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Kyle Busch officially joined Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday, and the racecar driver’s new boss compared the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion to one of the sport’s stalwarts.
Bush will replace Tyler Reddick in the number 8 car starting next season. Bush spent his career with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Childress explained at a news conference in North Carolina that she saw Dale Earnhardt Sr. when she looked into Bush’s eyes.
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Childress explained, “We started talking and we talked about championships. And we talked about winning races. I looked him in my own eyes and I looked into Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s eyes.”
“He’s like, ‘We’re gonna win.’ I had noticed that first look and look at Kyle, I saw his talent for many years since he debuted in the Bush series. The way he guards a car, the way he drives a car, and No prisoner takes the attitude. That’s the Dale Earnhardt style I was used to running with. And I think Kyle has the modern style of racing that Dale Earnhardt did in his time.”
Bush named Earnhardt earlier this year when he won the dirt in Bristol. He said he felt like “The Intimidator” when it was raining on him at the Tennessee track.
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It is unlikely, at least in 2023, that Bush will be running No. Childress’s grandson Austin Dillian already plays the coveted number.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seen on Reddit commenting on the idea of Bush stepping down to No. 3, but said some changes would have to be made.
“I wish they removed the existing stylized font, then created a completely new font/design. Then by all means,” he wrote.
“I want to go back to when you saw that number on a license plate or anywhere, and you knew they were 100% Earnhardt Sr..”
A Twitter user dropped an image of what it might look like if Bush drove with the same sponsorship and paint scheme as Earnhardt had done before his untimely death in 2001. However, Chevy racers drive Camaros.
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For now, Busch is in the thick of the NASCAR playoffs and is back in Bristol this weekend to try and consolidate a place in the round of 12. Busch has eight wins in Bristol, the most of any active driver.