“I’m just here so I don’t get fined.”
When former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch was still in the league, he would consistently use that response to avoid answering the same old questions from reporters. Following a frustrating 19th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway back in 2019, Kyle Busch channeled Lynch’s defiance, saying “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” three times during a post-race interview, and, at one point, even attempting to leave while the reporter was still asking questions.
Busch was seeded at number one coming into the South Point 400, which was the first race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. So, clearly the driver of the No. 18 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing had higher hopes for his performance in the playoff opener, especially considering that he was racing at his home track.
Despite crashing into the Turn 2 wall and needing to pit for repairs early in the race, Busch still found himself in contention with a surge towards the end of Stage 2. But, after running into the back of Garrett Smithley’s car and damaging his No. 18 race car further, Busch’s chances at salvaging the day were crushed.
In a later interview with NBC Sports, Busch gave up the Marshawn Lynch act and offered his serious thoughts on the crash with the driver of the No. 52 car for Rick Ware Racing.
“I was told he (Smithley) was going to go high, thought he was going to go high, he went middle because I thought he was going to go high, and killed our day. I don’t know. Should have run fourth probably, but instead 19th.”
“We’re the top echelon of motorsports and we’ve got guys that have never won late model races running out here on the race track. It’s pathetic. They don’t know where to go, so what else do you do?”
Smithley responded, “I watched the video, I held my line.”
“The 24 (William Byron) went under me and the 88 (Alex Bowman) went to the outside of me. He (Kyle Busch) has a faster car and could have gone around.”
Now, as it turns out, Busch taking a page from Lynch’s interview playbook wasn’t exactly a fluke, considering that the five-time Pro Bowl player and Super Bowl champion was the honorary pace car driver for the Las Vegas race. The pair even swapped helmets before the race
Even though Busch is a Denver Broncos fan (and we all know what Lynch’s Seahawks did to the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII), he and Lynch seemed to get on pretty well. Just two dudes who don’t like getting fined.
This post was originally published on September 16, 2019.