DARLINGTON, S.C. - Car owner Richard Childress watched Dale Earnhardt win a lot of races and wreck his share of competitors through the years.
And while Kyle Busch has gained a reputation for hard driving Earnhardt-style, Childress says the 23-year-old is no "Intimidator."
"I don't think there's a comparison," Childress said Friday. "Maybe some of what happens in their careers could be, but as far as comparing the two, I think they're two different people."
But like the late Earnhardt, Busch can't avoid on-track dustups.
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Last week, Busch angered "Junior Nation" when he and Dale Earnhardt Jr. tangled three laps from the finish while racing for the victory at Richmond International Raceway.
No less an authority than Dale Jr. thought Busch had a touch of his late father's uncompromising style.
"On the race track, there may be some comparisons there," Earnhardt Jr. said between practice sessions Thursday. Busch is "fast. He's running well. He's quick. He's aggressive."
Sounds a lot like Junior's old man to some, and even Childress agreed.
When Earnhardt "was young in the early 1980s, he was really aggressive and bounced off a few people," Childress said.
Then thinking some more, Childress admitted Earnhardt was "still as aggressive in 2000 as I've seen him."
Earnhardt won six championships with Richard Childress Racing, the last in 1994, and he was killed in an accident on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
Busch was grateful to be linked with one of NASCAR's greatest, sort of.
"It's flattering, I guess," he said. "It's just not what I'm out there concentrating on being. I'm out there concentrating on being Kyle Busch and trying make sure that I can go out there and compete for wins and win races and compete for championships."
Last year, Childress recruited Busch after the young driver lost his ride at Hendrick Motorsports - one coincidentally, filled by Earnhardt Jr.
In time, Childress expects Busch to mature as a driver. "He's got a tremendous amount of ability, and he'll grow into being a little more patient," the owner said.