Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jimmy Spencer backs Kyle Busch?!?

    Add this to the "What I didn't expect to hear from a driver category." In a recent interview with Speed Channel's public relations staff, former NASCAR driver-turned-analyst Jimmy Spencer was asked where he came down on the Richard Childress vs. Kyle Busch debate.

   Spencer's answer to that as well as several other questions related to the incident following last Saturday's Truck Series race at Kansas will likely surprise you. At one point, Spencer claims Childress' assault on Busch "gave the sport the biggest black eye it has had in years."

   Q: What’s your take on the Richard Childress/Kyle Busch ordeal?
   Spencer: Richard Childress stepped over the line. The biggest problem I have with his actions is that he’s representing major corporations with thousands of employees and he let his temper lead him to assault someone. That’s a big black eye on the sport. The fans and others in the sport may think it’s funny but these major companies cannot be happy having a car owner represent them who assaults another person. I’d be willing to bet there are some additional actions behind-the-scenes to punish Childress for what he did.

   Q: Did the penalty fit the crime, so to speak?
   Spencer: I don’t think NASCAR did enough. The $150,000 fine was fine but a three-week suspension would have been more appropriate. He took responsibility for what he did but never apologized for it because he’s really not sorry.
   I admire Kyle for not fighting back and I admire him for staying in the car at Darlington when Kevin Harvick came up to his car. He’s the most exciting driver in our sport right now. Yes, he ruffles feathers but so did Dale Earnhardt. But Earnhardt didn’t attack people. I admire Kyle for respecting Childress enough, although he got punched, to not strike him back. It takes a strong person not to hit back. I consider Kyle a strong person for not returning the punch.
   Childress’ actions gave the sport the biggest black eye it has had in years. NASCAR did the right thing by fining him but should have come down on him harder. I’ve been involved in a situation like that and know from experience that it affects the younger generation a lot, especially the kids watching the sport, to know Childress struck a driver.

   Q: How would you have viewed the situation if it had been Joey Coulter who had punched Busch?
   Spencer: I could have handled Joey Coulter attacking Busch better than Childress doing it. I do not condone fighting at all and don’t think a person should ever touch another human being. I did it to Kurt Busch and I was wrong. In today’s society, you do not touch or physically confront people. You can argue with them, call them names, yell at them but you do not touch them. There are other ways to handle these situations.”

   Q:This took place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage. Richard Childress owns the truck of Joey Coulter and Kyle Busch owns the truck he was driving. Should an owner-to-owner confrontation be permitted or do you simply take issue with the owner-to-driver scenario?
   Spencer: No, a physical owner-to-owner confrontation is not okay. If Childress had simply verbally argued with Busch, I would have been okay with that. NASCAR’s policy is to police the garage area and the sport. The late Bill France, Jr. said you should not touch another driver. That’s where NASCAR comes in. People can say it’s owner-to-owner and try to make it seem okay, but it should have been a discussion or screaming match only.

   Q:Was Kyle Busch out of line in bumping Joey Coulter’s truck on the cool-down lap?
   Spencer: What I saw Kyle do was not out of line. If Kyle hadn’t lifted, he would have wrecked Joey Coulter. They were putting on a hell of a race for fifth place and Joey finally slid up in front of Kyle and Kyle lifted and let him go. What Joey did was wrong because he could have wrecked both trucks if Kyle hadn’t lifted. Give Kyle credit for lifting but Kyle bumped him to get his attention and teach him a lesson. Sure, he did a little damage to the quarter panel of Joey’s truck, but he also did the same to his own truck. I think NASCAR took that into consideration, as well. That’s how you teach younger drivers and that’s just part of racing.
   I don’t care who the owner is. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. Childress had the worst driver in the garage area for beating the hell out of competitors’ cars in Dale Earnhardt. I loved Earnhardt and he was an awesome driver but he was the worst about putting tire marks on you and dinging your fenders. Come on, Childress. I wonder if Childress would have grabbed hold of Ryan Newman or Rusty Wallace or Jimmy Spencer.

   Q: It’s surprising to hear this viewpoint from the man who famously punched Kurt Busch, Kyle’s older brother:
   Spencer: I went over the line with Kurt Busch. I made a better person out of Kurt by punching him but I also know I shouldn’t have touched him. I’ve been in many brawls and nobody benefits from it. Kurt learned his lesson but so did I and if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have hit him.

   And there you have it, straight from "Mr. Excitement" himself.


  1. At least he said he was wrong when he punched Kurt; I disagree with Jimmy's opinion, but I appreciate his consistency in admitting he was wrong in punching Kurt, too.

  2. I agree with Jimmy's comments especially in respect to the major corporations and their advertising sponsorships. The corporations will not put up with the publicity from activities of this type as it puts out a poor view them. It will make it harder for all teams to get and maintain sponsorships.

  3. What a Hypocrite!! Last year Spencer said it was right of Carl Edwards to wreck and nearly could have killed Brad K. but now he has a problem with RC punching out a Punk!!

  4. I disagree with Jimmy's opinion too. I was shocked when I saw that on facebook! I agree with Jeff and thc798.

  5. Mentioning the Busch-Spencer incident reminds me of what Kurt Busch called Spencer - "a decrepit old has-been." I would have called him a decrepit old never-was. Spencer was one of the worst drivers I've ever seen. It amazed me he managed to have viable rides for as long as he did. He couldn't drive a lick.

    I agree that Childress was wrong and probably got off easy. But Jimmy Spencer's opinion carries about as much weight as Michael Jordan's on how to be an elite baseball player. Somebody shove a sock in Spencer's mouth, please.

  6. Sponsors only take issue with incidents when the damage outweighs the benefit. This brought a lot of eyes (incl new eyes) to Childress & Busch. Busch has played the "I'm better than you" character too often, and consequently people reach their limit. I support Richard... and wish he had put a doughnut around KyBu's eye.

  7. Anyone with a lick of common sense is going to agree with Jimmy. Don't care whether you like the guys involved or not! Condoning what Childress did is inexcusable and stupid. Jimmy made great points. Kyle never fought back at either Harvick or Childress AND no one was better at dinging up other owners equipment than Dale Earnhardt. For Childress NOT to apologize is childish, immature and and HUGE bad example to everyone. Kyle definitely came out the bigger man with these two idiots. Everyone says "Grow Up, Kyle".....Wow, at 65, it looks like Richard still has some growing to do.

  8. who cares what jimmy spencer thinks! he was a terrible race car driver and an even crappier analyst.

  9. Did all you Kyle Busch haters hate Dale Earnhardt @ this point in his career too? I'm not trying to say that Kyle is a Dale Sr., but he's a hell of a driver & he could one day become one of the best ever. Listen Kyle hasn't always been a model citizen, but can some of you give him credit for trying to change & improve his attitude & image this year! It's not an instant overnight transformation, but the dude is taking steps in the right direction. You don't have to like him, whatever your reasons are... but the venom some of you continuously spew is ridiculous. I guess all of you perfect souls can always cast the first stones as judge, jury, & executioner.

  10. Can some of you honestly answer the post above? And no, I'm not asking anyone to like or root for Kyle on the race track, but could some of you give him a chance as a person? He is trying to improve himself in this area... and it shouldn't matter to us what his reasons or motivations are as long he keeps moving in the right direction. He hasn't done anything that a lot of other drivers haven't done @ some time or another. I know he's not a choirboy, but most of us aren't either. I just wonder if some of you will ever give him credit for anything? Alas, it seems that we often need or want a villian & maybe Kyle will always fill that role for many NASCAR fans. Maybe he should clad himself in black...?

  11. @vincentcarmichael: I would be willing to give Kyle more of a chance as a person if he would show more humility. I was extremely non-impressed by his non-apology for his speeding and reckless driving incident in a residential area in Iredell County during Charlotte Speedweeks. When he shows humility and respect, then I can respect him. When he turns back into a sullen little brat, then I lose respect for him again.

    Especially given that a candy company is his primary sponsor, I would like to see him be more of a role model for young fans who are attracted to his car because of the M&M's paint scheme.

  12. @Wendy: Your reasoning is good & I totally understand it. I know other racing & non-racing drivers have done what Kyle did with that outragous speeding violation... not many maybe, but I guess the point is: Kyle did it. Period. I wish it'd never happened @ all. Maybe one day Kyle will be able to show & express the kind of humble humility a lot of NASCAR fans want to see. I love Kyle and he really is a good guy... but again I understand & respect your comments. Thanks for the reply :)

  13. Spencer is nothing more than a media and NASCAR flak now since that pays his bills. He he knows nothing about the fans! Spirit and passion are EXACTLY what is missing from NASCAR now and one of the main reasons fans are giving up. NASCAR has legislated all the "show" out of the sport. Spencer used to be part of that show and he conveniently discounts that. Whatever. I'll promise you one thing; Cryall Busch will think two or three times before he hits one of RC's cars again. I don't think RC cares what NASCAR does to him, he'll kick ass again. He has to! Nobody else in NASCAR has their big-boy pants on these days. Note to Spencer; a.If it was YOUR truck or car YOU were having to pay to fix, your head would be spinning and you'd be hitting anything in sight. b.RC's driver did absolutely nothing wrong. He passed Busch cleanly and pushed up in front of him. Are you such a dinosaur that you have forgotten how racing works? Busch is a bully in his car and a coward outside it. All mouth and no ass!

  14. @ Butch: Have RCR cars or trucks ever hit other cars? I'm not against RCR, but what Kyle did @ the end of the truck race is extremely common in the sport. On the track Kyle is shows talent more often than bullishness. But a little bullishness or intimidation can't always be bad, I think it worked well for THE Intimidator, Dale Sr. And I'm not comparing Kyle with Senior. No matter what I say though a lot of folks who don't like Kyle will still have their non-clever nicknames and dislike him - and that's okay. Hell, sometimes this debating thing keeps me from being bored... Kyle doesn' t wreck other peoples racecars nearly as much or as often as many might think.
    Oh well, I can't wait for Pocono & racing this weekend. Have a good day & good luck to all the drivers & teams. Cheers.