NASCAR fans have loved to hate Kyle Busch seemingly since “Rowdy” broke into the sport.
The hate for Busch arguably never has been worse, however, than what it was after the 2008 Dan Lowry 400.
With three laps remaining in the race at Richmond International Raceway, Busch, who was in second, rear-ended leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. Clint Bowyer wound up winning the race, and NASCAR fans took their loathing for Busch to disturbing heights.
(You can click here to watch the infamous moment.)
With Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond just around the corner, Busch recently appeared on Earnhardt’s “Dale Jr. Download” podcast to discuss their old rivalry. During the discussion, Busch detailed what it is like leaving the track after his run-in with Earnhardt.
“There was words being slung, rocks being slung, hats being slung, beers being slung – at us, at the golf cart,” Busch said.
That’s hostile, no doubt. But it’s nothing compared to what Busch experienced the rest of the season.
“For the rest of the year, there was crazy death threats and stuff like that,” he said. “There was death threats to the house. There was a guy that called – I don’t remember if he called NASCAR or the race track, but it was Kentucky Speedway. I was at Kentucky for the Xfinity Series race, and it was back then when we flew in to run the standalone Xfinity Series races.
“And so I won that night, and as soon as I did the Victory Lane stuff, they corralled me and got me and took me into a cop car and took me out of the race track in a cop car. I’m like ‘What are we doing, boys? What’s going on?’ They were like, ‘We’ve had a tip-off that there’s a shooter on the loose. Like, a guy’s coming to the race track with a shotgun.’ So it was stuff like that that was happening not weekly but periodically through that time, definitely through the rest of (the 2008 season) and maybe once or twice in (2009).
“So we actually had a behind-the-scenes FBI guy tailing me through the rest of ’08. We didn’t think we needed him anymore after ’08 was over. So I do remember that guy. He came with us about everywhere.”
Still, there is a line, and NASCAR fans too often find themselves on the wrong side of it.
Thumbnail photo via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images