This week’s Uncut with Jay Cutler features a compelling chat with NASCAR star driver Kyle Busch. More specifically, Cutler gets Busch to remember his younger years. And that draws out this asterisk kind of stat.
Busch thinks he still should own the record for youngest driver ever to win a NASCAR Cup Series race. Joey Logano broke Busch’s record, but Busch thinks there should be a caveat,
Let him explain. It started when Jay Cutler made this observation about Kyle Busch and his career: “you were the youngest to do a lot of s**t it seems like.”
And Busch replied: “Yep, probably would’ve been younger if it wasn’t for getting kicked out at 16.” Busch did start racing when he turned 13. At 16, he was competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series. However, he was declared ineligible because of the Master Settlement Agreement between 46 states and the four main tobacco companies. As part of that, people under the age of 18 couldn’t participate in events sponsored by a tobacco company.
So getting back to Busch. He told Cutler: “Once you turn 18 … that’s when essentially you’re allowed to be racing in NASCAR. However how many days, weeks. months you are older than you’re 18th birthday, you try to be setting a lot of records … There’s an asterisk on who the youngest winner is. Joey Logano has it. Yes, he did win a race younger than me. But it was a rain-shortened race. He was leading at the time. … And I flat out won mine, I went the full distance and got mine, so I still believe I’m the youngest winner.”
Here’s the photo from when Busch won his first NASCAR Cup race. It was the 2005 Sony 500. And Busch was 20 years and 125 days old. His most recent victory was at Bristol on Easter Sunday.
In 2009, Logano won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. Rain washed out qualifying at the New Hampshire track. It also shortened the race to 274 laps. Logano was 19 years, 1 month and 4 days when he took his first checkered flag.
Cutler then asked Busch if he felt comfortable going to the older drivers and asking for tips. Or was the NASCAR environment “too cutthroat.”
“You would definitely got to guys and ask them for advice,” Busch said. “I think they’d shoot you straight, to a point. I think they’d give you 95 percent of the information, but not the last five percent that can really turn you into somebody.
And “I think you have to figure the last five percent on your own. Jimmie Johnson was one of my biggest supporters, allies, friends, someone I’d go to. My brother (Kurt) was obviously there, too, so I’d lean on to him.Then I had teammates. Jeff Gordon was a teammate at one time, Tony Stewart was a teammate at one time. Denny Hamlin as well. Leaning on all those guys was a way for me to be able to learn and maybe I didn’t listen as well early on.
“But once you get older you kind of them realize how much they told you.”
Here’s the entire Uncut podcast with Jay Cutler and Kyle Busch.