Kyle Busch couldn’t resist taking a shot or two at Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning at Bristol Sunday.
Dale Jr. is, of course, perennially the most popular driver in NASCAR’s top series. Busch made an obvious reference to Dale Jr. in his postrace interview when he said: "For me, I don't think I would enjoy having the most fans out there. I actually like the way I am, the role I portray. And I think that there's probably too much pressure on one guy's shoulders who doesn't seem to win very often. But for us, it's a blast to go out there and do what we do."
“Who doesn’t seem to win very often.” Sadly, that’s very true. As our noted motorsports writer David Poole wrote today: “Earnhardt essentially took Busch's ride at Hendrick Motorsports before the start of the 2008 season. Since that time Earnhardt, who finished 14th Sunday, has won once while Busch has now won 10 times.”
Earnhardt now sits 19th in the standings after five races. He has never won an overall championship (his daddy won seven of them). Dale Jr. is by all accounts a great guy. I’ve had nothing but pleasurable dealings with him myself. I am forever indebted to him for turning me onto the best comedy on TV, the remarkable "The Office."
But can’t No.88 win a little more often? A Busch-Earnhardt Jr. at the top level of NASCAR would be a marketer’s dream. But Earnhardt Jr. is already a lap down in that duel – he’s going to have to pick up the pace or he’s never going to have a chance to respond to Busch where it counts.
On the track.