NASCAR & Auto Racing

Kyle Busch capitalizing on early season fight with Joey Logano

Daytona 500 champ Kurt Busch: This place will challenge every emotion

Kurt Busch won his first Daytona 500 on Sunday, emerging from a crash-filled race. Video by Drew Davison.
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Kurt Busch won his first Daytona 500 on Sunday, emerging from a crash-filled race. Video by Drew Davison.

Kyle Busch is known for his abrasive behavior.

Look no further than his Texas Motor Speedway résumé that includes intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. during a truck race and giving a NASCAR official a one-fingered salute.

So nobody should have been surprised when Busch went after Joey Logano at Las Vegas on March 12, an incident that brought national headlines.

When asked about the incident, Busch repeatedly told reporters “everything’s great.”

A really neat deal for the fans to be as supportive of it. Whether you agree with it or don’t agree with it, it doesn’t matter. It’s just for a great cause, so we appreciate that.

Kyle Busch

Now Busch is trying to cash in on the incident by selling T-shirts that raise money for his Kyle Busch Foundation. Busch is selling “Everything 18 Great” T-shirts on his website, referencing his catchphrase following the fight with a twist on “is” with his car number “18.”

The price? $22, a seemingly tongue-in-cheek nod to Logano’s car number (22).

Busch said he’s sold more than $30,000 worth of T-shirts so far.

“A lot of great fan support from that. It’s been awesome,” Busch said. “A really neat deal for the fans to be as supportive of it. Whether you agree with it or don’t agree with it, it doesn’t matter. It’s just for a great cause, so we appreciate that.”

As far as racing, Busch is feeling good with two consecutive top-10 runs and returning to a track, Martinsville Speedway, that he won at a year ago. Busch will start 10th on Sunday.

Tony Stewart never won the Daytona 500 as a driver, but he went to Victory Lane as an owner with Kurt Busch. Video by Drew Davison.

Power struggles?

Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are widely considered the top teams in NASCAR. But neither has sent a driver to Victory Lane through five races.

That could change at Martinsville.

Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick has won nine times, the most among active drivers, while JGR’s Denny Hamlin has five wins and Busch is the reigning winner.

None of those team’s drivers, though, expressed concern over the winless start.

“We haven’t really hit the heart of the season yet,” Hamlin said. “We’ve been to some very intricate type of racetracks that are a little different. Our season always starts off that way.

“But I think that really eight races in is when you can really look at the bigger picture and kind of figure out where you’re at.”

Larson on the pole

Rain wiped out qualifying on Friday, meaning NASCAR Cup Series points leader Kyle Larson will start on the pole.

Larson started on the pole last weekend at Fontana and won the race. He has never won at Martinsville Speedway with his best finish being a third-place run at this race a year ago.

Chase Elliott will start beside Larson on the front row with Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski on Row 2.

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