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“It’s Not Us!”- Kyle Busch’s Wife Samantha Reveals Thrill at Uncharacteristic Reception as Former Teammate Hogs Limelight

Published 09/22/2023, 8:25 AM EDT

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He raced to the checkered flag and soared past to victory. He ran toward the bleachers and shot both his hands up in the air. But instead of loud cheers, he met with a roaring cacophony of disapproval. And no, this wasn’t Bristol Motor Speedway‘s playoff race winner.

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Champion racer Kyle Busch‘s wife was accustomed to persistent jeering in their lives. The former Joe Gibbs racer had a widely polarized relationship with his fanbase ever since his debut. But since he passed that baton to his teammate, no one is more astonished than Samantha Busch. In a recent interview, she made a quick remark that was no less than a shocking dig at the JGR driver.

Kyle Busch broke the audience’s favor along with his guitar


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Kyle Busch is undoubtedly one of the greatest drivers of the modern generation. The youngest Cup driver to win a pole, Busch’s career is filled to the brim with impressive records across all formats of NASCAR. And yet, the young driver managed to antagonize the crowds almost immediately after his arrival. The year 2009 is remembered just as much for his Nationwide championship as for breaking his guitar trophy at Nashville.

As Kyle Busch continued his winning streak, his love-hate relationship with the crowd only festered. The racer claimed to not be affected, but his family also had to accept it as an avoidable part of the star racer’s life. His wife Samantha Busch and son Brexton resigned themselves to a raucous encore each time they came out to support him. However, something unexpected happened when Busch left JGR last year to join Richard Childress Racing.


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Busch must have left his fan animosity behind because a new Joe Gibbs Racing driver took up his place this year as the driver they love to hate. The #11 driver Denny Hamlin has embraced Busch’s previous role to be on the receiving end of audience derision.

And Samantha Busch is all for this unforeseen development. In an exclusive interview with NASCAR, Samantha admitted her giddy relief at the altered direction of the fans’ scorn.

“They really like him [Busch]! It is so exciting! But it’s funny because you know Brexton [Busch] and I’ll still be in the car and there’ll be boos. So I’m going to like look at the screen thinking it’s dad and we’ll be like, ‘Oh, it’s Denny’, and we’ll be like, ‘It’s not us’! So, it’s exciting to see.” Now, the only thing more surprising than Samantha’s comment is how Hamlin has chosen to respond to the jeers.

Watch This Story: Denny Hamlin Mocks Kyle Busch After Extending His Contract With Joe Gibbs Racing

Denny Hamlin chooses to clap back at his haters


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Like Kyle Busch, the bleacher heat does not faze this Joe Gibbs Racing driver. It almost seemed like he was in on the joke when he posted pictures of his detractors after conquering the track too tough to tame for the 6th time with this Xfinity win. However, it was his comments that were probably the icing on the cake for fans who are always seeking drama in NASCAR.

If we go back in time, this aversion stemmed from Hamlin’s 2017 collision with fan favorite, Chase Elliott. Then, the recent altercation with Kyle Larson near the finish line at Pocono only fueled fans’ raging fires. Fortunately, the championship contender does not let negative reactions extenuate his hunger for victory.

He has accepted them as a quintessential part of the sport. For Hamlin, everything right now served as a stimulus to better himself and his skills for the races ahead. He, as per, reflected, “I realize this late in my career I’m not going to change many people’s minds, for sure. I just have to be myself. I know myself is a sh*t-talker and someone that loves competition and motivation and anything you say that I feel against, I’m going to use it as motivation. It’s just going to make me better.”


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Written by:

Parika Singh


One take at a time

Parika Singh is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. Her combined love for writing and motorsports drew her to the world of sports journalism, where she fell in love with the thrill, unpredictability, and charisma of covering racers and race tracks. She especially looks out for the #5 Chevrolet of Kyle 'Wheelman' Larson, because of whom, she holds a soft spot for the 2021 season where he emerged as champion.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh