In 2008, Kyle Busch could seemingly do no wrong. He won in all three of NASCAR's top series. He won almost everything there was to win, except a championship.
The recently-evicted driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet moved over to Joe Gibbs Racing and promptly set the NASCAR world on fire. With his on-track performance over the last year or so, Kyle should probably be one of the most popular drivers in the sport, shouldn't he?
Actually, he is, in a way.
Kyle Busch has been somewhat of a lightning rod for NASCAR fans in recent years, much as was Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip, or even Tony Stewart, in years gone by. You either like the guy, or you hate him. It seems that very few fans are ambivalent about Kyle Busch.
Does Kyle Busch have skills? Oh, heck yes. He very well might be the most talented driver on the track right now. He might not be, either, but he's making it work...most of the time.
Have you ever worked with, or gone to school with, a person whose personality made you want to commit violent acts against their person? I know I have. To me, Kyle Busch makes me think of a co-worker who I once had, who made me want to slap him about every five minutes, eight hours a day, everyday.
When I wasn't working, I spent an unhealthy amount of time thinking about how badly that guy made me want to drown him in a toilet in the men's room; that's pretty much the way I personally feel about Kyle Busch.
But unlike my former co-worker, Kyle Busch does add something badly needed in the NASCAR world: a guy who causes a buzz, a dude who makes fans angry. Kyle Busch is certainly capable of providing that buzz, as well as that emotional reaction called anger.
In NASCAR, we have the drivers who faithfully recite the company line, and never makes waves. We have some who actually let us get a peek at their true personalities.
With Kyle Busch, we get to see a true bad boy. NASCAR always needs at least one of those.
Right now, Kyle Busch is the bad boy.
Long live bad boys in NASCAR. NASCAR needs them.