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In late 2004, I learned all I needed to know about the Busch brothers. Kurt had just won the first Chase. Kyle was the question to a Jeopardy answer.

The brother who’s even better.

Who is Kyle Busch?

I was in Las Vegas working on a book on Americana music. Why would there be such music in Vegas? Country music flocks there when the National Finals Rodeo is in town. By sheer coincidence, it was Kurt Busch Day in Vegas, and I decided to attend.

The Busch brothers are from Las Vegas, and it can be a bit hard for us to understand them because Vegas is a long way from anywhere and a world away from Clinton, S.C., where I reside.

They’re Lost Vegans. Oh, wait. Sorry. They’re Las Vegans.

Growing up in Las Vegas must be like growing up in a Broadway apartment. In the basement of the Ed Sullivan Theater, maybe. The grew up in a desert oasis where not only are there replicas of the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, New York skyline and an Egyptian pyramid, but they are either in the form of a hotel/casino, or connected to one.

They’re all within a few blocks.

Long before this technological age, no kid in Vegas ever played ping pong all day at the community center. They don’t anywhere else now, but in Vegas, the reality is already virtual. The video game is strictly optional.

Vegas had a race track, a short one way back when, and first Kurt and then Kyle started racing on it. They were good at it. No one had to tell them. They didn’t need any handlers to tell them how to act. They grew up with Wayne Newton and Jerry Lewis. They’re good guys when things go their way. They sull up and throw a fit when things don’t. It’s one of the reasons things go their way quite often.

Kyle is a great racer. Kurt is a very good one. Both are champions who love to race, Kyle being the more extreme example. If NASCAR had a Monster Truck, or a Tractor

Pull, series, he’d give it a try.

He wants it all. He’s from Vegas.

Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!