Top Five Most Hatable NASCAR Drivers
Bad Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski is just a crazy guy. Fans seem to love it or they hate it. For some reason, every time someone wins a championship and wins a bunch of races, fans begin to hate that driver. Keselowski's attitude is one of a kind. The guy can tell off the media whenever he wants which is probably why people have begun to hate him.
Jimmie "Five-Time" Johnson
Even though he's a nice guy, race fans just hate Jimmie Johnson. It's not that they hate the guy himself, they just hate him as a race car driver because he's always running upfront. Ever since he began winning championships for Hendrick Motorsports, people just began to dread seeing him win a single race and end up cheering whenever he struggles. There's a reason why most fans wanted Keselowski to win the championship, scientists are still trying to figure it out.
Tony "Smoke" Stewart
Tony Stewart has a bad man mentality. The guy fights with everyone and isn't afraid to voice his opinion even on NASCAR's biggest stage. Stewart even had a fight with Matt Kenseth this year, yeah that guy that barely talks but can drive a car pretty well. The reason fans hate Stewart is simply his attitude. They seem to like him more when he jokes around, but then when he wrecks out a few people and curses over his radio, people seem to hate him more and more.
Kyle "Rowdy" Busch
Good ol' Rowdy. Well, maybe not so good after all. Kyle Busch is a loud mouth. He's been on probation several times and has definitely a colorful character just like the M&M's on his race car. Busch isn't liked by too many fans, especially considering all the boos he receives at driver introductions every weekend. His tactics during the race, blowing up at his crew members, is just one of the numerous reasons why people hate him. Busch was also suspended for wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. in 2011 during a truck series race which cost Hornaday the championship. Ultimately, even though he signed a contract extension over the off-season, he's still on the hot seat at Joe Gibbs Racing with his sponsor Mars Incorporated and with former Mars Inc. driver, Elliott Sadler, in house, it would be pretty easy to replace Busch.
There isn't a nickname for Kurt Busch. Well at least for now. Busch was voted as one of America's most hated athletes due to his DUI in 2005 as well as the amount of suspensions he's been involved in. Having a rivalry with Jimmy Spencer definitely didn't help that out either when he was trying to gain a fan base before he won the 2004 championship. Even though Busch is a rather modest guy, he curses like no tomorrow and definitely doesn't respect his crew members and NASCAR. He was suspended for the June Pocono race while driving for one of the lowest funded teams in the entire sport. Maybe driving for Furniture Row this year will help fans like him more than hate him. However, replacing the likable Regan Smith definitely won't help his case.
NASCAR drivers have some crazy personalities. Some fans love them, others hate them. NASCAR’s a sport for people who joke around a lot. It’s also a sport for people that have a dying passion for racing.
Some drivers definitely don’t have limits. However, sometimes these limits are rather questionable. Look at when Tony Stewart grabbed Delana Harvick‘s rear end – sure, it was pretty funny to most fans, but there were a few fans that just flat out hated it. In reality, it was just an “oops moment” caught on camera.
So, what deems a driver as “hatable” or not? Well, it’s quite simple actually. A driver that doesn’t truly respect the competition and realizes that NASCAR isn’t about playing games if the first step of a driver getting hated. The next is when they get fined for aggressive driving or even when their team gets docked a few points for a rules infraction. Yeah, those are the worst. A driver that’s hated among fans also wins quite often. No one really knows why this happens, but whenever a driver wins a lot, people start to hate them for no reason other than the fact that they’re good at what they do. It’s like the new guy at work that comes in and does your job better than you do.
A driver that’s hated is also one to have a bad off-track reputation such as getting arrested for a DUI, getting into accidents, divorced or some other crazy issue that has nothing to do with their on-track performances. However, there’s a few NASCAR drivers that are just purely hated for reasons that can attempt to be explained, but probably can’t explain it because that’s just the fun of being involved in NASCAR.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.