Dale Earnhardt, Jr.: What Lil' E Should Learn from Kyle Busch

Connor GriecoContributor IJuly 17, 2008

Dear Dale Earnhardt Jr.,

Should I call you Dale, Lil' E, or Junior?  Never mind, let's get to the point...

You certainly didn't ask to be put in the position that you are.  Your dad is an immortal legend and by birth right, you have been elevated to legend-status.  I'm sure you'd rather come to the track, work on the car, race and then head home for a beer and few days of fishing.  You shun the attention, rarely show any passion or emotion and would probably prefer that the cameras weren't always there. 

You're missing your opportunity.  It's time to wake up and learn from the "Rowdy" one. 

By extreme contrast, Kyle Busch is aggressive, relentless, brash at times, and he just wants to win.  Busch doesn't apologize for who he is and what his plans are: Win races, capture championships, take over the record books, and make no apologies along the way.

Does Busch trip and make some mistakes?  Sure.  He's a young 23-year-old.  Maybe don't emulate everything he does. 

What you should take note of is his passion to drive and win, his swagger before hopping into the car, his unmistakable aggressive style as if he's driving a tank, and his deliciously fun "Rowdy Bow" when he wins and gets booed by the nay-sayers and haters (i.e. your fans). 

You have a fan base the size of Guam.  You have adoring fans with tattoos permanently on their bodies.  You have top-tier sponsors paying millions and additional untold sums coming in from licensing and personal deals. 

If I didn't know any better, I'd think that the Sprint Cup Series were really the "Amp/National Guard" Series with the sea of hats, shirts, and flags I see at the track. 

Most fans would give anything to walk in your shoes for a day.  Take advantage of it.  Roll in it.  Embrace it.  We cannot control everything, but when handed a situation as golden as yours, put on a big smile and jump in head first.  Pretend to have some fun and show your colorful personality for better or worse.

Kyle Busch may be rough around the edges, but he's bringing excitement, passion, and new fans to the sport.  Come to think of it, I do see one thing that you both have in common—I'm sure you'd both push your mom out of the way to win a race.