Kyle Busch and Dale Sr, one in the same?
By: Xander Clements, TRE Columnist and Podcast Producer
Exactly one week ago, Kyle Busch decided to pinch Ron Hornaday Jr. in the middle of a three wide situation passing a lapped car on lap twelve of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Texas Motor Speedway. Hornaday slid up the track, got into Kyle, and the caution was thrown although minimal damage was done to both trucks. However, Kyle took it as Hornaday just flat-out wrecked him, so he went to retalliate in turn 3 under the caution flag, and ended up spinning Hornaday's #2 Chevrolet into the outside safer barrier. NASCAR then went on to not only park him from that race, but that weekend as well. Also, his sponsors are now wanting to pull out, and JGR is in the thick of the mess even though Kyle was not even driving for them when he made the maneuver. However, the question arises, would Dale have done the same?
Dale Earnhardt Sr. was a southern boy, born and raised all up in the south, and he took all short track racing from the south into his driving style for everywhere else in the country. His fans were what some call 'rednecks' - southern people who have the stereotype of only liking big wrecks and getting drunk each day. However, besides the fact of different fanbases and hometowns, each of these two drivers raced in a completely different era. Don't get me wrong, I am not ripping on Earnhardt at all, but to be honest, his prime time was in the 80s and a bit in the early 90s.
Dale Earnhardt was also known for not being afraid to use his bumper to get a victory, or even to get back at a driver that he felt did him wrong on the race track. He was loved for this, most of the time anyway, and was known as the face of NASCAR at the end of the 20th century. As all NASCAR fans know and mourn over, he was killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 while trying to hold off a pack of racecars hoping to get up and take the win from his two drivers, Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr., his son.
My question to our readers, and our staff, is that how truly different are these drivers? Before you answer that, please keep in mind that I am simply referring to their on-track behavior, not at all what their reputations are and how they would differ. So, the question remains, are these two THAT far apart?