This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Funny Sunday afternoon when NBC talked with Kyle Busch during the red flag rain and lightning delay at Daytona. Kyle is up to his eyebrows in alligators right now.

Sponsors aren’t stepping up to replace Mars Incorporated, the candy company that’s leaving his program at the end of the season. Kyle recently found comfort in his adopted role as a villain in NASCAR.

But Sunday there was no mugging to the fans on the other side of the camera. There were no sullen answers to questions. No blaming other drivers for something that happened on the track.

This Kyle was available to television and smiling and chatty when he got there.

Made me think of a Sunday morning headline where a Toyota Racing official was saying there’s more to supporting a race driver than great driver skill. He said sponsors are needed in today’s NASCAR and Toyota wants Kyle in its stable going forward. But he stopped short of committing Toyota to the necessary big check.

We’re seeing how years of sullen can’t be replaced overnight by a few weeks of chatty smiles. Drivers are getting power in the racing industry. But sponsors still hold the checks.

That’s the ultimate power in motor racing.