Kyle Busch has appeared to be more mellow and relaxed this year, and there's still debate about why. Is it because he got married? Is it because he's suddenly matured? Or is it because of something else?
To hear Busch tell it, much of the reason is due to a realization that he could no longer afford to be NASCAR's bad boy, which could potentially push away new sponsors and fans.
"You listen to some of the people that say, 'Well, don't change' and 'Stay the way you are and get in trouble' and all that stuff," he said. "I can't do that anymore. I'm more about just trying to make do with what I can do and make things right."
Busch said his happiness with new wife Samantha is part of the reason, along with "some things that we're doing together in our lives that we're happy with."
But he also said he's committed to truly changing and growing as a person this time, showcasing the positive side of his personality rather than dealing with the headaches that come from weekly drama.
"I think maybe last year or the year before, (the change) was maybe a little more fabricated," he said. "People were telling me what to do and how to act, rather than me doing the work and actually becoming the person inside."
Naturally, there will be skeptics about a changed Busch – but he said he's pleased that some people have "taken a little bit of notice."
"We just continue on moving forward and doing what we're doing," he said.