LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&M's Toyota) and Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing FedEx Express Toyota) answer questions for a media press conference during the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum NASCAR Cup Series race on February 05, 2022, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA.
(Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kyle Busch Sounds off on Denny Hamlin Embracing 'Villain' Role

Kyle Busch knows plenty about being a race driver who is viewed as a villain by the fans of NASCAR. Luckily for him since leaving Joe Gibbs Racing and moving to the No.8 car at Richard Childress Racing, Busch no longer has to play that role.

Busch has found enjoyment in seeing Denny Hamlin become the sport's new villain. This past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Dalton from sportscasting.com asked Busch about how Hamlin has taken that role and run with it.

"When you're in that spot like I was, and I guess Denny is, you've got to do what Denny is doing," Busch said. "I mean it's perfect. You've got to play with it and just go with it and roll with it. I did. There were so many quotes in the years past when I was talking about (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. Nation and other stuff. Trust me, you're never going to win those battles. They're hard, hard, hard, hard to win."

Busch, who has been viewed as a villain in the sport for most of his historic career, has really been surprised by how many fans who used to boo him non-stop have completely changed their tune. Especially when he first started racing at a high level in NASCAR, he never really deserved the booing, and he talked about how he didn't stand much of a chance with the fans because how his older brother Kurt was viewed in NASCAR in those early years.

"I don't know if I've ever been in this spot because when I first came into the sport... my brother had made a lot of enemies both on and off the racetrack, so I was kind of thrown into that right off the bat," Busch said.

While Busch is amused by the change in fans' allegiances, he is glad to see Hamlin embracing the hate. That doesn't mean that Hamlin will hold the title of most hated, as Busch thinks he could easily put himself back in that position.

Though Busch might be right, Hamlin has done a lot to keep the new title as most NASCAR fans' Public Enemy No. 1.

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