The Frontstretch: Ten Points to Ponder After Chicagoland by Becca Gladden -- Sunday July 15, 2007

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Ten Points to Ponder After Chicagoland

Becca Gladden · Sunday July 15, 2007

 

1. They call it “cookie cutter” for a reason – Sorry guys, but that just wasn’t a very exciting race. Stewart got out front with a fuel-only pit stop and was never challenged in the closing laps after holding off a single pass attempt by Kenseth. There were several long green flag runs and not a lot of lead changes, unless you count the ones achieved through pit cycles, and most of the attrition was due to single car incidents. The only good news to report: the race didn’t last that long.

2. He took the words right outta my mouth – Tony Stewart said that team owner Joe Gibbs had to break away from his vacation to referee the feud between Stewart and teammate Denny Hamlin. Tony described it as Gibbs “coming to babysit his two kids.” Hey, that’s just what I was thinking. Of course, Stewart is ten years older than Hamlin and, as the senior driver at JGR, shouldn’t really need a babysitter – should he? But wouldn’t you have loved to be a fly on the wall in that meeting? Like always, Tony’s keeping it interesting.

3. And thanks also, Tony – For helping prove me right. A few weeks ago in this column, I noted that Tony had (at that time) six Top 10 finishes in seven races; also, I predicted that he was starting to hit his summertime stride. Well, after finishing 38th at Daytona after the wreck with Hamlin, Stewart came back strong for the win today and moved up one spot in the points to sixth. OK, it didn’t take rocket science to make that prediction …but still.

4. Note to Kyle Busch – If you think you’ve been thrown under the bus by your teammates, you’re entitled to that opinion. But airing all your dirty laundry in public is not helping your reputation, and when asked if this concerned you, you said, “My perception has been horrible since I came into this sport, so it doesn’t really even matter any more.” That’s a very cynical attitude for someone so young. There are many examples of drivers out there who were once hated and ended up being loved – and vice versa. The bottom line is clear – if you want to be liked, it can be achieved. But you have to want it, and you have to be willing to work for it.

5. Busch, Take Two – On the other hand, if Kyle Busch is trying to get fired from Hendrick Motorsports, as seems to be the case, there are indications tonight that he might get his wish sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.

6. Raganomics – Have you seen that Discount Tire commercial with David Ragan, Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle? It’s a spoof of the classic Mean Joe Green commercial, but instead of offering a jerseylike souvenir to a young admirer, Ragan tosses a tire at him. The tire circles around and lands behind the kid, who promptly turns around and kicks it. “I think he just wanted an autograph,” deadpans Edwards. It’s pretty cute.

7. I’m Thinkin’ Arby’s – Speaking of commercials, when Matt Kenseth pitted around Lap 60 with a vibration, did you have a picture flash through your mind of Kenseth on pit road shaking a box of those new Popcorn Chicken Shakers?

8. Who knew – … that the group Hanson of Mmmbop infamy could do such a nice job with the National Anthem? The harmonies were quite good and I loved the fact that all three young men had their hands over their hearts, as it should be.

9. Plans for the off weekend? – Most NASCAR fans dread the prospect of a weekend without racing…but most drivers and teams relish it. When Dale Earnhardt, Jr. lost his power steering during the race and had to manhandle his car around the track, he joked that he needed to start working out. Asked if that’s how he would spend the off weekend, Junior replied, “No. I’m gonna sit on the porch and drink some cold beers.” And you know he will, too.

10. As D.W. said – What else can be done in light of last week’s horrible plane crash tragedy except, “pray and pray and pray.” Along with the loss of Dr. Bruce Kennedy and Michael Klemm from the NASCAR family, three civilians were killed on the ground, civilians which included a mother, her son, and a little four-year-old girl. All the families affected need to be remembered in our thoughts and prayers.

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Racing to the Point: NASCAR Has Its Own Heartbreak Kid
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Kenneth
07/16/2007 07:50 AM
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I think Kyle Busch should just embrace the whole young bad-boy image, instead of doing an ill-fated move like his brother and trying to appeal to everyone while still slipping up and accomplishing nothing. I think there’s a fanbase to be had for a driver like that, especially as most other NASCAR drivers are becoming better-groomed and more polite (robotic even?). I personally hope he doesn’t change one bit.

M. B. Voelker
07/16/2007 07:52 AM
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In Re #4, given the fact that Kyle Busch has been booed unmercifully and unrelentingly since his earliest appearances in Nascar its no wonder he doesn’t believe anything he does can make a difference.

When he gave the money from his first Cup win to the hurricane victims the main response he got was complaints that he shouldn’t have put Rick Hendrick on the spot that way.

Spend enough time telling someone that everything he does is always wrong and he’ll eventually learn to believe it.

aircrewman
07/16/2007 01:29 PM
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GO KYLE!!!! I hope & pray he signs with DEI he will run better..and win more races than Stale Beerfart jr!!! and how fitting to be booted from a team to end up at the team for who you you had to leave (JR.CRYBABY IT’S MY DADDYS TEAM & I WANT TO CALL THE SHOTS) then to do better than him and win races. IF Kyle signs with DEI today I’M buying #8 BUD stuff !! IF thats the # and sponsor he runs

 

Becca Gladden is no longer a contributor to the Frontstretch, but you can see all her past articles on herbiography and archive page.