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Kyle Busch’s Polarizing Persona June 9, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Controversy, Drivers.
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Talladega, AL 4-08 arriving for nascar race
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Note: CBL’s Broadcast Schedule this week is below this most recent blog posting

Phone Lines Light Up – At Mention of KB’s Name

The phone lines are on melt down ever since Kyle Busch did the “rock star”, share-the- trophy-with-the team smashing of the Gibson Guitar trophy at Nashville. He won the Nationwide Series Race – but he crashed the trophy- in victory lane. It was impulsive but real emotion – yet he got criticism for being over the top.

Kyle’s fans want him to push the limits, race hard and have an outside- the-box, less than vanilla persona. Non fans are livid. One thing is for sure – simply mention this racers name and the phone lines light up. Folks want to talk about and weigh in on Kyle every week.

Because I simply could not get to all the KB calls on my show the other day and needed during the pre race coverage to get on with covering racing – I asked my listeners to write what was on their minds and that I’d post a great sample of them on my site in an unbiased manner. Here goes:

From Tennessee:
I live in Tennessee and I thought what Kyle did was AWESOME! Be a ROCK STAR if you like. It’s his trophy to do with it as he wants. The people that are getting upset need to first accept that the guy is great and second, get a grip on the history of music and rock and roll. I guess they are mad because Nashville is not Rock and Roll headquarters. Cleveland, OH is. If Sam Bass is OK with it, than the rest of the world needs to take a chill pill. Way to go SMOKE!

From Jesse in Orlando:
This kid is slowly pushing the limits of what fans will tolerate in a supposedly professional racer. This kid tries every, way shape or form to irritate and unsettle some traditions of NASCAR. Plus this person is a role model for future generations, you do not teach destruction to young people. Kyle is not a rock star, he is a sports figure. We do not want children imitating this imbecile. Kyle mostly acts before the mind goes in gear, he has no conception of fallout. This causes him to be extremely dangerous. It doesn’t matter whether or not he had Sam’s or NASCAR’s Blessing. He is a shock jock of the first order and therefore will likely drive many parents to prevent their kids from watching NASCAR. Controversy only causes momentary spikes in ratings. I also take offence to the many times this is being replayed on TV. This is to give Media fuel for the fire. This will not ultimately help the TV nor Radio ratings as this gets old quickly. Too bad he doesn’t know how to lose, he would go much further if he did. Life is the judge of how successful a person is, and this kid is not winning this war. Plus there are a slew Rock n Roll figures that committed suicide because they could not deal with reality. Trophies are not expendable guitars. Ask any racer who has lost ones in fires or had them stolen. Many non-fans who viewed “Talladega Nights” thinking this is what NASCAR is all about. Not a true picture of what NASCAR racing is at all. Kyle is portraying the same image as Ricky Bobby, and I take offense. For every action there is reaction, mine is disgust.

From Mike:
KB is an idiot. If he wanted his to have a piece of the trophy order one and cut it up for them . But don’t show disrespect as many of us saw it . Yes he can drive a race car, and if I were J.D. Gibbs he would be standing tall in my office Monday morning. Idiot!!

From Kenny in Delaware:
Kyle Bush. What can be said? I’m not a fan per say but here is another case where I give kudos. The trophy smashing was a classic. I don’t think he meant any disrespect to Nashville Super Speedway or Sam Bass. He wanted his crew to have a piece of the trophy. There are many rock band guitarists who smash their guitars at concerts. I believe he was mimicking that act and also getting his team the pieces he needed to give to them. It is freedom of speech. A way to express himself. Many will agree with this act and many won’t. But it was his trophy and his choice. It was his freedom that let him do this. And it is his right.

All sports need more celebrities who are spontaneous and natural and not some puppet on a string who always do what is politically correct. This is what makes Kyle, Kyle. I applaud him for it and encourage him and others to continue on with being themselves.

From Brian in Morristown, Tennessee
Can you say “Actions detrimental to NASCAR Racing”!!!!!!!!!
Kyle Bush’s actions in winners circle should brought into question. Is it appropriate for anyone to destroy there trophy. Yes you can say it was a “rock star moment” but after that I don’t care to even see him on the track again. I’m not Kyle bashing, I would be upset without regard to whoever did something like, that it’s just un-sportsman like conduct. If he wants to do something to share with his team, why not tear up the winnings check and hand out the pieces. Yes it is his trophy, but he is a representative of the NASCAR family.

From Cheri in Kentucky:
I was appalled when I saw Kyle Busch smash the trophy at Nashville. Not only was it a trophy, it was a work of art. His “rock star” analogy does not work. When a rock star smashes his or her guitar, it is the instrument they use to touch the fans, the “tool” of their trade. And it can easily be replaced. They don’t smash their platinum records, or music awards. These are displayed proudly. Kyle smashed a trophy, a work of art, and what should have been a revered memento of his win at that track. If he wanted to emulate a rock star, he should have taken a saws-all to the car, the tool of his trade. Sam Bass’s comments after he talked to “kyle” show that he is a class act. No artist could appreciate seeing a piece of their work destroyed by a brat. I do not blame the fans at Nashville one bit for uninviting him to their local track. That young man is in need of some serious “home training.” He is a perpetual sore loser, and cannot even figure out how to be a gracious winner. His actions make NASCAR less enjoyable for me.

From Heidi in Lewisberry PA
I defend Kyle’s right under the Constitution to do what he did to the Sam Bass guitar and even found it honorable that he would keep the promise he made to his crew to smash it, so all may have a piece of the trophy. I even found it to be an entertaining Victory Lane celebration. However, at the same time the guitar was smashed, my heart cried. It wasn’t just a guitar that was smashed, it was a piece of artwork that was destroyed. I found it comparable to burning a fine piece of literature or even the flag of our fine country.

From Bryan:
Plain and simple. Sounds like Sam Bass accepted Kyle’s explanation, so that should be the end of it. What some people don’t understand ,is Kyle was just doing his imitation of Pete Townsend, and Paul Stanley. Two rock icons that were known for breaking guitars on stage. I’m sure there are others besides them, that has done it. For those who got offended, or feels disrespected.get over it! Sam is and so should you. What’s next, you gonna sue him for pain and suffering?

From Texas:
Claire no matter what Kyle does he is wrong.Tony in TX

From Bob in Bedford, Texas
I was delighted to meet you a couple of years ago at TMS. I wanted to share my disgust about Kyle Busch’s destruction of the beautiful Gibson. I am a guitar player and own some beautiful Martin acoustic instruments. I am sure there are thousands players like me that are NASCAR fans and will NEVER have anything but disgust at his wanton destruction of a beautiful instrument made more special by the artistry of Sam Bass.

I sort of admired Kyle for his skill but now realize he is so far removed from the fans that he has no regard for this valuable instrument. I guess it just shows what happens to these kids when they become millionaires before they reach 21. I don’t buy the stupid excuse that he wanted to share it with his team.

A pox on his house.

From Kevin In Fort Myers, Florida:
I think that KB is a good driver but he is immature! very immature!!
I thought that the guitar smashing was disrespectful for the sport/sam bass/and the tn speedway
He would have finished better at pocono if he wasn’t such a punk at Nashville. Karma!
Kevin House

From Alberto in Nazar, Texas
I sent an email last year about Gordon blaming Jr when he got beat by Kyle Busch- just so you know…..let’s talk about what’s happening now. Brace yourself. I hear a lot of phone calls about Kyle that scares the hell out of me- the state of mind of the callers is what scares me. Yesterday I blew my top when I heard a lady with a husband and 2 daughters who loves Jr and Harvick complain about Kyle’s statement-so hear me out. I can’t tell you what Kyle was thinking when he said that but I’ll tell you what I think he was thinking-he was putting himself on the line to defend a friend who is going to become the next victim they are going to have with the mess with Jr. He was concerned about the crew chief that helped him out when he was driving the #5. He knew the facts -the risk-and that’s why he said what he said. So I’d like to tell that lady to spend more time teaching her daughters not to hate anybody. Being hateful to others is wrong and is not the right way to live. I am not a Kyle fan-my driver died a long time ago. And a lot of your listeners don’t know he won lots of races driving Oldsmobile #2 , Pontiac #2 and Ford #15 before he drove a bowtie product-#3. When someone put a mike in his face he spoke his peace and a lot of times they had to turn the mike off.- when he was running to his hauler trying to escape people chasing him he said “I don’t have a TV in my car”- “its just racing Man”. Kyle reminds me a lot of him. I don’t think he has to look back at anything or apologize to the Jr fans because Jr is not
winning races. If he goes and says what he feels they bitch about it-and when he runs to his hauler without talking to anybody they bitch about it. Get over it Man. This is not a beauty parlor contest-it’s just racing.

Love you and God Bless You-I listen to you all the time

From Ron in Chicago:
The very instant I saw Dumb#%& Kyle Busch try to smash his guitar into pieces I thought “I can’t believe how big of As57ole he really is! Buy doing what he did, I and many others, thought he disrespected Nashville speedway, Gibson Guitars, Sam Bass and everyone who has ever won one of these rare and beautiful guitars. I noticed that after he did that the representatives from Federated Auto Parts (the race sponsor) walked out of victory lane. I think someone should but this idiot in his place. Sure he is a great driver, but he has ZERO respect for almost everyone and everything. Why does he think his crap doesn’t stink, and that everyone else at any given race is below him. I for one, even though he is a great driver, will NEVER be a fan because it is time for him to grow up, act his age and show just a little responsibility for his actions. I say, I hope he never sells another die-cast, hat, shirt or anything else. I would really like to see M&M’s pull their sponsorship and move it to a driver that would do them proud. Kyle is just a immature BRAT.

You are either on one side or the other regarding Kyle Busch and, on this issue, there is a line in the sand and the NASCAR fans are divided. Some folks are really upset. I can understand some of that – it’s everyone’s right to have an opinion and for some – Kyle should have thought through the perception of it all even though it was his trophy.

Fans always bring in him talking to the media or not when he doesn’t win. I am used to taking the approach the drivers take – race someone as they race you no matter what he does to anyone else and Kyle has always been fair to me and never rude, not once. I don’t run after race car drivers as the run from the track if they don’t want to be interviewed – you know that. I usually figure I’ll give the time to someone who wants or needs the exposure at that moment. If a guy is too mad to talk – it means that he is so mad he doesn’t want to talk. I think I get the picture. Sure everyone wants to hear what he might say.

Kyle has admitted himself that he is a sore looser and indeed he is – even he admits that. Way too much sometimes it seems but how do I know what motivates him to be up on the edge? Does racing so many races in so many series keep a guy up on it emotionally to the point that keeping the edge prevents him from handling not winning in an appropriate manner? I wonder.

Point is – it doesn’t matter what Kyle does –appropriate or not – people want to talk about him. He gives us fodder plenty of times to discuss his actions but even on a quiet week for him – I mention his name related to qualifying or practice and the phone lines light up. It’s wild to see. Do folks want him to misbehave so they can talk about him? Do fans desire that in a sport?
I’ll post more of these later – I am just getting unpacked from Pocono. I’ve not posted for a while -but have now caught up on things and will be back on the blog regularly.

Broadcast Schedule This Coming Weekend:
Dialed In with Claire B. Lang at the following times:
Wed. June 10 –“Dialed In” 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Charlotte, NC Studio
Thursday, June 11 – “Dialed In” 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan
Friday, June 12 – “Dialed In” 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan
Saturday, June 13, “Dialed In” 1-1:30 EST LIVE from Michigan leading into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 200 in Michigan
AND Saturday “Dialed In” 4-8 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan leading into the Meijer 300 Nationwide Race in Kentucky

CBL Pre and Post Race:
Sunday, June 14th -Claire B is in the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio booth for the Sirius NASCAR Radio Pre Race show which starts at: 10:15 a.m. EST
Claire B will be in Victory Lane LIVE after the race and “Dialed In” will follow the post race show two hours after the race is over until 10 p.m.EST.

Time to unpack!
Enjoy the day.
Claire B

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Claire B.log Race Day August 3, 2008 Pocono Raceway August 3, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, In The Garage, Teams, Trackside.
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Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Famous Wall of the C...Image via WikipediaClaire B.log
Race Day August 3, 2008
Pocono Raceway

Hi All! Sorry this was not posted sooner. I wrote and sent it in this (Sunday) a.m. but had problems with my blog, I hate that.

I just got back from the Driver’s Meeting and have been working on some stories for next week so have been busy in the garage and now am back in the media center to drop you a line. I think today’s race is going to get interesting.

At the Driver’s Meeting Kiefer Sutherland was a real hit. “Mirrors,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton and Amy Smart and directed by Alexandre Aja, will be featured on J.J. Yeley’s No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry during the race, while Sutherland is grand marshall today and will give the “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines” command. In “Mirrors,” which opens in theatres everywhere Aug. 15, I am told that Sutherland portrays a troubled ex-cop who must save his family from an unspeakable evil that is using mirrors as a gateway into their home. After the Driver’s Meeting a huge throng of Kiefer’s peeps – his fans – his handlers and others made their way to and into the DLP hauler. It was quite the crowd.

Also a hit at the Driver’s Meeting was Cindy McCain wife of U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John McCain. She was introduced at the Driver’s Meeting and told the drivers and crew chiefs in attendance that she is a huge race fan (aren’t all political candidates?) although I think she meant it -and she wished them well in today’s race. She played a role in the pre race ceremonies on the stage.

At the Driver’s Meeting itself – NASCAR announced a competition caution 20 laps into the race due to the heavy rains and no practice on the track for the Sprint Cup guys.

There were the usual drivers rules and regs and no questions from the drivers before we prayed.

Pit Road Speed: 55 mph
Caution Car Speed: 70 mph
PIt Road Speed Begins: 165 before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed Ends: 75 past the last pit box
Minimum Speed: 59.36 seconds

Observations from the Driver’s Meeting:

Is Kasey Kahne working out? I usually don’t notice but he had a grey t-shirt on and his shoulders looked dramatically wider to me. He must be hitting the weights.

Kiefer Sutherland had a DLP crew shirt on – you might want to keep an eye for him in the pits

I heard Cindy McCain visited the garage stall of the 48 team.

No, I am told, Penske Racing has not already selected it’s driver for 09.

On another note I got a news release from Goodyear at 1:00 p.m. EST Today – so I’m passing it along to you:

News Release:


LONG POND, Pa., August 3, 2008 — NASCAR and Goodyear made history
yesterday, running its first-ever points-paying race in the rain in the
Nationwide Series event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

When rain covered the 2.709-mile course, NASCAR red-flagged the race
and teams came down pit road to put on their Goodyear Eagle Wet Weather
Radials, as well as other modifications to the car to make racing in
wet conditions possible. When drivers eventually took the track to
restart the race on lap 11, history was made.

“It’s been about 10 years since we ran in the rain at Suzuka, Japan, so
it’s great to finally see our wet weather tires race in competition,”
said Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manger of global race tires.
“Goodyear has always performed well in wet conditions and this NASCAR
version was certainly no exception.”

Goodyear’s partner in this historic event – NASCAR – was equally
pleased with the results.

“The rain tires worked well under extreme circumstances,” said Robin
Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition. “Once the teams got
used to running them, the lap times really started to come down. We were very pleased with how the tires handled the rain.

“We didn’t set out to create history, we set out to put on a good race
for the fans,” Pemberton added. “It being the first points race run in
the rain, we’ll all look back on it as a good experience for us.”


Tricia in California had this emailed question to me:

Hey Claire B:

While watching practice this morning, my husband noticed that Brian Vickers’ car had red rims on the front instead of the back. Did they put rear tires on the front, or were the rims just on the wrong tires?? TV even covered them changing tires, but no one mentioned the rims being backward. Inquiring minds want to know… Thanks.

– Tricia in CA

I talked with the Red Bull guys and they said that the red rimmed tire was a Pocono tire that was put on the rim for possible use last week in Indy and that’s why it got on a red rim. It was placed in the right spot but was mounted last week in case they needed it for Indy and was a Pocono tire.

I’ll have more later…I’ve got some ground to cover in the garage so I gotta go.

Enjoy the race..enjoy the day.

Claire B
XM Satellite Radio
Pocono Raceway

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BREAKING NEWS: Kerry Earnhardt to Drive Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 8 Chevy in July Daytona Nationwide Race July 2, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Drivers.
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logo of Nationwide SeriesImage via WikipediaHere’s some news for you to sip with your coffee today – something for K. Earnhardt fans. I’m headed to the airport to fly to Orlando and then Daytona. I’ll catch you from Daytona at 4:00 EST from the XM Chevy Mobile Broadcast Unit. Have a good morning and thanks for all the calls and emails and IM’s – you all are the best!

Here’s the scoop:

For the first time in his career, Kerry Earnhardt, the son of seven-time NASCAR Champion Dale Earnhardt, will drive a Dale Earnhardt Inc. entry in a NASCAR race. Earnhardt will pilot the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in the July 4 Daytona 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’ve won several races with DEI in an ARCA car, but I’m really looking forward to driving a fast car at Daytona under the DEI umbrella,” Earnhardt said. “I appreciate DEI giving me the opportunity to get back in a car; especially one that I know will be fast and competitive. I love running the speedways (Daytona and Talladega) and can’t wait for the weekend to get here.”

Earnhardt, who currently works at Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a team liaison, will be making his 70th career start in the series, but only his fifth Nationwide start since 2003. He most recently competed regularly in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2006.It will be Earnhardt’s ninth career Nationwide Series start at Daytona International Speedway.

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Logano Visits Infield Car Center Sunday Morning Checks Out Post Nationwide Race Numbness June 1, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Drivers.
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logo of Nationwide SeriesImage via WikipediaGood Morning! (11:10 a.m.) It’s a beautiful day here at Dover International Speedway. I ran into Nationwide driver Joey Logano today as I emceed a fan hospitality session out front of the race track this morning. He had just left the Infield Care Center.

Logano Visits Infield Car Center Sunday Morning
Checks Out Post Nationwide Race Numbness

Joe Gibbs racing driver Joey Logano – who finished 6th in his Nationwide debut Saturday made a visit to the infield care center this morning (Sunday) – because he says his arm fell asleep during the Nationwide Series race here in Dover and the feeling had not yet come back.

Logano says that he has never before had the feeling of numbness that he was experiencing in his arm and hand this morning but he’s not concerned. What caused it? “Not real sure,” Logano said. “ It just kind of fell asleep during the race yesterday and it hadn’t come back awake yet. It’s something like I think when you’re slung over the side of the seat it’s the rib thing in the seat was too far away and it pinched something right about here and it just made my arm fall asleep.”

Logano made an initial visit to the care center, then went to a scheduled fan appearance, and planned to return for a check up. “ I could not even sign my name in the little infield care center,” he said. “Yea, we’ll get it checked out and we’ll be alright.”

Happy Memorial Day- Coca Cola 600 May 25, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Drivers, NASCAR, Teams.
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I’m here in the deadline room at Lowe’s Motor Speedway – and I figured I’d drop you a line. John Force and the NHRA racers just left the deadline room. I interviewed him yesterday – but Force was in the media center today and he had the group, as always, In stitches. I’ve never known him to be less than entertaining in all the years I’ve seen him and interviewed him off and on at tracks and events, even in private when the cameras and microphones are not on – but it was classic Force today. I swear the man looks better since he’s been through his injury than he did before his accident – He’s amazing.
Soldiers are everywhere. I have never seen so many soldiers and God bless them! There are like 1,500 soldiers here at the track who will participate in pre-race activities and I never saw so much young promise in uniform – or told so many young people thank you as I have this morning. They are everywhere – it’s totally cool.
Hey the Coca-Cola Olympic promotion brought Yao Ming to the race today and he is the largest human being I have ever seen. He was in victory lane this morning shooting basketball with drivers Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton and others. After the basketball demo – Yao and two-time US Olympic Taekwondo gold medalist Steven Lopez took their turn at a pit stop with the Kyle Petty team showing them how to change tires and jack the car. Yao Ming jacking a NASCAR race car..now that is a hoot.
Note: I am doing a “best of” show tomorrow on Memorial Day! It will open with a live to tape (recorded) intro that is fresh and I did my best to say what I really meant to the men and women in uniform. It’s the one real way that I can give back is to say thank you on air for those who wear the uniform or who have worn it in years past and have been in harm’s way to protect  us. I will have a debrief of the Nationwide Race and the Nascar Craftsman Truck Series race on Monday taped – but with some interesting audio – and then will dedicate Tuesday to the debrief on the Coca- Cola 600.  I needed a down day before picking it all up again and heading off on the circuit. So, I wanted you folks to know that I will not be taking live calls on Monday. I’ll miss you but the couch has been a stranger – and I plan on camping out on it on Monday.

Happy Memorial Day!
News in the Garage:

I was the first one on the scene yesterday when the Haas CNC cars were parked at the entrance to the garage and then declared to have illegal rear wing mounts. It was actually another team that alerted me to what was going on and I went over to check it out. I called a reporter or two and said “get down here” something odd is going on. I went over to the NASCAR hauler and waited for Series Director John Darby to come out of a meeting -but the meeting continued so I left.  Later, I went back to the other NASCAR hauler and there was John Darby sitting on the stair of the hauler with Haas Crew Chief Booty Barker and driver Scott Riggs in deep discussion. A source on the team told me that the teams had used the brackets all season – and that the timing of getting pulled for them now was wild. NASCAR says that’s what they all say when they get caught, basically.
I was on pit road when the scuffle happened between the pit crew members of the Brad Kezelowski team and the Denny Hamlin team post race. I saw a whole lot of people standing like billboards trying to protect their drivers and I also saw an official being carried away limping after having injured his leg. I saw no actual punches thrown but it was hard to see beyond the crowd of team members that I was surrounded by. I literally could not move – and was being pressed into the bodies that were making the situation tense. Security was everywhere – and on top of the situation.  I went to the Nationwide hauler after the race and Denny, Brad, JD Gibbs, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge were all in the hauler. Later Coach Gibbs came up and had a discussion with JD – and later with Elledge.  I’ll detail more of this on Tuesday but Keselowski is not backing down – and cannot be pushed around even by a veteran such as Hamlin.  The media corps was impressed that even when he was seated next to Hamlin in the deadline room and Hamlin critiqued him – Keselowski didn’t crumble.
You’ll have that (In big time stock car racing). 🙂
This is Memorial Day weekend. Salute the troops and enjoy the day.
More later.
Claire B
XM Satellite Radio