Friday, November 11, 2011

Can Kyle Busch learn Kevin Harvick's life lesson?

   While there is no love lost between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, the two drivers do share some similarities when it comes to rocky starts to their respective Sprint Cup Series careers.

   In his second Cup season in 2002, Harvick missed the spring Cup race at Martinsville, Va., when he was parked the day before during a Truck series race for wrecking another competitor and disobeying the request of a NASCAR official.

   The incident vastly changed Harvick's approach to the sport and he has become one of the most talented and respected drivers in the garage.

   Many believe Busch faces a similar defining moment after NASCAR parked him and forced him to miss last weekend's Nationwide and Cup races at Texas. Busch was parked in the Truck race for intentionally wrecking another competitor under caution.

   On Friday at Phoenix, Harvick was asked about his experience and whether he believed Busch could change.

   “When I went through that situation I had two people in the whole sport; obviously Richard (Childress) was one; but I had Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace. Those were the only two guys who reached out and said, 'You know, I’ve been there before and here’s what you need to do and you need to move on.' But it’s a game-changer as far as how you look at the sport and how you feel about things," Harvick said.

   "The bottom line is, when you’re in a competition and when things are competitive, you’re going to do things that you’ll look back on and you say, man that was pretty bad there. I shouldn’t have done that or I should have done this a different way. The one thing that we try to do is when we make a mistake or I make a mistake or somebody makes a mistake in the company, you try not to do it twice. You try to learn from that and you try to move on. And you hope as this situation moves forward you hope that you take something from it and learn something from it.

   "This sport is a lot like life. You go from year to year and you learn and you hopefully learn from your mistakes and you get older and you mature as a person. So hopefully those go hand-in-hand as you move on in your career and things become more clear. So, it’s a tough sport. And the hardest part about this sport is not NASCAR, it’s not your sponsors, it’s really the part that governs it the hardest are the competitors because they look at it as a disrespect to the sport that they’ve been a part of building for a long time and that’s the hardest part is to come back and be able to look everybody in the eye and them believe that you actually respect the sport.”