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'I have to change', admits Kyle

Kyle Busch has admitted that he needs to change his approach to racing in 2012 if he wants to still have a job at the end of the season.
Kyle Busch polarises the NASCAR world like no other driver. He's the one that a large proportion of the fans hate with a passion, but who also has a big fan base who wouldn't want him any other way than as the sport's 'bad boy'.

"I've got fans that tell me all the time that they don't want to see me change, that they don't want to see a difference in Kyle Busch," said the driver at the start of the NASCAR pre-season media activity this week. "But ultimately it doesn't work.

"I've got to change something, I just have to figure out what that is and make it work for me," he continued. "If you keep getting in trouble, you're not going to be here very long. I'm trying to change something."

Busch has clearly been doing some introspective soul-searching during the off-season, after a 2011 that should have been a brilliant success after four wins during the regular season put him in front going into the Chase play-offs, only for him to finish at the bottom of the Chase contenders ten races later.

The turning point, of course, was Texas - and the Truck Series race in which his retaliation against Ron Hornaday Jr. got Busch kicked out of the whole weekend of competition.

"I would have obviously liked for it to never have happened and if I could, I would take it back," said Busch about the original incident. "We went through a lot through the first few weeks and months after the Texas incident, but since then, it's been good."

Fortunately for Busch, his team owner Joe Gibbs stood by him - "I wouldn't be here if the guy didn't believe in me" - and helped smooth over relations with angry sponsors, in particular Mars which is the primary sponsor of the #18 through its M&Ms brand. And he's found an even better match for his personality with the new sponsor of the Kyle Busch Motorsports Nationwide car, Monster Energy.

"Frankly I don't think they care," Kyle said of Monster's attitude to his 2011 problems. But M&Ms did - they pulled their sponsorship from the #18 for the final two races of 2011 after Texas, although they have returned to support the team in 2012.

"Kyle really does care about the fans and what they think about him," stressed Joe Gibbs. "We've got a sponsor there that has been awesome with it ... I think we kind of crafted a game plan to really stay focused on what we're doing."



Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, speaks with the media during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Jan. 23 in Concord, N.C. [Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage (L) and John Godwin of Duck Commander (R) look on at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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