The Multiple Personalities of Kyle Busch

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IJune 14, 2009

Love him or despise him, Kyle Busch is one of the most interesting drivers in NASCAR today.

As he said this weekend, he is the antithesis of the plain "vanilla" drivers, instead seeking to shake up the status quo of driver behavior expectations.

Busch is polarizing and intriguing because there are so many facets to his personality.

He seems to embrace each one of the personalities equally, pulling the one out that will make the most headlines whenever appropriate.

One of the most prominent sides to Busch's personality is the villain. 

Busch seems to revel in the cascade of "boos" that follow him wherever he goes, from driver introductions to his infamous bow after a race win in Victory Lane.

Busch looks for every opportunity to be the "bad guy."

He seeks out ways that he can "pick a fight," whether with the Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans that he has recently called "completely crazy," to his sparring with certain media during interviews.

Recently however, his personality has been missing. 

After a few particularly disappointing performances on the race track, by either himself or by his crew, Busch silently made his exit, refusing to make any comment at all other than some dismissing hand gestures.

At last week's Nationwide race in Nashville, Busch said that he was showing the rock star side of his personality. 

After winning the race, he smashed the trophy, a Sam Bass guitar, to pieces in Victory Lane.

Busch admitted that he was letting out his inner rock star, like a Pete Townsend, who smashed a guitar at each show.

Busch said that he had promised that each of his crew members would get a piece of the guitar if he won.

His rock star antics in Victory Lane were all about fulfilling that promise and doing so in the most dramatic, rock and roll way possible.

This weekend, Busch showed the bridesmaid side to his personality. 

He came in as the bridesmaid to Colin Braun in the Camping World Truck Series in Michigan on Saturday afternoon.

Busch continued to fulfill the bridesmaid role at Kentucky in the Nationwide race Saturday evening. He served as the runner up to young phenom Joey Logano in that race.

One of the most interesting sides to Busch's personality also occurred as he was making his way from Michigan to the Kentucky Speedway. 

There was no doubt that Busch was channeling his best track star personality, running from the chopper to sign in at the NASCAR hauler so that he would be eligible to race.

With strains of Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire" in the air, Busch sprinted from the NASCAR hauler to try to get to his race car in time to qualify. 

Just like in the movie, Busch was stripping off his shirt in the process and all that was missing was for his head to tilt back in ecstasy.

Whichever personality emerges, there is one that wins out every time. Busch indeed is the master of public relations.

Busch has the most wonderful knack of inciting conversation, both positive and negative. 

In many ways, his public relations persona has put NASCAR in the news, on television, radio, and in every Internet blog.

No matter if he is exhibiting the personality of villain, mime, rock star, bridesmaid, or track star, Busch knows how to get everyone talking about him. 

His publicity seeking side to his personality most often seems to win out.

That unique melding of all of these many personalities, especially his penchant for creating the headlines, is what truly makes Kyle Busch one of the most interesting characters in the sport today.