Kurt Busch: young drivers given “free pass” to be superstars, Chase Elliott overrated


Appearing on “The Domenick Nati Show,” Kurt Busch agreed with some of the controversial comments leveled by his brother against NASCAR’s current marketing strategy.

“I agree with certain aspects of what he’s challenged, and then I disagree with other parts of it. But what I think he’s trying to say is we’re promoting these guys, and they don’t have the race wins yet. There’s zero in the win column for a guy like Chase Elliott. There’s zero for Bubba Wallace, Erik Jones — all those guys. (Kyle) Larson’s out there. He’s young, he’s winning and they need to push him. I see him as a future champion. But what I think Kyle’s saying is these guys are being given a free pass — so to speak — become a superstar, and we haven’t seen their success on track translate to what’s being shown to the world.”

There is one young driver that Busch, the 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, did praise.

“You know, (Kyle) Larson’s out there; he’s young; he’s winning. They need to push him. I see him as a future champion. I think what Kyle (Busch) is saying is these guys have been given a free pass, so to speak, to become a superstar, and we haven’t seen the success on-track translate to what’s being shown to the world, so to speak.”




Asked about which driver in the garage he thought was the most overrated, he listed Chase Elliott.

“That’s a touchy subject, and I think that’s what my little brother, Kyle, is referring to. And it’s cute. There’s different chosen ones or guys that take over iconic rides. But right now, Bill Elliott’s son — who is going to be a big-time player in our sport and has yet to win — is Chase Elliott. But he’s doing a good job, it’s all starting to blend in, and I’d say he’s just slightly overrated right now without the race wins that he should have in the win column.”

Elliott moves over to the No. 9 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports this season. While he did not win a race last season, he did make the 16 car playoff Chase.

Busch won the season opening Daytona 500 last year but struggled for much of the remainder of the year. He returns to drive the No. 41 Ford at Stewart-Haas Racing this year.