“It’s Just a Show” – Denny Hamlin Brutally Slams Kyle Busch After He Turned the Clock Back to ‘Talladega Nights’

Published 09/26/2023, 1:31 PM EDT

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The first round of 12 races at Texas was a chaotic affair that saw as many as 10 cars retire. Among them were two playoff drivers, Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch. Both drivers were being touted as title contenders before the playoffs began, so seeing both of them DNF came as a shock for a lot of people. Busch’s incident was one of the highlights of the night, but fellow veteran racer Denny Hamlin was not a fan of Rowdy’s antics following his crash.

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Things have not been going well for the two-time Cup Series driver of late. Busch joined Richard Childress Racing this season after spending 15 years with Joe Gibbs Racing. His season started off exceptionally well as Rowdy won three races, but in the second half of the season, things have just not been good enough. Texas was just another chapter of misery in Rowdy’s 2023 season.

Denny Hamlin slams his former teammate for “doing Kyle stuff”


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Busch crashed in the first stage of the race and a lot of the blame lies with his team. After just the second lap, the #8 driver complained of a loose right front tire but his team ignored his calls for concern and decided to keep him out on track until the end of the stage.

Busch was struggling throughout stage 1, but with 14 laps to go, his car lost traction and crashed into the wall. In a desperate attempt to continue the race, Busch drove his car in reverse for over half a lap to bring it into the pits, only to find out that the damage was far too severe for him to continue.


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Busch driving the car for more than half a lap in reverse was entertaining for the fans, who are quite used to this style of unconventional driving by the veteran. It was reminiscent of a scene from the movie Talladega Nights, and it is quite fitting considering the next Cup Series race will be held at Talladega.

But Denny Hamlin was not one of the people who was entertained. On a recent episode of the Actions Detrimental podcast, Hamlin expressed his confusion about Busch’s driving style. He said that Busch was perhaps driving backward to prevent his car from beaching, but also noted that it damaged the back diffuser where all the downforce was generated.

And besides, as per Denny, the car was too damaged to continue the race and a veteran like Kyle Busch should have understood that. Hamlin implied that his former teammate did understand that but drove the car in reverse anyway, just for show.

“I think it’s probably for show more than anything. I’m trying to justify it…it’s just a show. He’s angry and he’s just doing Kyle stuff. I don’t know. He was out anyway, the car is destroyed, I don’t even know what he was trying to do there,” Hamlin said.

For Kyle Busch, things are looking bleaker than ever. In the first half of the season, Rowdy was considered to be one of the strongest title contenders. Now, in the round of 12, he finds himself in serious peril of being eliminated.

Kyle Busch Compares Joe Gibbs With Richard Childress in “Traveling Circus” Talks

All is not lost for Kyle Busch… If RCR turns up


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Busch sits in 12th place on the Cup Series table, 17 points below the cutline with two races to go in the round. Those two races are at two of the most challenging circuits on the Cup Series calendar, Talladega and the Charlotte Roval.

The good thing for Busch is the fact that he has already won a race at Talladega this season back in April. Rowdy will be confident going into the iconic superspeedway, a place that holds a lot of fond memories. But given his form, it’s tough to see him challenge for a win at the moment.

And then comes the incredibly tricky Charlotte Roval. Kyle Busch has a decent record at this track as well. Rowdy has started five races at the roval and has finished in the top five twice. These finishes came last season and the season before when he finished third and fourth, respectively.


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So despite being in the elimination zone, all is not lost for Kyle Busch. There is no doubt that he will give it his 100% in the coming races. The issue that a lot of people will be worried about will be RCR’s car. Will Busch get a competitive car for the final couple of races of the round of 12, or will it be the same old story?

Watch This Story: Kyle Busch Shares His Feelings About Encountering Former Boss Joe Gibbs Amid Difficulties With Richard Childress



Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh


One take at a time

Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He started his journey as a motorsports fan with Moto GP and Formula One, before gravitating towards NASCAR a few years back. The high-octane nature of stock car racing paired with the racecraft on display drew him into the sport.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh




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