kyle busch on 2021 episode of i am athlete podcast
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Kyle Busch Was Bashing the Next Gen Car Before It Was Cool

If we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times: Kyle Busch has never been afraid to give his honest opinion about anything NASCAR related. Whether it's about a specific driver he's beefing with or a new league policy that he's not a fan of, Busch will always go there.

On an May 2021 episode of the I Am Athlete podcast — which is hosted by former NFL players Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson, Fred Taylor and Channing Crowder — Busch gave his blunt take on another trending NASCAR topic: the Next Gen car. Simply put? He wasn't a fan.

"I don't like it," Busch said on the podcast. "You take out the craftsmanship of the manufacturers, the teams, and all that sort of stuff or how you build speed. Like, we might spend $10 million in building chassis. The next guy might spend $10 million in building bodies. So, you create separation."

"You create fast cars and slow cars. There's the same thing in drivers, good drivers and bad drivers. They're trying to create parity, which I get. Some would argue that the good drivers are still going to be the good drivers, they're going to excel. Yeah, I believe in that. But, it's going to be harder and slower to do. The more the cars are equal, the harder it is for us to pass, make moves and put on a good show."

Was Busch ahead of the curve with his criticism of the Next Gen car? It sure seems like he was doing it before it was cool.

Fast forward to the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Just about every driver is bashing the Next Gen car now, from Kevin Harvick to Chase Elliott. Now, these concerns are more based on the apparent safety issues with the car, while Busch's beef seemed to stem more from a concern about the uneven level of competition (all you need to do is look at the long list of Cup winners during the regular season to see that he would ultimately be proven right).

But, Busch also was worried about the implications surrounding the separation between the teams, manufacturers, and overall construction of the race cars. If you look a little deeper into that, it's that separation that has played a part in the underlying issue regarding the seemingly-shoddy construction of the Next Gen car. Just look at teams like Stewart-Haas Racing, who appeared to circumvent that separation when Harvick's No. 4 team (allegedly) illegally modified his Ford. The "crappy-ass parts," to borrow a Harvick phrase, just haven't been cutting it apparently.

Of course, Busch isn't the only driver who saw the glaring issues with the Next Gen car. As Harvick said after the September race at Darlington, the problems with the car's construction were "the exact concerns that the drivers had from the very first day we saw the car." But, being the sort of brash, outspoken guy he is, you know that Kyle Busch had to be one of the first drivers to publicly give his two cents.

MORE: Kyle Busch's Run-In With Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2018 Wouldn't Be the Last Time He Bumped a Pace Car