Busch Needs An Attitude Adjustment · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday April 12, 2006
Q: Kurt Busch must have a death wish. He keeps tangling with his former Roush teammates. Was there a lot of bad blood there when he left? How much longer is Jack going to let him get away with it? Jack812
A: I admit it does look a little suspicious, the way Busch has had run ins with Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth and now Greg Biffle. But in Biffle’s case, it looked like "one of those racing deals," to quote ol’ DW. Granted, Busch could have backed off, and probably should have "" but Biffle’s move around Busch was the action that precipitated the accident. I think what upsets Biffle most is that he thought Busch would have let off, and he didn’t. Busch then really stirred the drink by claiming it "looked like Biffle lost a cylinder" and slowed in front of him, which clearly didn’t happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all some kind of plan on Busch’s part to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of his competitors…will he or won’t he wreck me this time around? If he keeps tangling with Roush cars though "" particularly if he does something to Mark Martin "" then someone might send Busch a message.
Q: I think if Kurt Busch was standing in front of me right now, I’d kill him. What about you? Gary A.
A: If Kurt Busch was standing in front of me right now, he’d be standing on my dog’s tail and she’d probably bite the fire out of him.
Q: (Sterling) Marlin has certainly been a great competitor over the years and I have a lot of respect for him as a driver. However, how old do you have to be, and how many seasons do you get to run before there’s enough pressure from below to move aside? Countless younger guys have recently proven what they can do when given an opportunity to run in first class equipment. There just seems to be an awful lot of drivers getting multiple bites at the cherry, so to speak. AJ Lewis
A: Good points. In Marlin’s case, I was upset by three things: What caused the move, Ganassi’s Busch offer, and who replaced Marlin. I wouldn’t have had as much of a problem if Ganassi had someone like a Bowyer or a Truex waiting to replace him, but they chose David Stremme, who so far has looked very much out of his league. Ganassi also made little secret of the fact that his sponsors pushed for the move, and that’s an ominous signal to me that racing has gone too far over to the corporate side. The Busch offer Ganassi crafted for Marlin was the final straw. It basically admitted Marlin could still drive and Ganassi didn’t want to have to face him on Sundays. Remember that Marlin is just a couple of years removed from nearly winning the championship.
Q: Why is Ray Evernham doing so well, but Penske is struggling so much? MoParker
A: Don’t overlook the fact that Evernham’s success is almost totally concentrated in the performance of Kasey Kahne. Jeremy Mayfield has been a bust this year, and although Scott Riggs ran well at Texas, he missed the Daytona 500. On top of that, Petty Enterprises has had two solid runs ruined by the failure of Evernham motors (Bobby Labonte at Atlanta, Kyle Petty at Texas). It looks to me like Evernham still has some work to do "" and that Kahne could be the next Jeff Gordon. As for Penske, I think Newman’s team has spent too much time chasing the Intrepid issue; don’t forget, Kurt Busch won at Bristol.
Q: My brother and I are arguing right now about who’ll make the chase. He says Dale Jarrett is going to make it, and I don’t. The loser buys the winner Dreamland BBQ ribs. What do you think? bulldogintideland
A: I think you can go ahead and get the napkins ready at your place. I don’t see either Yates car being in the Chase, and if one of them makes it, I think it’ll be Elliott Sadler. It’s not that Jarrett is having a bad year (he’s currently 11th in the standings), it’s just that there is an awful lot of talent currently behind him (Sadler, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, etc.) that have had rough starts but more potential to move upward as the season goes along. By the way, Dreamland is good, but if you’re getting ribs in Tuscaloosa, Ala., try Archibald’s instead and you’ll thank me later.
Q: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is sixth in the points "" why aren’t we hearing more about him as a contender for the title? Grace
A: If he’s still there in five weeks or so, you’ll start hearing about him, trust me. The season is very young, and a lot of people still aren’t sold on the idea that DEI has turned things around. If Dale wins a race and can stay off the DNF list for a couple of months, he’ll be the biggest story of the year.
Have a question for Jess Nicholas, or would simply like to see Kurt Busch step on his dog? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll see what we can do about that next week! Oh yeah, your question or comment might appear in this very column, too.
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