You may not like that Busch dips down and dominates in the XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series. You may not even like that Rowdy sometimes says things at times that can come off as arrogant or off-putting.
But here’s the point: You can’t blame Busch for winning.
It was a historical weekend for Busch at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Las Vegas native swept the weekend, claiming both poles and victories in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 and Sunday’s Combat Wounded Coalition 400.
With the wins, Busch rose his 2016 victory count to 12 – four in Cup, seven in XFINITY and one in Trucks – and bumped his overall NASCAR win total to 166 career victories, 167 if you include a 2009 win in the K&N Pro Series East.
With Busch making so many trips to victory lane, a lot of heat has fallen on the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. Some argue that his victories are pushing fans away, though Busch is the third-best selling driver on NASCAR’s Superstore. Others claim that his victories in the lower-tier series have no merit, that they shouldn’t count.
No one discredits Richard Petty’s multiple wins in a NASCAR era that included midweek races where Petty held a significant equipment advantage over the field.
Complaints haven’t arisen to the same level when Cup drivers such as Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon have earned race wins in NASCAR’s minor leagues over recent years.
The younger Busch brother has the lion’s share of detractors, and understandably so. Any win for Busch is a win that could’ve gone to a non-Busch fan’s favorite driver.
The same boos and vitriol attributed to the 31-year-old have been laid on other dominant drivers in NASCAR’s history – Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson among them.
Still, fans can’t blame Busch.
Rowdy’s not running races by himself. Nearly every start the young phenom’s completed in the lower-tier series have included a slew of other Cup veterans. Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and even Dale Earnhardt, Jr., have tried beat the Nevadan in different weeks to varying degrees of success.
Busch hasn’t been the only one to step down and win in the NXS and NCWTS. He’s simply been the best.
Don’t blame Busch for being talented, and don’t blame Joe Gibbs Racing for taking advantage of that talent, either. If anything, blame the other competitors for failing to keep up, or NASCAR for allowing it to happen.
Busch is just doing his job. That he’s one of the best at it with arguably the best team on the circuit to compete for right now isn’t his fault.
We’re witnessing greatness, one bow at a time. Enjoy it. Cherish it. Because someday, we’ll likely be telling our children about it.