Two-time NASCAR champion Kyle Busch has pointed out that his former teammate, Denny Hamlin, is doing a perfect job at playing the role of NASCAR’s new heel. The No:11 Toyota Camry driver publicly embraced the heel role following his impressive win at Bristol. He proclaimed to the fans booing at him, “I defeated your favorite driver…all of them.”
He doubled down on his claims during the post-race interview and his podcast “Action Detrimental.” Hamlin explained that he knows he isn’t ever going to win the Most Popular Driver title, and the fan’s boos aren’t going to stop anytime soon, so instead of ignoring or running away from them, he decided to embrace it.
Kyle Busch was NASCAR’s most hated villain before his move to RCR, and some impressive PR through social media changed his perception. Hamlin just filled the massive void that was there. While discussing seeing his former teammate taking up the mantle, Busch pointed out that the JGR veteran is doing a perfect job.
“When you’re in that spot like I was, and I guess Denny is, you’ve got to do what Denny is doing. I mean, it’s perfect. You’ve got to play with it and just go with it and roll with it. I did. There were so many quotes in the years past when I was talking about (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. Nation and other stuff. Trust me, you’re never going to win those battles. They’re hard, hard, hard, hard to win,” Busch said, as reported by NBC.
Kyle Busch admits he can easily retake the title from Denny Hamlin
The former Xfinity champion was the poster villain NASCAR in his JGR with his run-ins with some of the most popular names of the sport. While Hamlin had some high-profile beef as well, his antics went under the radar while Busch and Joey Logano took center stage. But as time progressed, some fans changed their attitude towards Busch, and that’s when Hamlin became the target.
But Busch is convinced he can retake the mantle under the condition that he can pull off some of his notorious antics from the past. He said, “I’m sure I could put myself back in that category real easy. It would only take something spectacular to do.”
Busch, before giving the temporary mantle verdict, explained that his brother Kurt Busch, making a lot of enemies before he got there, played a role in his heel turn. He claimed many fans were already turned against him once he made his Cup debut.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been in this spot because when I first came into the sport … my brother had made a lot of enemies both on and off the racetrack, so I was kind of thrown into that right off the bat,” Kyle Busch said.
Justin P Joy is a Motorsports writer and editor at FirstSportz. He has been a motorsport journalist since 2020 and has published over 2000 articles. Justin has extensively covered two NASCAR, Formula One, and Moto GP seasons for FirstSportz. He has invested more than a decade of his life on Motorsports, first as a fan and later as a dedicated writer. Justin’s in-depth knowledge of Motorsports and his experience as a fan make his writing resonate with most racing fans worldwide.
Justin's love for racing started when he discovered Moto GP at the age of 8. That love later guided him into the world of Formula 1. He fell in love with NASCAR after watching Tom Cruise’s “Days of Thunder” and has been an avid follower of the premier stock car racing series since. He has also been investing his time to exploring WEC, WRC, Formula E, Extreme E, and IndyCar in a bid to deeply understand the culture and history of Motorsports to present a unique perspective to the fans.
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