Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Busch Trying to Be Humble; the Points Leader Is Adjusting His Attitude during His Hot Streak

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Busch Trying to Be Humble; the Points Leader Is Adjusting His Attitude during His Hot Streak

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

JOLIET, Ill. - The routine didn't change Saturday night: Kyle Busch won another race, celebrated with a thunderous burnout and capped it all with a trademark bow at the Chicagoland Speedway finish line.

But make no mistake. This was a different Busch.

Gone was a lot of the bravado that fueled so much of his earlier success, replaced by sense of humility. Instead of inciting fans to boo him, Busch reached out to the fans with hopes they could appreciate, or at least understand, the significance of his victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Lifelock.com 400.

"The things that you do to try to win over the fans, they are here to support our racing. ... I wish they liked me, but I've got to play, I guess, the bad-boy role and [have] them not like me, for whatever reason," Busch said. "I'm trying. But all I can do is go out there and win races and try to do what I can to make my team happy and my sponsors happy and everybody that supports me and lets me drive that race car."

Busch had reason to be a little boastful after beating Jimmie Johnson in the final two laps. A caution for David Gilliland's blown engine set up a restart with two laps to go. Johnson was out in front and seemingly in control.

Busch got on the gas first, rammed Johnson's rear bumper and made the winning pass in the outside groove. Few, especially Johnson and Busch, expected that finish.

"I really wasn't thinking defense," Johnson said. "We had such a good car, I thought I would get away from him on the restart. He got a great start and was right there with me and just broke past that bumper plane through the center of [turns] 1 and 2, and that was it.

"So looking back, if I could do it over again, I would have played more defense on that restart. I thought with how we had been running, I was in good shape."

Busch was so resigned to finishing second, he earlier muttered the words, "race over" on his two-way radio. The team's spotter, Jeff Dickerson, then challenged Busch before the restart, and that seemed to be all the incentive he needed.

"He basically told me I don't have a hair on my [rear end] if I didn't try to pass this guy," Busch said. …

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