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.”