In one of the most famous quotes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the doomed heroine asks the famous question, “What’s in a name?” This past weekend, Kyle Busch could have asked the same question after some name calling at Bristol Motor Speedway that has continued throughout this week.
The name calling officially started during driver introductions prior to the Cup race on Saturday evening when Brad Keselowski came out, introduced himself and said, “Kyle Busch is an ass.” Keselowski was still incensed from the night before where Busch admittedly dumped him to win the Nationwide race, positioning himself to sweep the three-race weekend to achieve a record held by none other.
Since the race weekend, various other names have surfaced for the Bristol trifecta winner. Jennifer Jo Cobb, who was knocked out of the way and spun by Busch during the Camping World Truck race at Bristol on Wednesday evening, had her own name for the driver, “spoiled.”
“When you don’t have to worry about your equipment and its costs, you become spoiled,” Cobb said. “When you don’t have to worry about punishment from NASCAR, you become spoiled. When you don’t worry about other team’s equipment or safety, you are spoiled. When you have no regard for anyone other than yourself, you are spoiled.”
“This is not a smear statement,” Cobb continued. “I respect the heck out of Kyle Busch’s driving ability. But I cannot respect someone who has no regard for anyone other than himself.”
“It’s not about winning because he is good enough to win without putting other teams in jeopardy, yet he does,” Cobb said. “Does he not believe in himself and his own abilities? Is that why he feels like he needs to wreck others to win?”
In fact, Cobb was willing to give Busch a very different name, that of superhero, if he would just address and adjust his attitude and wrecking style.
“We can all tell him that it is not necessary to wreck others to win,” Cobb said. “He would be a true superhero if he knew that.”
“My heroes in this sport are fresh, respectable and have a sense of humility,” Cobb said. “If we are going to be lucky enough to fulfill our dream and be in a position to be looked up to by kids, then let’s have enough discipline to be real winners, not spoiled bullies.”
In addition to the name of spoiled bestowed by Cobb, David Reutimann, runner up in the Cup race at Bristol, had his own names for Busch as well. Rooty sarcastically dubbed Busch “Professor” and “Superman” after hearing Busch’s post-race analysis of Reutimann’s Bristol driving abilities.
“I don’t know if it was the fact that his Superman cape was flying out the back when I was behind him and I couldn’t see it or what the deal was,” Reutimann said sarcastically about his nemesis. “We got beat fair and square.”
“That’s what it comes down to. We just got outrun,” Reutimann continued. “Professor Busch, maybe he can start a driving school at Bristol and the rest of the field can join in and go and he can show all of us what we’re doing wrong. I need help.”
Other drivers willing to speak their mind, as well as many race fans, seemed to echo the naming sentiments of both Jennifer Jo Cobb and David Reutimann. Truck competitor Todd Bodine said much the same about Busch, dubbing him an outstanding talent, but one that he has little respect for due to Busch’s aggressive style.
There is one name, however, befitting for Busch that no one can dispute or deny. That name is winner and record setter. No one but Kyle Busch has ever won three major touring series races in NASCAR in one weekend, a feat which Busch accomplished handily at Bristol.
Busch’s team credited their driver with the record-setting moment, dubbing him with their own new name, that of great.
“We are in the presence of greatness,” one of Busch’s team members said after the driver crossed the start finish line for the final time at Bristol.
“I’ve been trying to do this since I got to NASCAR,” Busch said. “I love Bristol and I love winning. And to do it for the first time ever in NASCAR, to sweep the weekend, man that’s pretty awesome.”
Yet even with that phenomenal accomplishment, the name calling of Busch continues and most likely will do so throughout this off weekend for the Cup Series. Perhaps David Reutimann summed it up best as he took exception to the naming of Busch as great.
“Kyle Busch is a phenomenal talent,” Reutimann said. “He’s a heck of a race car driver. But it’s not always the stuff you do on the track that makes you great. Richard Petty is great. He was great behind the wheel but he’s also great off the race track. You have to do a little of both.”