Kyle Busch is as close to Dale Earnhardt as NASCAR has today (even more so than Dale Earnhardt Jr.: you have to win occasionally to be compared to No. 3). He’s a phenomenally talented driver who would rather wreck you out (and him, if needed) than lose a race. Because of this hard-charging style and his perceived arrogance, Busch is the one driver fans love to hate.
And this probably won’t win him any more fans. THE TENNESSEAN says that Busch was a sour puss after finishing second to teammate Joey Logano in the Nationwide Series race at Nashville Speedway on Saturday, and not just because he lost. Apparently, he was miffed that the track’s “all-access” ticket program allowed people to bug him with autograph requests all weekend - a lot of requests.
NASCAR provides its fans with unprecedented access to its stars during an event - it’s not like you can go to the bench during warm-ups and ask Kobe Bryant to sign a hat for you. But what Busch is complaining about isn’t the person who wants one or two items signed, but the person who has stacks and stacks of memorabilia:
“Some fans in the garage area need to respect the drivers a little bit more because they’re bringing suitcases of die-casts and autographed items that they want to get signed and I think that is disrespectful,” Busch said.
“Yeah, it’s our job to sign for the fans and treat them nice, but when they’ve got three suitcases of stuff that’s a little ridiculous. And they camp outside your hauler. To me, that’s a little wrong. If they had one or two items I would be happy to sign for them — that’s fine. But three suitcases are a little outrageous.”
It’s easy to see Busch’s point, and why that would get really old really fast. I don’t think most athletes mind signing for a real fan, or especially a child, but even the most patient celebrity must get tired of signing piece after piece when they know it’s just going to be resold on eBay. Which is why people like Tim Tebow and John Wooden have stopped signing autographs - why make someone else rich because you put your John Hancock on something?
Of course, the ironic part is that if Busch goes on a signing strike, then his autograph would only become all the more collectible - and valuable. So pick up your Kyle Busch autographed fake money while you can: this is a buyer’s market, people!