With all the drama that had been going on in the Cup garage, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t realize that there was a pandemic going on around us. It’s been such a welcome relief from the madness around us, and the rivalry brewing between Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott has been the highlights of the year to date.
This is something that almost came out of nowhere with a questionable misjudgment by Busch that took Elliott out of a position to an almost guarantee win is what started this whole thing. And Elliott has responded massively, albeit in the nicest way possible. What else to expect from Bill Elliott’s son.
When the wreck at Darlington first happened and Elliott got out of his car and gave Busch a solid middle finger, finally showing some emotions. He then responds by going out and claiming the Busch Bounty and rubbing salt in the wound by doing Busch’s signature bow after the win. I thought he was finally going to start showing some teeth with his competitors.
An obviously salty Kyle Busch responded with “that’s cute.” Elliott lost a little bit of his badass credit when he backed off of the idea of it being a direct jab at Busch. A move I think was weak on his part. If you’re going to make an obvious diss at your competition, then commit. Don’t do it and then backtrack.
Either way, after his win at Charlotte on Sunday, Elliott has one the first round of this metaphorical heavyweight bought. After ending the dramatic week with two wins over Busch.
This has the makings of the next great NASCAR rivalry. The most popular driver vs. the most hated driver in the sport. They may have mutual respect for each other, but I think it’s apparent that tension is building on the track between the two.
Honestly, this could be one of those feuds that ends after a week and both drivers walk away from and never have quarrels again; knowing Elliott, it probably will be.
But, what if this is the start to one of NASCAR’s great rivalries though? It presents a unique situation because as I mentioned above, these are two drivers on opposite sides of the fan opinion spectrum.
The closest thing it could remind you of is the Earnhardt vs. Gordon rivalry. Earnhardt was a polarizing figure much like Kyle Busch and Gordon was a young up and comer looking determined to knock Earnhardt off his perch as the best driver in NASCAR much like Elliott.
But while Earnhardt was polarizing, he didn’t have the level of fan hate that Busch does and Gordon didn’t have the fan following the Elliott has.
If this was built upon and dare I say even marketed properly, this could be something that helps reinvigorate the NASCAR fanbase. After all, Chase Elliott is the sport’s most popular driver, anything revolving around him will catch attention.
What do you all think? Should Elliott and Busch continue the rivalry or shake hands and be done with it? My hope is that we haven’t seen the last M&M’s paint mark on the #9-car, I think the only way this continues is if Busch pushes the issue. Chase needs to get an edge and Busch is a great sharpener.