
The front right tire of the #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet, driven by Paul Menard, catches fire during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


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!



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.