Older siblings might make you want to rip your hair out 95 percent of the time, but when you actually need them, you can usually count on them to come through for you.
That was the case on”The Domenick Nati Show” Friday, when Kurt Busch defended the controversial comments his younger brother, Kyle, recently made regarding young drivers. Kyle had said Tuesday he thought it was “stupid” that NASCAR heavily pushes new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racers before they’ve achieved anything at the sport’s top level.
The younger Busch’s comment sparked backlash from fellow drivers, including Ryan Blaney and Darrell Wallace Jr., but a representative of the sport’s governing body, interestingly, agreed with him. Although Kurt wasn’t as blunt in his comment on NASCAR’s promotional efforts, he noted that there are plenty of relatively young drivers, who have proven themselves in Cup but who are overlooked by the powers that be.
“You know (Kyle) Larson’s out there; he’s young; he’s winning,” Busch told Motorsport.com. “They need to push him. I see him as a future champion. I think what Kyle is saying is these guys have been given a free pass, so to speak, to become a superstar and we haven’t seen the success on track translate to what’s being shown to the world, so to speak.”
Although some of the young names that NASCAR highlights in its advertising have shown they can compete in the premier stock car racing series, Kurt insists they often are over-hyped early on — be it because of their surname, or the situation they’re in.
“That’s a touchy subject,” Kurt said. “I think that is what my little brother Kyle was referring to. It’s cute — there are different ‘chosen ones’ or guys that take over iconic rides. But right now Bill Elliott’s son, who is going to be a big-time player in our sport and has yet to win, is Chase Elliott.”
Elliott reportedly declined to respond to the eldest Busch’s assessment of him. It’s worth noting, though, that many experts such as Jeff Gordon acknowledge that Elliott’s first win likely isn’t a long ways off.
Plus, if the reception Elliott received after his Martinsville Speedway wreck is any indication, promoting the second-generation driver is more a case of giving fans what they want, rather than trying to forcibly thrust him into stardom.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images