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Issues With Richard Childress Reach a Tipping Point as Kyle Busch Openly Slams the Team

Published 09/21/2023, 6:07 PM EDT

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Behind the wheel of the No. 8 Camaro that carries his name, Richard Childress has the 2-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch speeding every week. Easily one of the most successful race car drivers of the modern era, Kyle joined the 78-year-old’s racing outfit just this season and has been feeling right at home. But the owner wasn’t always the best of friends with the No. 8 car owner. In fact, there was a time when the two of them even got into a physical brawl.

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It was when Richard Childress punched Kyle Busch several times when the latter made a comment that apparently didn’t sit well with the team. This took place following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Kansas Speedway after Busch traded a little paint when he pulled alongside Joey Coulter’s truck. Years have passed since then and times have changed, but in the 2023 season, things appear to be on the helm of breaking hell loose again.

The failure to create an impact at Bristol has Kyle Busch screaming at his team

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When Kyle Busch transferred from the garages of Joe Gibbs to drive for Richard Childress Racing, hopes were that he would gain his lost edge and compete for the championship again. For a few weeks into the season that did appear likely as he finished at P1 in the trying tracks of the Auto Club and Talladega, and came runner-up at COTA.

But as it has been for many drivers this year, the ability to not be consistently good has taken a toll on his far-reaching potential. And in Bristol, his performance graph once again dipped, after a top-10 finish at Kansas. Ending the night at P20, the driver blamed a host of problems on the inabilities of his Camaro, inadvertently, meaning his team.

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In his post-race interview with NBC Sports, he had notably said, “We just didn’t have any front turn, any front grip in the beginning of the run, and then we didn’t have any rear grip in the later of the run so man could never just go anywhere, could never make ground.” These words take us back to the words he’d said on the in-car radio during the heat of the race. He’d complained of imbalanced springs in the car and said, “I have a rear spring loose. Front still tight.”

The driver’s frustration of not having an issue that was already voiced out and solved is only fair. But having already swapped out Kyle’s original crew with the No. 3 car’s crew once, Richard Childress is quickly out of options for replacement. As we still have 7 more races to be witnessed this year, will tensions peak between the friends-turned-foes again and render 2023 to be another 2011?

Watch This Story: Kyle Busch Exposes Richard Childress’s Flaws as He Beats His Arch Nemesis Joey Logano

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Where does the Kyle Busch-Richard Childress saga go from here?

In what has been a fight to tell the generations, Kyle and Richard got into a physical assault 12 years back. About half an hour after the Truck Series race ended in Kansas in 2011, 65-year-old Richard Childress approached a young Kyle Busch in the garage area and punched him. As the two were broken up and abuses were hurled, the old man put Kyle in a headlock and punched him once again. The reason behind the ordeal was that Kyle had raced rather aggressively and tapped a driver who’d represented Richard with his truck.

More than a decade has passed since then and if words are to matter in the grounds of NASCAR anymore, there’s zero enmity between them anymore. Backing that, Kyle had said after his win at Illinois in June, “Yeah, I mean, people change. The relationship that I have now, and the effort that’s gone into securing me, to get me to go to RCR — the discussions and talks that happened there — just proves them right, right?”

It sure did seem that way until the stakes built up and the races that mattered the most came up. Kyle had spent 15 long years with Joe Gibbs Racing before he signed for RCR last year.

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One does not make a change of that magnitude without the strong purpose to win championships again. If Richard Childress’s team fails to back him in that goal, we could very well be seeing the balloon burst again. We will soon be seeing the No. 8 crew and driver at the Texas Motor Speedway!

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Written by:

Gowtham Ramalingam

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Gowtham Ramalingam is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. His love for motorsports stems from his fascination with Formula 1. Possessing an obsession for anything with an engine, the roads eventually led him to the raw grounds of NASCAR and he has been an avid fan of the sport ever since.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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