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
Monday March 3, 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.
The Yellow Stripe · Doug Turnbull · Tuesday November 9, 2010
He’s talented. He’s fiery. He may be his own worst enemy. There are many adjectives to describe Kyle Busch, the 25-year-old driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, who absolutely shot himself in the foot, then chopped it off, salted it, cooked, and ate the nasty appendage during Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. His frustration has obviously steamed to a boil, especially after seeing the success of teammate Denny Hamlin coincide with the unraveling of consistency in his own camp. But where does a zealous passion to win bleed into a damning obstacle that only fuels itself more as the winning mark is missed?
Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 started as a solid race for Busch, who qualified his No. 18 a disappointing 29th. He wasted no time negotiating through traffic and worked his way into the top 10 before disaster struck the team. Busch spun on lap 160, just four laps after a restart, and nearly collected several race cars. In his rush to beat the field off pit road after initial repairs, Busch was nabbed for speeding by NASCAR, which prompted him to both berate the sanctioning body on his radio and then flip the bird for an elongated time to the official standing in his pit box. The No. 18’s in-car camera conveniently captured Busch’s salute to NASCAR, sealing his fate and ensuring ire from the powers that be. The tower immediately penalized Busch two laps for his misconduct.
Frontstretch.com’s Bryan Davis Keith reported from Texas that as the situation unfolded, Busch’s crew chief Dave Rogers repeatedly tried to calm Busch, but then as the youngster resorted to extreme profanity and beat his steering wheel, Rogers authoritatively put his foot down and attempted more so than most to put “Kryle” in his place, claiming the team “works too hard” for their driver to dig themselves a hole on his own. Still, the damage from the verbal tirade was done. Three laps down after the incident, another decent finish for the M&M’s team was ruined by the vitriol of Kyle Busch.
Is Busch’s attitude bad, or is it the edge that a driver needs to push him over the top and outstep his competitors? Defenders and fans (which there are more of than you think – the boos just overshadow their meager cheers) say that Busch’s temper is just the fallout from an extreme desire to win, and that passion is what fuels him to dominate in any race vehicle into which he steps. There is no doubt that Busch wills himself toward Victory Lane, but this zealousness also damns him. Remember his breakout 2008 Cup season? Busch won eight times on a plethora of racetracks and was the odds-on favorite to snap two-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson’s stranglehold on the title. What happened? Two adversity-filled races into the Chase and Busch was out to lunch, giving up on the 26 races of chemistry the team had built that season. So disgusted after two mechanical failures, he likely would have not even shown up for the last eight if he were not forced to do so in his contract.
This stretch was only one of many times Busch had displayed this behavior. In 2008, after a string of poor finishes, Busch elected not to try and run for the Nationwide Series championship, though Joe Gibbs Racing had tapped him to do so. At Texas Motor Speedway in April 2007, Busch left the track after wrecking his Chevy, prompting his then-Hendrick Motorsports team to enlist Dale Earnhardt, Jr., his eventual replacement, to run the car for a few laps. There is wide opinion in NASCAR circles that Busch’s relentless pursuit of the 2009 Nationwide Series title distracted him so much from his Cup effort, it was the cause for the team’s missing the Chase that year. Busch also constantly berates his crew after bad pit stops and throws
Blame his being a perfectionist, blame his passion, but there is no doubt that this behavior holds Busch back and takes away the edge that leads ice-in-their-veins drivers like Jimmie Johnson to championships.
Personal and team goals aside, Busch’s behavior has other repercussions. Camping World Truck Series point leader and 2006 Truck Series champ Todd Bodine has been very critical of Busch’s erratic behavior. In an interview with both Frontstretch’s Jay Pennell and me just one day after an altercation with Busch, Bodine blasted him on his overall disrespect of the sport. He cited on-track run-ins, post-race scuffles, and even Busch’s choosing to skip the most recent Truck Series driver’s meeting as signs that this young man’s world revolves solely around how he feels and what he needs to succeed.
While NASCAR drivers have to be self-concerned at times, the stock car community is tight-knit and (although the culture is moving away from it) steeped in tradition and respect. Busch’s bad-tempered displays often sour the mood in the garage, anger fans, and are a poor example to young race fans who look up to drivers.
Whether one cites Busch’s entitlement, his disrespect for his team and other competitors, or his seeming disrespect for traditions of the sport, there is little doubt that his anger mismanagement is all a result of passion mixed with immaturity. Busch grew up racing competitors older than he was and beat them, rose to stardom in his late teenage years, and never had the chance to adjust and mature in a normal environment. He grew up used to winning, used to getting his way, and now cannot accept anything less. Busch will eventually grow up into a fiery competitor who can temper and focus his fire in a way that will propel him to more wins and championships. But will later be too late? Can his owner Joe Gibbs, famous for harnessing these characteristics in both the drivers he’s employed and the football players he’s coached, get through to him? Can others in the sport that he respects make an impression on Busch? When will things click? If they don’t soon, he will have alienated so many of the core remaining NASCAR fans that if he does rise to win a Cup title, the sport will once again be left with another champ it does not want.
So if NASCAR is trying to claw back into fans’ good graces, Kyle’s success will be a major obstacle – just like it’s been for the driver himself at times.
©2000 - 2008 Doug Turnbull and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Could it be that Busch doesn’t have the mental toughness to win at the Cup level? He dominates at the NW and truck levels, but he always has one of the top three race cars/trucks. In Cup, he is surrounded by equally good equipment. His own teammates are proving that their levels of talent are equal to their brother Kyle. His breakout year was also the first full season of the COT, and several others who were breaking out have fallen off the bandwagon as the car has evolved (Edwards, Busch, Martin, Earnhardt). I think Busch has to have a top three car at every venue to dominate in Cup, and that isn’t going to happen. I agree that he is a talented driver, and I know he has passion and vigor for winning, but I do think he lacks the mental toughness that is exhibited by his teammate and by Sir Johnson.
The next time my 7 year old nephew throws the checker board across the room when he loses I’ll make sure I congratulate him on his desire to win. I’ve always thought that type of behavior was something you tried to teach a child not to do but I wouldn’t want anyone to think my nephew doesn’t have a desire to win so I guess I should reinforce that behavior. What’s a good reward for throwing the board across the room?
VaBlueGrass: Randy Nacho is always right and makes everyone else look stupid? Is that sarcasm? It either has to be, or you must be Randy Nacho incognito. Volcano Goldman is, perhaps, the most brain-dead na$car fan that could be found.
Doug: Excellent column, and all true. I was prepared to post everything in your conclusion as the actual problem with Kyle, but you said it.
Even though Jimmie Johnson’s stranglehold on the chase is unpopular, he is a different example from Kyle. Jimmie has run in junk equipment. He knows that hard work and dedication are what gave him his opportunities today. That is the real difference between him and Kyle.
kyle is just one of the many things nascar needs to regain any relevancy with fans and potential fans. What generally passes for and passion and determination by nascar and the its media these days is quite laughable in my opinion. You’re no Dale Sr. but, bring it on kyle, you self anointed savior you!
When has Jimmie ran in junk equipment? Where is the outrage at the 48 swapping crews, like Harvick received? If Jimmie had not been complaing the swap would not have happened, but we the fans heard nothing of it. Double Standard? I believe this was the same team who pitted him for 4 “championships” and what 6 or 7 wins this year.
Yeah, Kyle Busch is his own worst enemy. On the other hand, it’s hard to really care about a guy who’s such a jerk.
I never considered it before, but maybe VolcanoRandy is also Kyle Busch. Think about it… both are constantly complaining, neither one can can accept any critism, both throw childish tantrums, and both are annoying as hell. VolcanoRandyBusch?.
I like Kyle and his desire to win. He reminds me some of a young DW. Eventually, he’ll calm down and win a few titles. He should have won in 2008 but his equipment let him down in the Chase.
That’s the one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever heard. If the Jeffs did something stupid like that every other week then yes you could claim immaturity but it’s the exception not the rule.
Obviously that should read…
Seems like Kyle lacks the focus for long races. Sure, he’s won plenty of Cup races, but he doesn’t run as consistently as he should. Lower series races are shorter and easier to win with the right setup early on, but Cup races require adjustments, focus… Kyle usually slaps the wall three quarters of the way through a race, tells his crew that he’s killed the car and it’s junk, and he doesn’t finish close to where he was running.
Well, that and a lack of responsibility for his results… apparently it’s NASCAR’s fault he was speeding, and he didn’t win the race because Carl Edwards cheatingly jumped the green flag.
JOE GIBBS PURPORTS TO BEING A DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. THIS BEING TRUE WHY DOES HE HAVE THIS EVIL PERSON ON HIS TEAM? “BE YE NOT YOKED WITH UNBELIEVERS)
Kyle Conundrum: Sunday Meltdown Latest Fault of His Immaturity
Goldman: Also, grammar police, NASCAR is an acronym, all capitalized, and does not contain a $
LMBO I suppose “‘Cause its racing” is proper grammer, too.
Kyle Bush: arrogant, obnoxious, spoiled, immature and narcissitic. Not a team player. Great driver. Excellent car control. ZERO self control. NOT WHAT NASCAR NEEDS. NASCAR already has enough jerks like DW poisoning what’s left of our sport(?)!
Maybe they should drug tedt thr brat.
Maybe I should learn to type.
When was he in junk equipment? The two seasons he raced for Herzog Motorsports in the Busch series.
“@RGoldman – NASCAR websites are full of fans like these… no wonder we can’t grow our sport.”
Seriously missed the point here junior. Have you not picked up a recurrent theme – the sport WAS huge. NASCAR had a ridiculously huge, loyal fan base. We lived and breathed this sport for decades. Brian France takes over and we know what has transpired on his watch. RG – at least appear to understand what the hell you are participating in………..
I’ve been watching NASCAR since the 1970’s, growing up in Daytona Beach. I’ve seen more drivers get mad, cuss, flip the bird, throw a helmet, throw a punch, and do all sorts of other things that are not considered proper in civilized society. Most of those things were done by the very people that are called heroes of the sport. A few were penalized here and there, but I don’t ever recall anyone being park for a couple of laps for giving NASCAR the finger. Is Kyle Busch an angry young man, probably so, but I suspect there are many angry young men in the ranks of NASCAR. That bird was intended for the officals in the booth who decided to penalize him for speeding. Right or wrong, the guy is tired of doing what he is told is the right thing and having it backfire on him. I also suspect that he was peeved from the previous nights final restart. On numerous occasions over the years I have seen drivers jump the restart and get penalized or have the start waived off. On numerous occasions over the last couple of years I have also witnessed NASCAR ignore a jumped start if young Mr. Busch was the victim. In the two instances that I have seen in which he was the agressor in a jumped start, he was penalized both times. That makes for a very angry young man. No, I am not a member of the Kyle Busch fanclub, but I am a racer, and an ardent observer of a sport that I care dearly about. When was the last time you saw a guy get penalized for flipping a bird? There are some twelve year olds on my block that need to be held for a couple of laps.
Personally, it’s not my job to grow the sport. I haven’t received one bent dime from Nascar for helping to build the fanbase. I can’t speak definitively for Frontstretch, but I bet they don’t get paid by Nascar to grow the sport either. That’s Nascar’s job, and they’re failing at the task.
Though I hate to admit that I agree with Randy G more than not, I think rather than grammar police, I’d say more like grammar nanny!
Sorry Doug, but I think you missed it here. REAL race fans, like myself, really enjoy Kyle Busch. Probably the most passionate driver on the track everyweek. Seems to me that the only people who don’t like him are the folks that signed up as JR fans or after Sr passed…. These are the only folks NASCAR really cares about anyway. These are the type fans that are going away as quick as they came in. If their wondering why the ratings are down, try talking to the older fans and they will tell them. It’s really refreshing to see a guy just want to race every chance he gets. Too many of the vanilla guys are more worried about their bars, jets, buses, dogs, carwashes, maids, gardeners, etc. Every writer out there complains about drivers being vanilla, but when one finally explodes, you blast em for it. Would it be cooler if it was JR throwing the bird. I can bet ya he wouldn’t loose 2 laps……
I still support Kyle. I like him. I’ve flipped the finger at every imaginable NASCAR official. Trouble is none of them have ever seen me do it since I’m just a peon fan. If I had the chance to do it on camera where they would see it I would not waste the opportunity. Any group who has worked as diligently to bring a sport I really, really like down in flames as they have done deserve all the salutes they get and more.
Seems this article forgets the fact that Kyle was given a lap penalty for speeding on pit road the first time, thats why he was so upset. That hardly ever happens! Speeding on pit road means to the back of the line. Just sounds like another anti-Kyle article to me.
What is the speed where we go from drive-thru, end of longest line penalty to a one lap penalty for speeding on pit road? I have seen numerous drivers really fly down pit road not to lose a lap and they received only end of longest line penalty.
Kyle was busted for “speeding to beat the pace car to the line”, hence the full lap penalty.
Shrub needs to got to Jimmy Spencer`s charm school like his arrogant brother did. A punch in the nose is cheap compared to Dale Carnegie
When a guy is caught speeding on pit road during a pit stop because he’s trying to beat other cars out first they are sent to the end of the longest line. When a guy speeds to beat the pace car back to the line to keep from losing a lap, that’s when they get penalized a lap. To let them stay on the lead lap and go to the tail end would be no penalty at all. They would already have been at the tail end if they could have made it out without speeding. Seems pretty simple to me and I won’t swear to it, but I think NASCAR has been consistently calling it that way for the last couple of seasons.
Not to cause big arguement, I have to disagree I believe I have seen numerous drivers speed to beat the pace car and not all of them have received one lap penalty, I will agree some have received this penalty but not all.
Flipping off and cussing are detrimental to racing, but fighting/shoving is not. Is this because one of them was Jeff Gordon? I thought this was the year of have at it.
Kyle got basically the same penalty that Carl got for intentionly wrecking/flipping Brad at Atlanta. I guess they are basically the same thing: Flipping the Bird(hurting someone’s pride)and trying to physically hurt someone. Damn them must be GOOD DRUGS they’re doing down on the Beach.
Obviously NASCAR is more than, let’s just use the word “fickle” here, and you all can change it to what ever comes to mind. They make the rules as they go.
But in TV land, specifically speaking FCC TV land, flipping the bird on the tube ranks right up there with the F-bomb. You can’t do it. Networks pay fines for those types of things.
Speaking of networks being fined, ESPN should be fined for all those times they showed the points when it didn’t freakin matter but when the race was over they didn’t have a clue that yeah, now that it matters, people are now waiting for them to be shown.
KyBu is an insolent, arrogant, spoiled punk.
He can dish it out but he can’t take it. i’d dislike him just because of his racing style, but what makes me despise him is the fact that he whines and throws tantrums every time he gets even the smallest taste of his own medicine.
That said, I could almost like him for flipping off NASCAR.
Razz……..u r exactly right! The way Nascar has run their show of late,we should all follow Kyle and give’m the “finger”!
I hope Kyle doesn’t ever change to conform to NASCAR’s boring driver’s mold. We like him just the way he is now.