As Kyle Busch walked up to a crowd of media awaiting his top 12 interview, he looked at reporters and puffed his cheeks.
"Oh, come on, it's exciting," I said to the clearly unenthusiastic Busch.
"What's there to be excited about?" Busch retorted. "I've got a fucking wrecked piece of shit."
Clearly, the "new" Kyle Busch everyone was talking about is indeed a myth, as Denny Hamlin said.
But that's OK. Most people don't want a politically correct, toned-down Busch anyway. Fans seem to appreciate the drivers who say what's on their mind (though it's still aggravating when Busch storms off without any comment at all).
And Busch was understandably frustrated on a hot, humid South Carolina day on which he nailed the wall toward the end of practice.
The best part of the interview? In a classic moment, ESPN's Marty Smith followed up Busch's comment by asking about the "new" Kyle.
Marty Smith: The new and improved Kyle Busch. You discussed last weekend how you've matured. Why do you feel that way now? What's changed?
Kyle Busch: I got a lot of stories this week out of that remark. So my job's done.
Marty Smith: Denny Hamlin says there is no new Kyle Busch.
Kyle Busch: There you have it. I think I proved my point walking up to you.
So perhaps that's the end of that debate.
Anyway, Busch said he didn't plan to go to a backup despite his brush with the wall (he later hit it again during qualifying).
"We don't see any suspension damage," he said. "There's no point in pulling out the backup and tearing up another one, because you know it's inevitable here tomorrow night to get in the wall again. So better have one than two tore up cars."
But didn't Busch win at Darlington after nailing the wall a half-dozen times a couple years ago?
"Yeah, but the competition's a little different now than what it was then," he said.
Suddenly, his tone and facial expression softened.
"I mean, we'll get it back," he said. "We'll be fine. It's just frustrating because I didn't do anything wrong and the guys didn't do anything wrong. I went out there for our first qualifying run and...we dragged the splitter, and it just went straight. It didn't turn at all, it just went straight into the fence like two skis."