---- — CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Busch left little doubt his confidence is just fine during pre-race introductions at Bristol Motor Speedway, where the track allows drivers to say whatever they want to the crowd.
Most drivers play it safe by stating their name and hometowns, while others add a greeting to the crowd and maybe a little bit of personality.
Busch went all out beginning with the Nationwide Series race on Saturday when he grabbed the microphone and simply stated, “You know who I am.”
Arrogant? Sure. But he backed it up by grabbing his fifth Nationwide victory at Bristol, which tied him with Kevin Harvick for most in the series. Busch, by the way, has a series-record 53 wins, and two in the last four weeks after going winless last season.
He was even brasher the next day before the main event Sprint Cup race.
Grinning as he strutted down Bristol’s version of the red carpet, Busch name-dropped the track’s all-time winner: “I may not be no Darrell Waltrip, but I sure as heck don’t need no introduction,” before dropping the mic and walking off.
He came up short in his bid to sweep the weekend, but staged a wicked battle in the closing laps of the race to snag second-place from Brad Keselowski. He left Bristol with a win, a runner-up finish and a track record in Sprint Cup qualifying.
Not a bad day’s work for a guy coming off the worst season of his career.
So what’s changed? It could be something as simple as driving Joe Gibbs Racing cars again in the Nationwide Series.
“As far as last year goes, there was plenty of opportunities to win that just didn’t come,” Busch said. “For whatever reason, it was just a terrible year whether its luck related or whatever. This year driving JGR cars on Saturday and on Sunday, I think that’s a benefit.”