Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
To his credit, Kyle Busch had an outstanding season on the race track. He finished a career-best fourth in the Sprint Cup standings, winning four races. In addition, he won a record 12 races while moonlighting in the Nationwide Series and five others in the Camping World Truck Series.
Everything was going so great for Busch. He stayed out of trouble, didn't draw any media ire or consternation, and even fans who normally booed him began cheering him.
And then came the July 15 race at New Hampshire. Speaking first before knowing all the facts—which obviously isn't the first time in the younger Busch brother's career—Kyle publicly criticized Ryan Newman for being involved in a wreck with older brother Kurt.
Only one problem with that: Newman did not cause the wreck. He was caught up in it, just like Kurt Busch was.
Still, even without waiting to see a replay, Kyle let loose on Newman, calling him "the biggest stupid idiot out there," as well as "a big ogre."
But the most contentious comment was also the lowest of low blows anyone can give someone else, essentially kicking a guy when he was down: Busch said he was "glad (Newman's) out of a job" shortly after it became known that Newman would not have his contract renewed by Stewart-Haas Racing at season's end.
Busch then tried to "clarify" his end-of-race comments a few days later by claiming he was talking about two different things at the same time, and somehow—surprise, surprise, surprise—his answers came out together as one.
Talk about piling on one mistake after another.
To his credit, Busch did apologize in his own unique way (but probably only after being told to do so by team owner Joe Gibbs): "I'm not sorry for how I feel in those moments, but could have expressed it better and certainly my comments about someone's livelihood went too far."
Newman, who will race next season for Richard Childress Racing, being replaced at SHR—ironically enough—by Kurt Busch, could have pounded Kyle into a pulp and probably would have drawn high praise from many.
But instead, Newman took the high road—and being the college graduate that Kyle is not—proved more eloquent in his thoughts about Busch's comments.
“I’m just afraid that if I rearrange his face, I might fix it,” Newman said of Busch during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
You know, given that Newman has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue, maybe he could do some post-graduate study in plastic surgery—both disciplines include fixing body work of different types—and help out KyBusch with that face one day.
Other contenders: Brad Keselowski (for several criticisms he made this year, including other teams stealing Penske Motorsports employees, as well as concussions) and Kevin Harvick (for his comments about team owner Richard Childress' grandsons, Austin and Ty Dillon)