Kyle Busch is, without a doubt, one of the most polarizing figures in NASCAR. Fans either love the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion or love to hate him. Some criticisms of his behavior have been warranted, some have not. And after he finished third in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway near Fontana, California on Sunday, he may have been a victim of miscommunication.
Busch was interviewed for radio by the Motor Racing Network, but not by Fox Sports during post-race TV coverage. Busch also did not go to the track’s infield media center to be interviewed by print and online news outlets. He was heavily criticized for both the lack of a TV interview and his absence from the media center, but Busch seems to have a reason for both that would shift the blame from him to Fox personnel and NASCAR.
Representatives from Fox claimed a reporter went to Busch’s car, but Busch had already left.
Busch also defended himself for his non-presence in the media center.
"There was even a NASCAR person who walked with my PR person and myself, and we asked if we needed to go to the media center, and we were told 'all clear,’” Busch tweeted.
NASCAR used to require the top-three race finishers go to track media centers for interview availability, but after a recent change, the winner, runner-up, and a story-maker determined by NASCAR—sometimes the third-place finisher, sometimes not—are sent to the media center for print and online interviews. After the race at Auto Club Speedway, the third driver sent to the media center was Brad Keselowski, the fourth-place finisher.
“I’m not really sure why I’m here,” Keselowski told the reporters gathered there. “I finished fourth.”
To clear up the confusion, Busch suggested returning to the practice of the top-three finishers being sent to the media center and the top-five finishers being interviewed by TV reporters.
"Finally, top-three finishers to the media center. Not sure why this one stopped and went to top-two but I guess maybe it’s because we don’t do a ‘podium' in NASCAR so we are different,” another Busch tweet read.