Kyle Busch doesn’t hide his emotions. He also happens to be one of the most active drivers on his radio during any NASCAR Cup Series race. That combination has resulted in many volatile explosions over the radio through the years. On Sunday at Kansas, he added another chapter and directed his anger at Bubba Wallace.
Kyle Busch goes off on Bubba Wallace at Kansas
Kyle Busch entered the Round of 8 playoff race at Kansas just inside the cutline. In other words, like all playoff drivers outside of Kyle Larson, who already advanced to the championship after his win Texas, the two-time Cup Series champion knew running well was imperative.
Unfortunately, things started ominously for Busch when he cut a tire and hit the outside wall early in Stage 1 and brought out a caution.
“It’s killed now. It’s f****** destroyed. It’s going to need a lot of work,” he said of the damage. He was disappointed but not angry. That would come in the second stage.
With 50 laps to go in that stage, Busch loudly screamed multiple times over his radio while racing side-by-side with Bubba Wallace for the 10th position. A minute later, he continued.
“Oh my f****** god, dude. This kid,” he said of Wallace, referencing his frustration with the 23XI Racing driver racing him hard.
Kyle Busch outburst earlier this year
While Kyle Busch was unhappy with Bubba Wallace racing him as he did at Kansas, his anger level paled compared to an explosive outburst he displayed earlier this season at Darlington. After making contact with Austin Dillon and slamming into the outside wall, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver headed to the garage, where he aggressively drove down pit road, ran over several orange cones, and sent race personnel scrambling.
He shared his frustration in the postrace interview.
“It wasn’t the 3’s fault. Just take our lumps,” Busch said of Dillon. “We’re running like s***. We got wrecked. It’s what you get when you run like s***. Shouldn’t be there. I don’t know what our problem is.
“Every time we go to sim and use the sim and think we have a good sim session, we go to the race track and we suck. I’m done with that. We’ll have to use some other tools on figuring out how to be good. The M&M’s Camry was not very good and we’re running terrible. We got wrecked. It wasn’t the 3’s fault.”
Bubba Wallace hasn’t always been happy with Busch
Interestingly, the week before Darlington at Daytona, Bubba Wallace was not happy with Kyle Busch. At a track where drafting with teammates is critical for success, Wallace ran at the front late in the race with a line of Gibbs cars behind him, led by Busch.
With under 25 laps to go, Wallace’s spotter Freddie Kraft told his driver that the four Toyota cars had cleared the bottom line and they could all move down and get into position to make final pit stops.
“We can all go to the bottom if you want to drag them down there. All four Toyotas are clear,” Kraft said, then repeated himself. Wallace immediately dropped down to the lower lane. No one followed him.
Several seconds later, an unhappy Wallace voiced his displeasure over the radio. “That’s f****** bull****.”
“I’m a little frustrated,” Wallace admitted after the race. “I’m the one that gets called out for not working with teammates, and I’m the one that gets left hanging. There’s a reason why Ford is in Victory Lane because they always work together.”
On Sunday, the Toyota drivers didn’t work together. However, Busch did reveal where he stands in the ongoing debate on whether non-playoff drivers should race playoff drivers hard. Wallace also showed where he stands and didn’t have to say a word.
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