Las Vegas natives Kyle and Kurt Busch are both known for their tempers- but who's the bigger hothead? Which brother left the bigger blackmark on the sport?
This isn’t an attempt to mock either driver or paint them as anything more than the hometown boys they are. It’s just an honest analysis of their careers. While we can't examine every single incident both brothers have been involved in, let's look at some of their more memorable incidents and see what we can gleam.
Let’s start with Kyle Busch getting black-flagged by NASCAR during a restart in 2004 at New Hampshire. Busch was running fifth at the time but made contact with fellow driver, Jason Keller, who ended up spinning. Keller retaliated by spinning out Kyle Busch, which then led NASCAR to black-flag Busch for trying to jump the restart.
Busch was enraged at this decision and had to be escorted by NASCAR officials away from the pit road area. When asked by a reporter what he thought of the call, he responded with a dumbfounded look on his face to avoid saying something. Again, a pretty minor incident, but it still showed how much of a diva Kyle could be when it came to a bad call.
Made a quick stop at my local @GanderRV to grab some @RowdyEnergy before heading to the #SnowballDerby— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) December 2, 2020
Look for the Rowdy Energy display at a @CampingWorld or Gander RV & Outdoors near you n #GetRowdy! 🏁 pic.twitter.com/2oOmH1mItW
Jumping over to Kurt Busch’s first big incident, it happened during the 2002 Food City 500, when Kurt got into Jimmy Spencer and sent him up the track. That wasn’t the end of it, though, as Busch would also lay a well-timed body slam on Spencer’s car to send him sideways. While Spencer was able to recover and finish the race, Kurt Busch ended up winning and downplayed his move in victory lane.
It seems like Kurt Busch deserves the title of hothead here. Kyle Busch threw a fit when he was black-flagged by NASCAR, but he didn’t use many sharpshooter moves to try to win a race.
Now let’s go into what many believe to be Kyle and Kurt Busch’s worst incidents. For Kyle Busch, that moment would come during a 2011 Truck race. Busch was racing Ron Hornaday hard for position during a truck race at Texas, but Hornaday got into Busch at one point and sent them both into the wall. Kyle Busch was livid at the move and let Hornaday know about it.
Unfortunately for Hornaday, this meant being punted into the wall during a caution lap and losing his chance at that year’s championship. If nothing else, this proved that Kyle Busch had a lack of respect for everyone around him and was willing to resort to dirty tactics if things didn’t go his way.
Now for Kurt Busch’s worst moment. One would have to imagine it would be his interview with Bob Pockrass in 2012, where he threatened him. That’s right! A journalist dared to ask Kurt Busch about how he is dealing with being on probation after an on-track incident and Busch responds by saying that it is the only thing preventing him from kicking the reporters ass.
Of course, some fans might feel inclined to deem this a worse hothead moment, but what Kyle Busch did hurt the entire sport's credibility. He also changed the history books forever and lost a driver a chance at a championship they deserved. Kurt Busch threatening a reporter is bad; Kyle Busch eliminating a playoff driver is worse.
Finally, let's get into Kyle Busch versus Carl Edwards during the 2008 Sharpie 500. Busch was leading late in the race and seemed to have the victory locked up until Carl Edwards marched up the field. Edwards quickly put the bump and run to Busch and while he tried repeatedly to get his spot back, he was unable to and ended up finishing second.
Unfortunately for Edwards, that wouldn’t be the end of it and Busch came after him on the track after the race. It started with the two-trading sheet metal during the cool down lap as Kyle tried to run Edwards up the wall, but Edwards retaliated by spinning out Busch. Believe it or not, this was met with a cheer throughout the stands and was just truly a bizarre moment.
And now we will attempt to compare that outburst to Kurt Busch having an absolute meltdown during Busch clash practice in 2008. The incident occurred when Tony Stewart bumped Kurt Busch out of the way during a practice session at Daytona and sent him into the wall. Busch was not happy about this and ran Stewart’s car down as the two approached pit road.
Kurt Busch swung his car into Stewart’s and the two traded paint as they made their way down pit road. As if that wasn’t enough, the two kept blocking each other's car from getting to victory lane and while Busch finally got to the garage first, both men were boiling by time it was all over.
The point has to go to Busch here for endangering officials and other drivers by driving recklessly. Keep in mind that if Busch and Stewart would have duked It out, there would have been less reason for this call, but Busch put a lot of people in danger with the kind of things he was doing with Stewart.
In the end, most fans can probably agree that Kyle Busch is the bigger hothead due to his myriad of antics throughout his career. Furthermore, he is the worse of the two offenders in terms of incidents and severity of incidents, which truly make him the villain of NASCAR. Now, that's not a bad thing. In fact Busch has relished his role as the bad guy, but he is also the bigger hot head when it comes to the two Busch brothers.