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Gramps vs. The Brat

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By The Staff

Let us consider the strange case of Richard Childress and Kyle Busch.

Childress is the last vestige — full-time, anyway — of old school in NASCAR team ownership. He and Dale Earnhardt made a perfect match. Childress interacted as easily with Bud Moore and Junior Johnson as he now does with Rick Hendrick and Roger Penske. Childress's success is grounded in the way that he manages to bridge the generations.

The younger Busch brother is Thoroughly Modern Kyle. He is wondrously talented and self-centered. Sometimes people insist on comparing him to Earnhardt, which is akin to comparing Tim Linecum to Bob Gibson. If Kyle Busch is his generation's Dale Earnhardt, his generation has really changed.

Though I rather like both men, they obviously do not care for each other.

I like Childress for the qualities described above. This former racer, who built his empire by hand, is about as adept as dealing with the media as anyone I've encountered. He has an instinctive knack for handling the various issues that confront his team.


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