Kyle Busch’s “spin-catch-spin catch” move was by far the most amazing moment of the race for me. Love him or hate him, that was some great driving and certainly got my attention. The fact that he later went on to win the Shootout was just icing on this moment in the race.
By now most, if not all, race fans know that NASCAR’s sanctioning body parked driver Kyle Busch all weekend for an incident involving Ron Hornaday Jr. during the Camping World Truck series race on Friday night. Instead Denny Hamlin piloted the Nationwide race car Kyle was suppose to run on Saturday and Michael McDowell drove the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing car in today’s Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Busch’s stead.
I don’t often watch the truck series races and that was the case this past Friday night. I only heard about the dust-up after the face. I’ve seen the replays multiple times. I’ve heard Kyle’s post race words and read his open letter of apology. I’ve listened to Mike Helton’s explanation of the penatly. I’ve listen to Coach Gibbs. I’ve read parts of the letter from sponsor Mars. I’ve listened to commentators and drivers and fans.
I do realize that Ron Hornaday Jr is/was running for a championship. So was Matt Kenseth at Martinsville when Vickers repeatedly wrecked him last weekend. NASCAR took no action there- after all isnt it “boys have at it?” Is the idea not that the drivers are to police themselves? I also realize that Kyle did wreck Hornaday intentionally under a caution. A caution that had just come out and there were no safety vehicles in their vacinity.
I am not saying that Kyle didn’t take it too far. He did, afterall, wreck a championship contender intentionally under a caution. NASCAR should not look the other way and I am not suggesting that they do. Parking the truck for the remainder of the race was a good start. Points and monteary fines for Kyle Busch and Kyle Busch Motorsports should probably follow. My big issue is parking Busch for the Sprint Cup race. At the time of the incident Kyle was not driving for Joe Gibbs racing during the truck race. It’s no different then when Tony stewart or Kasey Kahne go racing for their own dirt teams on friday nights. Their actions at those tracks should not effect their current sprint cup rides much in the same way that Kyle’s incident in the truck series should not effect his Sprint Cup ride. Sure penalize and fine the everloving hell out of Kyle Busch and KBM but not JGR. This is the same stand that I took when Kyle got in trouble for his excessive speeding in North Carolina earlier this year. That had nothing to do with Joe Gibbs Racing either.
I admit I am surprised that according to the ESPN pre-race pole that 55 percent of those polled think that Kyle Busch should be let go by Joe Gibbs racing. I wholeheartedly disagree with that, which should not be a surprise. I have a feeling that many of the NASCAR fans voting for the pro-firing must be the Kyle Busch haters. You know the ones. The booers. The same fans who write things like Kyle Busch Crash HERE X on the Safer Barrier by the start-finish lines at the tracks. The same fans who boo his crew as they push their car onto the qualifying grid. The same fans who harassed his wife on twitter- which is so beyond not cool to me. It’s one thing to use social networking to call out a driver for their actions – it’s a completely other thing to call out or harass their spouse, girlfriend, or other family member or loved one. That is not cool at alll.
Taking Kyle out of the race effectively ruined any remote chance at a decent chase finish. He is now mathematically eliminated from the chase. It also pretty much ruined the race at Texas Motor Speedway for both Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano- his teammates. They spend the weekend sharing notes on their cars and handling. Kyle is very obviously a BIG part of that looking at the finishes by both Hamlin and Logano. Joe Gibbs Racing has already suffered enough for Kyle Busch’s actions while racing for Kyle Busch Motorsports. I don’t think any further action is necessitated by NASCAR or any of the JGR sponsors. I keep hearing the voice of Kyle Busch singing in the newest Toyota commercial “Everybody wants a second chance.”
Have you heard of B.R.A.K.E.S? Its a non profit started by NHRA top fuel driver Doug Herbert in memory of his sons who died in a traffic collision in 2008. It stands for Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe and it’s mission is to train and educate teen drivers in the hopes of preventing other parents the pain of losing their children in automobile accidents. I was first made aware of B.R.A.K.E.S. when Kyle Busch teamed up with them after his traffic violation in North Carolina.
I was recently made aware of the B.R.A.K.E.S. raffle that is going on. For the price of a $10.00 raffle ticket, you are entered in a drawing for one of eight prizes (including an autographed Office Depot Pit Crew Shirt signed not just by Tony Stewart but the entire #14 pit crew and the same goes for an Army Pit Crew Shirt signed by Ryan Newman and the entire #39 pit crew). Not only are you getting the chance at several really great prizes (a pair of Oakley race shoes autographed by Tony Stewart, race gloves autographed by Ryan Newman, a $50.00 Visa and more) but more importantly know that through the proceeds you are helping train and educate teens to be safe responsible drivers. Be sure to check out www.brakesraffle.com today to find out more about the raffle and get your ticket to win some great prizes now.
“We’re not giving up (expletive)” could be heard on Tony Stewart’s radio near the midway point in the race as he battled hard to keep the race leader at the time, Denny Hamlin, behind him and himself on the lead lap. Stewart’s car had been brough to Martinsville with teammate Ryan Newman’s race set up in the hopes of hitting on something that would work better for Stewart. Unfortunately with only one practice because of weather the set up was mostly an unknown. It’s frustrating because Martinsville is my favorite track. I love it’s close quarters, the bumping and rubbing, the short tempers. It makes for good racing but I can only imagine that 500 laps of fighting an ill-handling car can take a toll on a driver physically and mentally. I know at the point during the race that Stewart was fighting so hard to keep from going a lap down I was disheartened that he was in that position (but proud as hell he was putting up a right good fight).
Tony had a run that has been typical of his runs this season. His run at Kentucky could only be described as okayish. These “okayish” runs really need to stop and turn into GREAT runs…winning runs. Okayish runs leads to being only okayish in the points. But anyway I digress.
Tony started the race 9th because rain washed out qualifying about a third of the way into the qualifying session. On track during the race Tony could be seen anywhere from 26th to 2nd but seemed to spend a majority of the racing hanging out about 14th spot (funny since that is his number). I seemed to notice that he seemed to do best towards the latter part of the runs and that is typically when he would work his way up further into the field. (more…)
At a previous race during this season someone asked Tony Stewart to describe his car and his chances for that particular race. I have no memory of what race it was or who even asked him the question. I honestly don’t even remember if it was something I saw on print or on TV. Anyway, he described his car and his chances for that particular race with the phrase “cautiously optimistic.” Most everyone knows that Tony Stewart is the king of snappy, derisive one line comebacks (and this is one of the reasons he’s my driver) so why this particular, non-Stewartesque quote stuck with me all this time I haven’t a clue. It was obviously something my brain felt the need to file in it’s bulging back pocket. (more…)
Miles the Monster, mascot to the concrete mile track in Dover, made sure that Tony Stewart, his crew, and his stalwart fans were left disappointed, disheartened, and bewildered at the team’s luck after Sunday’s race (not to mention generally pissed off- but that’s a post for another day). Saturday’s qualifying session was rained out and forced the race line up to go by the practice speeds , a new rule in 2011, for the first time this year. Unfortunately this put the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet deep in the field- starting 27th. (more…)
In the off-season Kyle Busch received a letter at Kyle Busch Motorsports from 12 year old Kyle Savoie. In the letter Kyle tucked in his allowance of $5.00 and suggested that if other children followed his lead they could sponsor Kyle’s Camping World Truck team for one race:
The message behind Kyle Savoie’s letter was how dreams are important and to never give up on your dreams. He even sent us his five dollar-allowance with the letter in an effort to help support our KBM truck team. He suggested that if other kids followed his lead, they could serve as the sponsor for a race. In return, he suggested that we would put their names and school pictures on the truck. I obviously don’t want kids to send us their allowances, but I loved the idea of recognizing kids for positive experiences and achievements by putting their name and picture on my truck! ~ Kyle Busch, Team Release (more…)