Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Holding A Pretty Wheel · Amy Henderson · Thursday July 26, 2007
Since his outburst about teamwork, or the lack thereof, at Daytona earlier this month, Kyle Busch has been under a microscope that is already on high power as he searches for a new ride for 2008 and beyond. He's been called a whiner, immature and spoiled. His comments were looked at as childish and jealous. Whatever the reasons for his comments or Busch's personality shortcomings, it was brought up that nobody at Hendrick Motorsports has ever taken Busch under his wing. Kyle Busch has never had a mentor, they exclaimed! How could he possibly know better?
I say, baloney. It's not his teammates' job to teach Busch basic etiquette and social behavior. Those are things Busch should have been taught by his parents long before his considerable talent thrust him into NASCAR. What he got instead was enabled. His parents went so far once as to fudge Kyle's age so he could race a year early; instead of telling him that he has to follow the rules and wait, just like everyone else. Given examples of entitlement like this through his childhood, not to mention lessons in how NOT to endear oneself to fans courtesy of his older brother Kurt, it at least makes you wonder a little less where he gets his attitude.
Surely it's not up to Busch's teammates to change that attitude. If they were to advise him on how to behave in every situation, how to be politically correct and polished, then, instead of saying they didn't mentor young Kyle, people would accuse them of making him "too boring." They'd call him "just another Jeff Gordon clone," or worse. No, none of the other drivers has coached him in every aspect of racing and behavior-but that doesn't mean he hasn't had ample opportunity to learn.
They say the best way to learn is by example, and if that old adage is true, then Kyle Busch has had the best teachers in the business. Not only is car owner Rick Hendrick one of the most respected persons in the garage, but Busch has had a string of teammates who personify class and a winning attitude-and he hasn't seemed to absorb any of it.
When Busch began his Busch Series career, he took over the championship car from the year before, inheriting the ride from champ Brian Vickers after he moved into a Nextel Cup ride. Although he has made judgment errors, most notably an ill-timed bump draft that sent then-teammate Jimmie Johnson and Most Popular Human Being Ever Dale Earnhardt, Jr. spinning into a twisted heap, Vickers worked with this teammates when he could and understood when he couldn't. Vickers, though also very young, has never acted out, even when his resignation from Hendrick Motorsports meant that Vickers was no longer a party to information and technology-sharing sessions. He understood the big picture, and accepted it with good grace. Surely that's a good example for another young driver.
Busch replaced a retiring Terry Labonte in the No. 5 Nextel Cup ride. If a driver was ever a picture of class and good behavior, surely Labonte is that driver. Quiet and humble though twice a champion, Labonte rarely spoke a bad word about anyone-even when he was on the receiving end of the chrome horn. Quiet and understated, Labonte understood the draft and how to use it. What finer lessons could a newcomer have had?
Jeff Gordon has driven his entire Cup career for Hendrick Motorsports. He also once wrecked a teammate at a restrictor plate track, sending Ken Schrader airborne in a sickening crash that scared Gordon more than it hurt Schrader. So Gordon watched Schrader in plate races and followed him, pushed him, drafted with him. From Schrader, always an outstanding restrictor plate racer, Gordon learned finesse and patience on the big tracks. And he began to win on them, too. Gordon, who has been loyal to Hendrick for fifteen seasons, and, when it came time to co-own a team with Hendrick, was loyal enough to his choice, a virtually unknown driver with just one Busch win to take a gamble on him. Gordon's willingness to learn from another teammate's example and his loyalty to both an organization and a young driver have made him both a champion and a championship car owner. Did Busch take notes on Gordon's leadership?
The unknown Busch driver Gordon had the foresight to hire is now the reigning Nextel Cup champion. Jimmie Johnson learned at the age of fourteen that if he wanted to race, he'd have to learn to speak well and sell a polished image to sponsors. Johnson's family simply didn't have the money to fund his competition, so Johnson went out and met people and convinced them to take a chance on him. He scrapped for rides and worked for everything he had. He's still afraid that if he should say or do the wrong thing, he'll be fired. Johnson has never forgotten how he got to the top of the NASCAR world. He takes every opportunity to voice his thanks to everyone who has helped him get to where he is. Hard work and gratitude would be tools a young driver like Busch could use to go as far as he wants.
Busch's newest teammate, Casey Mears, has a famous name to be sure, but rising through the ranks of off-road, open-wheel, and finally stock cars, Mears carved his own niche. While his name might have brought Mears opportunity, Mears' gritty determination and never-give-up attitude made those opportunities grow. Mears isn't entitled to anything in this game, and he knows it. Mears is also a truly nice individual. He truly enjoys his fans and friends, but doesn't take them for granted. He's never lost sight of who his true friends or family are. Mears works quietly in the draft, helping his teammates (and his friends-Mears pushed his childhood friend, Johnson to his Daytona 500 win) when he can, but knowing when it's every man for himself, and understanding that ultimately everyone does what they have to to win. Seems like a genuinely nice, determined young man who knows when to just be quiet and race would be a shining example.
So don't tell me Busch hasn't had a mentor. While he may never have looked past the end of his nose to see the examples that Rick Hendrick and his fellow HMS driver put before him, the examples were always there. Only Busch can say why he hasn't followed his teammates' lead. If he learns to curb the attitude and to work within a team structure, Busch has more than enough talent to take him to multiple Cup championships. However, there is more to being a champion than driving fast and having talent in the seat. Busch had three Cup Champions to learn those lessons from in his time at Hendrick Motorsports. It's too bad he never took the effort to truly learn.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I hope you’re not in position to be attempting to teach anyone anything because you won’t get far by going about your own business while expecting your student to pick it all up by observation. A teacher has to put himself/herself to the trouble of actually instructing his/her students.
Mentoring is a big topic in the business world. While some gifted few are able to “bootstrap” themselves to success, active mentoring is so critically important to most that Amazon.com offers over 27,000 books on the topic and a quick Google on “mentoring seminars” will produce over 1.5 MILLION hits.
I’m accomplished in the historic craft of handspinning. In the course of my past job as a museum docent and living history re-enactor I have been required to teach several hundred people the basics of that craft. Had I merely gone about the task of spinning wool into yarn while students observed and made an incidental comment or two as I worked only one student in the entire group had sufficient intuitive understanding that she might have succeeded in making yarn.
It took my active instruction — slow-motion demonstrations, backing up to repeat steps, placing my hands over my students’ hands to guide their fingers, supporting their efforts, correcting their mistakes, and, eventually pointing them to additional sources of advanced instruction when they were ready.
If active mentoring in racing weren’t important we wouldn’t be seeing so many teams hiring “driver coaches” for their development programs.
I disagree. The “best of the best” – don’t we all think the Cup drivers fit that title? – are ambitious enough to teach themselves and learn through observation, not someone holding their hand. Well written story.
I back kyle busch and his comments. He was hung out to dry at daytona. You had 4 roush cars followed by 3 hendricks cars on the top, and Kyle, Kurt, and Newman on the bottom. I like kyle calling it like it is. Your just so used to nascar PC version of things you expect someone to get screwed over and then thank the person who screwed em. Go Kyle! Keep it up and don’t take crap from no one! THey screw you! Screw em back!
Great Story!!! Someone at the top of their league be it sports, business, acting etc… should be able to pick up on the successful ones around you and adjust your actions accordingly. There is a saying that talent only gets you so far!
Finally somebody who see that this kid is nothing more than a spoiled whiny brat, if Kyle was so interested in staying at HMS why didnâ€™t he stay in contact with his own agent who was trying to pull a fast one on Rick. Grow up Kyle we have young men and women in harms way today that are younger than you and we never hear a complaint from them, I find it sad that these fine people are overseas fighting for your freedom while you whine and complain while making millions. I commend Rick there is only so much you can do to help an individual, so in the end you did the right thing by dumping Kyle.
Great article. Kyle Bush is talented but he confuses that with entitlement.
you are forgetting that Kyle Busch had the Mentoring of the Jack Roush camp before switching to Hendrick
While it is true that many skills are learned through teaching and showing, social skills are a much more complex learning process, and those are the skills I’m taling about here. Kyle’s among probably the top five most talented individuals in the garage as far as driving goes-he doesn’t need to be taught how to drive. We learn most of our social behaviors by watching people close to us and either emulating, or choosing not to emulate, that behavior. Sure, we have to be told things like, “put your napkin in your lap” and “address an adult by their surname,” but social behavior is learned also through an incredibly huge amount of observation. Without boring anyone with cognitive theory (I have taught English and science for several years and know when the “telling” ends and the “showing” begins-I tell them how to diagram a sentence and show them respect and fairness) I will say that social skills are learned differently than many others.
Generally an adult doesn’t have to be sat down and told what behavior is polite and what behavior is impertinentbecasue they A. learned that as children and B. Observe the actions of other adults.
Is mentoring in the workplace important? Absolutely. I actively seek advice from my colleagues every chance I get. But for any type of teaching-direct or by example- to be effective, the person being mentored needs to want to be mentored. Had Kyle asked, I’m sure someone would have taken him and said, “okay, this is how you behave when…” but by accounts, he never showed that initiative.
Good article Amy. I’m in professional sales and the strongest survive. When your at the top of your game there is a self assurance that is acquired over time that gives you confidence in your abilities. But it wasn’t always so. I learned early in my career that the top producers don’t just spill their guts on their vast knowledge to just anybody.They are careful with who they share their experiences with. Now that I have achieved that status I have a better understanding of why.
Kyle Busch is a good example of what is wrong in sports today as a whole. Young athletes getting too much too soon. Although there have been a few who were able handle it. Kyle needed to look towards someone like Jeff Gordon and following his example in his own way. All to often he let his mouth overpower the talent he has as a driver. Stands to reason why there aren’t that many teams looking at him. They know he has talent but they also know of his cocky attiude at times and they really need the attitude. He really doesn’t need a mentor on the track he needs to look for a mentor to handle things off the track. That is where he gets himself in trouble. Kyle needs to be humbled and by the looks of it he may well be heading down that road before too long.
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