Bad boy Busch won't slow down after wedding

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:16 PM ET

AVONDALE, Ariz. — There is nobody in NASCAR who relishes playing the bad boy more than Kyle Busch.

He does it so well that it has all but obliterated the fact that pound for pound Busch is acknowledged as the most talented stock car driver in the world.

Busch will start fourth Sunday driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway and, like every race he enters, has to be considered among the favourites to leave the track a winner.

Busch would be a deserving choice for short odds on Sunday. He has won here in Cup (2005), Nationwide (2009) and Trucks just this past Friday.

And he started Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Bashas Supermarkets 200 on the pole.

He is just that good.

In fact, but for his too-frequent forays into juvenile behaviour, the 25-year-old Busch might well have two, if not three, NASCAR Sprint Cup championships on his resume.

Just check out his record in Sprint Cup since his debut, at 18 years old, in 2003: 19 wins, 104 Top 10s and seven pole awards.

Only five-time champion Jimmie Johnson has better numbers over the same period.

Overall, competing in Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, Busch has amassed an astounding 87 wins.

He has reached that number of wins faster than any other driver in NASCAR history.

Faster than Richard Petty, faster than Dale Earnhardt, faster than Jeff Gordon.

Busch knows he is good, and that fact does rub his detractors the wrong way. But he makes no apologies for what he does and how he does it.

On Saturday morning he talked about that and was asked if his off-season marriage to Samantha Sarcinella on New Year’s Eve in Chicago, might mellow him out, at least on the racetrack.

“No, no change at all,” Busch said. “I’m pretty well wired that it’s strictly go as fast as you can every time you’re out there on the race track.”

His new-found status as a husband, he said, may be a lifestyle change, but he can’t be thinking about what his wife might be thinking about what he does to be successful in his chosen profession.

“That doesn’t (affect) me one bit,” he said. “Samantha knows that and she is all about it. She enjoys the time that we have going everywhere and doing all of the things that we do and, of course, the races that I run.

“Sometimes there’s some off-weekends there — so that’s always good. Everything else is all about trying to win races and bringing home the trophies.”

Busch does admit, however, that off of the track he no longer has any desire to try out any dangerous stunts like high-altitude sky diving or bungee jumping like fellow drivers Carl Edwards and Brian Vickers.

“I’m not really an adrenaline junkie. I think I get enough of my share thanks,” he said. “I have three races this weekend — I’m good.

“I don’t need my hair or finger nails to grow any faster. Sky diving is not me, I’ve never done skiing or snowboarding or anything like that. I don’t know if I’m not a fan of cold or too lazy to go get skis and go to a lift or whatever.”

Growing up in the desert city of Las Vegas, Busch said the closest he has come to doing anything wild was racing dune buggies.

“Sand cars, there you go — that’s the closest thing,” he said. “I like going out to the sand dunes and hanging out with some friends and just spending a couple days out there, kind of relaxing and forgetting about some things and having a good time.”

So how does he get from that to his nickname “Rowdy Yates” in NASCAR?

Well, he says, it’s because when the race starts, he goes into win mode.

“I want to win every race I enter, whether it’s Cup, Nationwide, trucks or late models at the Bull Ring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” Busch said.

Given his track record, one cannot argue about the results, even if he does have to bruise a few egos of his competitors along the way.


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