The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: 2011 Kansas 1st Race Recap by Matt McLaughlin -- Sunday June 5, 2011

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The Key Moment – Brad Keselowski milked 57 laps out of a tank of fuel to win the Kansas race on fuel mileage.

In a Nutshell – Just an ordinary race. That happens sometimes.

Brad Keselowski used MPG instead of MPH to win at Kansas Speedway, making the final 57 laps on one tank of fuel.

Dramatic Moment – Once again waiting to see who was going to run out of gas on the final lap. Remember when this sport was about MPH, not MPG?

With passing at a premium, the first few laps after the restarts tended to be a bit tense.

What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week

Hmmm. Roger Penske returns to the track after his May adventures at Indy and one of his drivers wins the race while the other dominates it. Go figure.

The size of the crowd at Sunday’s race was down an estimated 20 percent. Doesn’t that always seem to happen when a venue that traditionally had one date gets a second one added? Call it the “Fontana Principle.”

Well imagine that. The calendar flips over to June, the weather gets hot and Tony Stewart, who has been MIA most of this season, is running up front again. The Summer Stretch has traditionally been Stewart’s best part of the season.

Since when has an empty water bottle on the apron been sufficient cause for a caution?

Details are still emerging but it’s apparent that Richard Childress and Kyle Busch got into a little dustup after Saturday’s truck race. Childress is an old school type and perhaps some drivers, including RCR front-runner Kevin Harvick, can learn something from Childress’s technique. First, wait until your intended victim has removed his helmet. Secondly, give it a half hour so the TV cameras that might record the incident have packed up and left. Third, leave your mark above the neck where the other fellow is going to have to look at it every morning when he shaves as a reminder of the point you wished to make. At 65, RC might not seem like much of a threat, but he raced back in the day before yielding his seat to Dale Earnhardt. Childress in fact almost died after he was stabbed in the gut during a wild party back in the 70s.

Anyone with a theory as to what’s wrong with Jeff Burton and the No. 31 team is asked to forward them directly to Richard Childress. He’ll likely have a couple weekends off to study them.

Do you need any more evidence that the Nationwide series is in serious trouble as I predicted before the season began? This week Joe Gibbs Racing announced they were withdrawing the No. 20 team from competition at Joliet citing a lack of sponsorship backing. They strongly hinted the sister team, the No. 18 bunch, might be missing bunches of races starting soon. Between them those two teams have won six of this year’s Nationwide races, albeit at greatly reduced profit given this year’s cutback on Nationwide purses. (I think this year the winning team gets a box of Cracker Jack and a pat on the back.) If JGR, which has full time employees beating the bushes for sponsorship, can’t survive in the current economic reality how much longer are the smaller teams going to be able to hang on? Even Jack Roush’s Nationwide teams seem to be scraping by with a hodgepodge of sponsorship or blank quarter panels. NASCAR’s AAA series has lost its identity and become a playground for the few Cup stars still willing (or able) to run in the series despite Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s recent win at Iowa. If the purses are smaller, the cost to race the series must become so as well. I’d like to see a return to a series focused on the Southeast of the USA competing mainly on the short tracks (not as companion races to the Cup series) as a stepping stone for younger drivers looking to rise to the Cup ranks.

How out of whack is the Nationwide purse? Stenhouse won about 74 grand for that Iowa victory. In the World 600 Mike Skinner drove all of six laps before parking the car with “vibration” issues. He earned $84,000.

NASCAR announced this week there will be a new set of qualifying rules starting at Pocono next week. Basically, lacking weather issues, the cars slowest in practice will qualify first. Yawn. Since NASCAR decided that the top 35 teams in owner points will automatically make the race, qualifying sessions have become a completely boring and irrelevant part of the weekend attended by tens of fans so bored in the camping lot for the weekend they had nothing better to do. Brian France says he wants things simple so that the fans can understand things? The 43 fastest cars qualify and everybody else, no matter where they are ranked in the points and what they did a few years ago goes home. Corporate welfare sucks.

Want some good news? The FOX portion of the season is finally over. You know since they started this grand experiment with NASCAR in ‘01 (and left the track without mentioning the minor storyline that Dale Earnhardt had been killed) every year I think, “Well it can’t get any worse next year.” And every year I am proven sorely wrong. This year was doubtlessly the worst ever. Racing itself was put on the back burner so viewers at home could enjoy the Darrell Waltrip Variety Show and Comedy hour. Frustrated cameramen would focus on what was going on out there on the track and old DW would continue prattling on about what a great racer he was back in his day, how great his brother’s Toyotas were running and how much he loved “June bug” and “Five-Time.” He’d find a way to predict victory for twenty different drivers during a broadcast and then crow about how astute he was in picking the winner afterwards. “Have you ever…” Mike Joy (the only decent part of the team) soft-balled DW after the surprise Charlotte finish. “No, I’ve never,” Waltrip responded. “No, I’ve never shut up,” I think he meant. With rumors of dissension, back-stabbing, and a general lack of interest in the sport by top FOX execs, maybe this whole mess will implode on itself before next year. But I wouldn’t count on it. Let’s face it, Waltrip has gone a bit soft in the head after all those miles on his odometer and the blows to the brain he took in wrecks. He can’t help repeating and even contradicting himself while mixing up which driver is passing the other. He’s got a whole lot more unsold “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity” T-shirts he needs to move before he heads to the home to gum Jello the rest of his days.

Was anyone else bothered by DW’s suggestion it was time for a driver to throw a water bottle or some other debris out the window to draw a bogus caution they needed to get fuel?

Oops. Kyle Busch’s recent mishaps at Darlington, on public highways, and now this weekend in Kansas may have only drawn probation from NASCAR and various mutterings about possible repercussions from Joe Gibbs, but it could cost him a lot more. One of my regular readers was so incensed by Busch’s recent actions he sent an email to Busch’s sponsor Mars (makers of M and Ms, Kal Kan dog food and all sorts of other stuff) decrying their involvement with this volatile young driver. He forwarded to me an email Mars sent in reply saying their involvement with Busch might indeed be short term.

Looking for a little mid-week racing fix to get you through until next weekend at Pocono? Tony Stewart’s Prelude to the Dream runs Wednesday night chock full of Cup stars and proceeds benefit some worthy causes. If you can’t make it to Eldora you can order the broadcast up live on Pay-Per-View.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

Stewart’s team failed to get the car full of fuel on the final stop. The extra stop he had to make may have cost him the race.

Carl Edwards’ weekend wasn’t awful but it had its moments. He ran out of gas on the final lap of the Nationwide series race Saturday while leading. On the Cup side, for a second straight week the No. 99 looked unbeatable early in the race but faded later in the event.

It seemed important to Jamie McMurray to have a good run at Kansas near his storm decimated town of Joplin, MO. He didn’t get it with a 29th place finish, the last driver one lap down.

Juan Montoya ran up front early in the race and even led some laps, but he brushed the wall hard and had to settle for a 17th place finish.

Kyle Busch also had a strong run and led laps. But the No. 18 car never seemed to recover after Busch ran up into the wall.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Earnhardt recovered from an earlier spin (an unforced error no less) well enough to finish second.

During the first laps of the race pole sitter Kurt Busch loudly predicted he’d be back to 43rd before the first pit stop his car was so bad. For the record, the car was so bad it led the most laps during the race.

Jimmie Johnson had an uncharacteristically slow qualifying lap (he started 31st) but rallied back to a seventh place finish.

Denny Hamlin had to survive a wild restart where he got punted by Keselowski coming to the flag and then had his rear wheels lifted off the ground by Stewart less than a lap later.

Justin Allgaier passed Carl Edwards who had run out of fuel on the final lap in Saturday’s Nationwide race then coasted across the line for the win out of gas as well.

Worth Noting

  • For Keselowski, it was his first win since his controversial victory at Talladega in 2009.
  • Earnhardt’s second place finish matches his best of the season. (Junior also finished second at Martinsville.) This is the fifth time Earnhardt has finished second since that last win of his at Michigan in ‘08.
  • Denny Hamlin (third) finished within the top 10 for the fourth time in the last five races.
  • Jeff Gordon’s fourth place finish was his best since Talladega five races ago.
  • Carl Edwards’ fifth place finish was his sixth top 10 in the last seven points paying races.
  • Jimmie Johnson (seventh) has failed to lead a lap in four of the last five races.
  • The twenty laps Stewart (eighth) led Sunday are his most turns at the front since Las Vegas.
  • Kurt Busch (ninth) led 152 laps on Sunday, the most Busch has managed since he won at Charlotte last May.
  • The top 10 finishers at Kansas drove four Chevys, three Fords, two Dodges and a single Toyota.
  • Keselowski’s victory was the first for a Dodge pilot since Kurt Busch won at Charlotte a little over a year ago, Dodge’s sole win in 2010.

What’s the Points?

Carl Edwards maintains his hold on the points lead. He’s now 40 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson who moves up a notch to retake second in the standings. Earnhardt also moved up a spot and is now third, a single point behind Johnson.

Kevin Harvick fell two spots to fourth in the standings. All drivers from Harvick on back are now more than a full race worth of points out of the lead.

Stewart and Clint Bowyer swapped eighth and ninth spots with Stewart now having the advantage.

Hamlin and Biffle swapped the eleventh and twelfth spots…advantage to the No. 11.

In the contention for the Wild Card positions in the standings Jeff Gordon would actually take the twelfth position from Biffle based on having won a race. Keselowski’s goal is clear: he can take over the twelfth and final Chase spot (at least currently) by making up seven points to enter the top 20 in points thanks to Sunday’s win.

The only other race winner who could have a dog in the Wild Card spot, Regan Smith, has a tougher row to hoe. He’s 29th in the standings, 49 points out of that 20th place cutoff spot. Under this year’s points system that’s a lot of ground to make up. But remember that old adage on how you eat and elephant….one bite at a time.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) Give it two lukewarm cans of the generic stuff. Then again, I wasn’t expecting much of a race at Kansas.

Next Up – The series heads northeast to the treacherous triangle at Pocono.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

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Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


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Dick Weed
06/05/2011 11:02 PM

It’s got nothing to do with the “Fontana Principle”. It’s because NASCAR is a joke and more and more people are catching on. That’s why they can’t even pull 2/3 capacity at Bristol. Like “House” says, “You’re a Moron”.

06/05/2011 11:24 PM

Hey Matt:

Any chance of you posting the contents of the Mars email reply? I figure that more than a few people would like to read it…

phil h
06/06/2011 01:03 AM

I wouldn’t dare be watching prelude to a dream,cup stars already have ruined the Nat series,why the hell would I watch them run on other venues when they have ruined that series.just watch the Saturday shows and you get all the cup stars you want.

they should take all the money they steal from the Nat regulars and give that to charity anyway.

Bad Wolf
06/06/2011 02:17 AM

I was at Kansas back in July ’01 for the IRL race and the temp was a brutal 98 with high humidity. Track temp was 138 degrees and it was a killer in those stands in direct sunlight. I’m thinking today was pretty close to that for the fans, and it might have an effect on attendance for the race next June. Who wants to sit in the brutal heat for a mediocre race at a cookie cutter venue?

I was walking past the tv while the wife was sort of watching the race while reading the Sunday papers, and I heard them say Jr. was on the tail end of the lead lap and fixin to go down one. I looked at the wife and said there was going to be a caution pretty quick. I heard laughing from her not long after when there was a Jr. “caution” for debrie.

Bill B
06/06/2011 07:12 AM

That race would have been better without the two bogus debris cautions (a water bottle off the track,, really?!!)and the lame caution for Jr’s spin. No wonder people questioned last week’s lack of a caution on that last restart.
The circus is alive and well.

Sue Rarick
06/06/2011 07:56 AM

For the first time in years I didn’t watch the race. Why? It seems every week it’s become a fuel mileage race (using the word jokingly)… I don’t know if you remember that there was a thing called the Mobile Economy Run in the 1950’s and 1960’s. And the image of that keeps running in my mind as I have watched the past few economy runs being passed off as actual races…..I’ll wait till Monday mornings and read a recap of the race, which will save me hours of my life till they decide a way to return to actual racing.

06/06/2011 08:04 AM

How could FOX have stated that Dale passed when they cut off as Dale Junior was running off? No official word had passed at that point and the ambulance was heading toward the hospital. Speculation would have added zero to the broadcast. Yes, we had a pretty good idea he was dead when they interviewed Schrader, but for all we knew he had a broken neck but was alive.

Surprised you didn’t mention FOX and the blank cars in the intro where they tried to justify it by not wanting to upset key sponsors.

Funky D
06/06/2011 08:07 AM

Phil H, it appears that you do not know what the Prelude to the Dream is all about. It is a charity exhibition, not a points-paying dirt race. A lot of drivers we see on Tv have a chance to try out something different and enjoy themselves In the process. Last few years it’s had more action in30 laps tha. Most Cup races have in 200.

06/06/2011 08:38 AM

boring race, terrible broadcast, glad that Fox is done for another year. I no longer watch any of the pre race shows and will skip Raceday for sure since DW will be there waxing poetic, along with Kenny the Klown Wallace since Kyle P will be in the booth for TNT.

TNT has presented the only “fun” coverage for the Cup series of the 3 broadcast groups. If you haven’t tried RaceBuddy – do it when TNT takes over next week. Awesome application and I use it in conjunction with trackpass so I can (gasp) actually follow the race since I sure can’t do it with the TV broadcast.

I gave up eating all M&M Mars products when KyBu started acting like such a jerk. Maybe I’ll write to them and tell them that – he sure isn’t an example I’d want my child to emulate.

Glad to see that Richard finally took things “old school” and explained it to KyBu in a way that maybe he might actually get the message. What happened to the whole “boys have at it” deal – RC didn’t use a race car, he confronted him face to face.

BTW, I agree about the Prelude – it’s a great charity event and lots of fun to watch – even if only on TV

06/06/2011 08:39 AM

Well, it’s been almost two weeks now and I’m still waiting for Mr. Gibbs to do something about PeeWee Herman’s “thrice-the-limit” speeding ticket. As a Christian, I try very very hard not to judge others. When my bride and I first started following NA$CAR closely, back in 2005, I was drawn to the drivers that exhibited positive, if not overtly Christian attitudes and demeanors: Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, etc. Mr. Gibbs also had this reputation. But over the years, I have seen him coddle hotheads, whiners and outright arrogant babies in his stable and when these lowlifes go overboard (even for them), all I ever hear is that Mr. Gibbs is “looking into the situation”. No more. We were in the Charlotte area for the race, and we can thank God that we didn’t happen to be in Iredell County when that immature spoiled brat was taking his and his wife’s (and others) lives into his own hands in blatant disregard for not only the law, but also others’ safety. I’m glad that one of your readers has stated their disgust to the sponsor. Maybe when some of the $$$ start drying up, Mr. Gibbs might start to wise up and get rid of the punk. I’m no great fan of Mr Hendrick, but I give him a LOT of credit for dumping that jerk IN SPITE OF his driving talent and potential for winning races. I live less than a mile from an M&M/Mars plant and I haven’t purchased ANY of their products since their sponsorship went to Busch. SHAME ON YOU, JOE GIBBS!!!!! Yes, I’m a Christian, but I’m also human too. And I stood up and cheered when I heard that Mr. Childress meted out some of the punishment that it seems no one else was willing to. “Spare the rod; spoil the child”. (emphasis on CHILD)

06/06/2011 08:39 AM

I would like to know how Nascar can say Kyle Busch did nothing wrong on Saturday. His bump of the 22 truck wasn’t during the race it was after. To me that is a flagrant probation violation. I do think Childress should be penalized but the confrontation would not have happened without the bump after the race.

06/06/2011 08:50 AM

i think we get it..the author doesnt like we need beat into our heads every week?..he prolly didnt care for him as a it carries over to the booth…for myself..i fail to see what Dale Jarrett adds to the broadcasts either…as for Gibbs..Kyle should have some punishment coming…based on the way Gibbs treated Stewart for his various incidents.

Jeff G.
06/06/2011 09:16 AM

I agree with Oldsmo-Bill on KB’s speeding ticket. When a driver gets a DUI NASCAR always does something about it. Dang, 128 mph on a public road?? I know it’s not a DUI, but come on!!
BTW, can anyone offer the email address to M&M’s? I will gladly write them also!

06/06/2011 09:39 AM

I was glad to see the comment about D.W. and throwing debris out of car, and I believe I saw Carl and Kurt both throw stuff out of thier cars during the 1st “waterbottle” caution, all of these drivers need to be told and punished if necessary to get this to stop.

06/06/2011 09:53 AM

I thought the race was pretty decent as 1.5 races go. I’ll take fuel milage drama over a guy running away by 4 seconds. I don’t think there have been anymore fuel milage races this year than there usually is. If a debris caution came out with 20 to go people would complain about that too. I agree that caution apparently coming from a water bottle was pathetic. I’m guess I’m one of the few sad to see Fox go for the year. I have always liked DW’s enthusiasm, and Mike Joy’s play-by-play. TNT is good too, but I can’t stand ESPN. The only thing they got going for them are some hot girls as pit reporters.

On the Nationwide side, that was a great finish and a regular won. It might actually be great for the series Gibbs won’t show up at some non-companion events. Then we get what we are all asking for, Nationwide regulars to have a chance to win. Sure the series still has problems, but all this talk that NASCAR is going to totally collapse is getting tiring. Kansas looked pretty full except for a few sections on the edge. That is a better job than Cali did with 2 races. They still drew more fans than most baseball teams will draw for a weekend series. I actually think NASCAR as a whole has turned a corner. The racing has been better and some parity has returned this year.

06/06/2011 10:05 AM

Q:“Since when has an empty water bottle on the apron been sufficient cause for a caution?”

A: Well, at least it could be seen.

As for Childress. Absolutely — and I am a KyBu fan — I remember being in bars many times with him and Dale, Sr.. BTW 65 Is not old.

David Shippee
06/06/2011 10:25 AM

It took Front Row Joe exactly 12 races to top the $1 Mil mark, running 10% or less of the laps.

The Mad Man
06/06/2011 10:28 AM

Thank the powers that be that Fox is gone til February. I didn’t think their race coverage could get any worse after last year but they went and proved me wrong again this year. I’m looking forward to the TNT coverage. It’ll be a breath of fresh air after what we’ve had to suffer through since February.

Two weeks of gas mileage races in a row sort of makes you wonder what the upcoming races are going to be like.

In the old days, when a driver or team owner wasn’t happy with how another driver or team owner did things, they usually “met” behind the garage and things were settled there, whether it was with somebody’s face hitting somebody else’s fists or a pistol trumping a tire iron. NA$CAR has made things too politically correct with too many pretty boys behind the wheels of the cars. Maybe a little old school education is needed from time to time to remind the PC crowd just where stock car racing originated from. Rough and tumble non nonsense men who took no prisoners and didn’t tolerate childsih antics which made them and the sport look bad. Of course, back then, it really was a sport and not sports entertainment.

The water bottle caution seems to be a favorite of NA$CAR. They’ll sit outside the racing groove for laps on end and when things get boring or certain drivers are in danger of being lapped, the caution comes out for the water bottle that’s been laying there through a series of green flag pit stops, lap upon lap of racing, and even through other cautions. It’s nothing new in the Brain Farce version of NA$CAR 2.011.

Bill S.
06/06/2011 10:38 AM

Matt, Mars signed a long term contract with JGR and Busch only a few weeks ago. This supposed email, if it is genuine, is nothing but a sop to complaining fans. Kyle’s merchandise sales continue strong and Mars is not going to back out of a contract because of some loony- tune fans. In advertising, virtually all publicity is good publicity. With Kyle getting the lion’s share of attention even on weeks he is not competitive in his car, and with the M&M’s car getting way more attention than any other when he is competitive, a “short relationship” with Mars is wishful thinking on your part and this so-called fan’s.

Dickie Childress was clearly in the wrong in this incident and hopefully NASCAR will suspend his arse and add a seriously meaningful fine on top of it. Then he and the punks who work for him like Kevin Harvick may learn a lesson.

And two more things, 65 is WAY too old to act like a five year old. Or is it senile demntia? And letters to Mars can go both ways. It appears Kyle-haters are so desperate to keep him from his ascendancy in the sport that they will grasp at any straw to try to prevent it. But then, what else have you got? I hear Mr. SIX-TIME is warming up his latest acceptance speech.

Any way you folks look at it, you lose.

Bill S.
06/06/2011 10:42 AM

Oh, and Mr. Christian in the Oldsmobile, since when is assault and battery a Christian act? How about that “turn the other cheek” business? Your version of Christ did not say that?

And then there is the subject of Rick Hendrick’s felony conviction for bribery – way Christian, that behavior.

“Those of you who are without sin, cast the first stone.”


06/06/2011 11:05 AM

I couldn’t believe that Brad Keselowski won the race yesterday. After being convinced that NASCAR was in a conspiracy to end Dale Jr’s 105 race winless streak for him I thought for sure that Keselowski would be black flagged to allow a NASCAR official to punch a hole in Keselowski’s fuel cekk, thus ensuring he couldn’t make it all the way to the end and a Dale Jr victory… alas, another Top 5 run for the #88 Crew.

As for the caution for a water bottle, with so many people last week asking for consistency in NASCAR’s calls, I guess NASCAR figured since they threw a caution for an empty beer can last week an empty water bottle was the same thing… Once again, NASCAR can’t get anything right…

@Mr Oldsmo_bill
Just because Mr Gibbs does not publicly announce any sanctions that he places on his drivers for their (ill advised) actions does not mean that penalties are not levied against them. Mr Gibbs seems to me the type of person that handles things internally. There is no doubt in my mind that within Mr Gibbs organization there is a system of internal fines, removal of priveledges and possibly even internal probation for these types of infractions. That Mr Gibbs does not satisfy your need to know if Kyle Busch is punished does not mean it isn’t happening. Shame on you Mr Oldsmo_Bill for being so quick to judge. How very Christian of you.

Bill S.
06/06/2011 11:19 AM

Agree that Prelude to the Dream is a farce and thinking it must be nice to have discretionary income to waste on PPV. Give the money directly to charity, Tony and participants – and broadcast it on free TV if anybody really wants to watch another exhibition race.

Greg in Atlanta
06/06/2011 11:47 AM

I agree wholeheartedly that the Sportsman/Grand-National/Nationwide/Whatevertheycallitthisyear Series should once again be basically a “short track series” as in days of yore (with the occasional “big track” event thrown in, too). I would like to see the Nationwide Series’ biggest event(s) in Georgia once again be held at either the track at Jefferson (not sure what they call it this week) where they ran a couple of years and/or up the road at Lanier where they ran later. Limit starting fields to the fastest 30 drivers (and no driver currently in the Top 35 [40? 50?] in “Cup” standings permitted). Thoughts? Questions? Joys and concerns?

Bill B
06/06/2011 12:13 PM

Bill S and Kevin,
From what I have seen, it seems to me that Gibbs is a businessman first and a man of principle second (notice I steered clear of getting Christianity into the argument). A man of prinicple would never put up with the Kyle’s crap (or Tony’s in the past for that matter).
That doesn’t bother me because I’d do the same. However no one is going on and on about what a great person I am and my high moral standards. That’s what bothers me, how everyone thinks Gibbs morality and ethics are above any of the other owners. From what I’ve seen, as long as the money is rolling in his driver is doing well, he will put up with whatever he has to. At no time will he put his morals above his ledger sheet.

06/06/2011 01:24 PM

Suprised you forget to mention this being the 67th anniversary of D-DAY. I seem to rememder you always mentioning this day along with both Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

I too had forgot and was really suprised that there is little mention of this on any of the media outlets. (TV or newspaper).

We need to remember these HEROES.

06/06/2011 01:41 PM

NASCAR just fined Richard Childress $150K and put him on probation until 12/31/11.

Bill S.
06/06/2011 01:44 PM

Right decision to save NASCAR’s arse legally. A&B is a crime and cannot be condoned on their premises during a sanctioned event.

Sharon J
06/06/2011 02:08 PM

And yet again, Kyle does nothing wrong. Damage other drivers cars, insult people with his language and Nascar says OK little wimp.
Would you stand for someone using bad language on you? I guess so but I sure would not. The punk better watch his language or it will happen again.

06/06/2011 02:10 PM

First, Bill hit that nail on the head re Gibbs — at no time will he put his morals above his ledger sheet (he’s a businessman first). On the other hand, the speeding ticket is none of Gibbs business in my opinion.

Second, M&M/Mars has to be doing cartwheels of joy. Whether good or bad it’s publicity and even though some fans may boycott their products plenty of others are filling their faces.

Third, every human being knows the difference between wrong and right. You don’t have to be “christian” to figure it out.

Fourth, Kyle Busch is a fag (and one heck of a race driver) that runs and hides.

Fifth, what Childress did was wrong but I’m glad he did it. That shrub punk (although he’s a great racer) needs an ass kicking (and I would’ve done it had I been around when he smashed Sam Bass’s guitar trophy at Nashville last year).

Sixth, what’s a Nationwide series? I think I’ve been to every race at Chicagoland until this weekend. Sure didn’t miss parking 50 miles from my seat, overpriced food and beverages and an excessive presence of police (good day to be a criminal in Joliet since all the cops are at the track).

Seventh … and this is the worse one yet …, as Bill S indicated we all lose again when Mr. SIX-TIME accepts his trophy at the end of the year and believe me although JJ is another great driver I am SO SICK AND TIRED of him always winning. Parity, hardly. Every week the same handful of drivers dominate. I can only hope that Bill S is wrong but I definitely won’t be betting on that one.

06/06/2011 02:27 PM

Lots to chew on this week and regurgitate, and that’s just the discussion here as the race was pretty ho hum. Fuel mileage only works if its your driver favorite that plays it right. For the rest of us I would rather see a driver win by a 4 second margin then be in “suspense” about who will not run out of gas. Its called a race for a reason.

So the race wasn’t suspenseful and I was like one of the posters, as soon as I heard Jr was about to be lapped, I knew there would be a debris caution.

I am glad that FOX is done, as while ESPN makes me pray for the end of the racing season, FOX lures me with the start that this year will be different, and it just gets worse. If I had to listen to Junebug and Five Time one more time, I would have had to hurt the cat, and I don’t own a cat.

We gave Kansas a second race because they built a casino and we all know in Nascar’s world if you build it they will give you a second race date.

I happen to agree with the poster who said M&M Mars will stick with JGR. He is right in that publicity is a good thing and I bet Kyle isn’t hurting sales of M&M’s one little bit. What he did was idiotic, especially in light of the fact there was a cop hanging around and he should have figured that out. However, if Joe Gibbs could handle Terrible Tony, I think Shrub will give him no problems. I look for raw talent in Nascar racing and despite Jr. Nation’s continued disillusioned stand that Jr is the best driver to never win a Championship, I think Kyle is one of maybe 10 drivers right now that is pure talent behind the wheel. What do I look for besides being a wheelman? The desire to drive, and not just in Nascar’s elite series but in all the small track events that got most of these drivers to where they are now. Again, a hand full of drivers still drive on weeknights and in the Saturday night venues. They live to race, not race to live…so while I may think Kyle Busch is arrogant and immature at times, I give him high marks for the way he views racing. As far as I’m concerned RC handled the affair fine. If Busch has a problem with it, he can take it up behind the garage at a time of his choosing.
And finally: to Bill S.
Agree that Prelude to the Dream is a farce and thinking it must be nice to have discretionary income to waste on PPV. Give the money directly to charity, Tony and participants – and broadcast it on free TV if anybody really wants to watch another exhibition race.
I was lucky enough to attend the second Prelude to the Dream. Actually I made the trip to Eldora in Ohio from Michigan where I live, twice, as the June scheduled race was rained out. Even after waiting around for 6 hours for Tony to finally postpone the race until September, we had a great time. We talked to so many people who knew Eldora intimately and Tony when he had just been starting out and were fans. All afternoon before the rains set in we were able to glimpse and quite often talk to the Nascar drivers there. Eldora is this wonderful place dropped in the middle of nowhere surrounded by corn fields. You have to want to attend this and/or be a part of it to make the commitment. The first year Tony ran it, he had the lesser known Cup guys help him out, guys like Kenny Wallace and Ken Schrader, as these were guys who raced modifieds and dirt tracks on their time off. The next year that number had doubled, and it was a testament to who Tony was that when the original June race was rained out, only two Nascar drivers did not come back for the September make up date. It was some of the most fun I have ever had at a race. The atmosphere is just one of fun and camaraderie among those attending. Running Eldora is not something most Nascar fans will see often and it is far better in person.
I would go back in a heartbeat if the chance arose, but I have never watched it on PPV. I understand the reasoning behind it and as the money goes to great charities I have no problem in doing it this way, but I just wait and watch it a few weeks later when Speed rebroadcasts it. To me, it is a win/win situation and one that deserves the publicity it receives.
I expected about what I got from Kansas, and I do believe the France family might regret the second race date in the future.

06/06/2011 02:55 PM

Gotta disagree with you on one point, Matt. Mike Joy isn’t any more tolerable than anyone else on that FOX crew. He does okay with those car auctions they show on Speed, but he takes it down a few notches for the races.

Don Mei
06/06/2011 02:55 PM

Interesting; guess Harvick had to send his “daddy” to beat up on the bad guy. Since when are there morals in NASCAR? Smoky Yunick anyone? Lets keep religion the hell out of here and where it belongs, in private in your home or church. Quite frankly as everything in NASCAR becomes more and more homogeneous; the cars, the tracks, the drivers, then it just becomes more and more boring. Busch is a welcome relief. I think I’ll go by Costco and buy a couple of boxes of Mars candy!

06/06/2011 02:59 PM

When Jimmy Spencer punched Kurt I called Target and canceled my charge card with them. They wanted to know why and I told them that as long as Target sponsored Jimmy I would never step foot in that store. Jimmy lost his ride that year. Yes I know it wasn’t because of me alone but I do wonder how many people did the same. I have not bought M & M’s for a very very long time. They are Kyle turds. I do miss them though but I am sticking to my ground.

SOOOO glad no more DW for the rest of the season. :)

06/06/2011 03:11 PM

$150k and probation (whatever that means)?

I imagine he thinks it money well spent.

And with awl yawl’s scorching of Kyle remember: Bad Boys sell tickets same as negative advertising works in poltics. Think of the Great (now-fast frozen) Ted Williams. Many of his own hometown fans hated him, but he was really good and he was a draw.

06/06/2011 03:12 PM

Gary, you had me til the “fag” comment. Punk or coward maybe. Grow up. You have seen his trophy wife, right? Hook or crook, he’s got himself some nice looking arm candy.

06/06/2011 03:41 PM

To address the comment about the author not liking DW even as a driver. Well, I for one used to like DW when he was a driver, I even sort of liked his brother.I remember rooting for the Western Auto car when he drove and owned it. That said, his effect on my enjoyment watching races when he drove has changed DRAMATICALLY since he started doing TV. I’ve come to the point where I can’t stand him anymore and have stopped watching the truck races solely because of his dopey brother. What I read in another column applies to me as well, whoever is making the decision to put those two on TV is not talking to the same fans I talk to, and I know quite a few.I’m sure there are those who like him, all I’m saying is there is a large number that don’t, and I believe it’s growing as we speak.I for one can’t wait for TNT and ESPN.

Mr Bill
06/06/2011 04:03 PM

The one commit that needs to be corrected is “turn the other cheek”. To the Jews this does not mean to be humble and forget as most people say it does. Instead, it means to start fresh in your effort and to double your effort. Think about it.

06/06/2011 06:35 PM

If someone ran into the side of my truck after the race just because my driver dared to race kyle busch hard for a top 5 position on the last lap of a race, i’d be pissed to. Guess no one has heard of the “slide job”. Coulter didn’t even touch him. If it bothers Kyle Busch so much in a lower series, maybe he should stay in the Cup series where he belongs.

06/06/2011 07:50 PM

Nascar is fining Richard $150,000; & sending him a case of champagne, a large box of chocolates, & a ‘thank-you’ note. :)

06/06/2011 09:00 PM

Here’s the email from I received from Mars shortly after KB’s fiasco.

“In response to your email regarding M&M’S BRAND NASCAR RACING TEAM.

Kyle Busch’s recent behavior is not consistent with the values of MARS CHOCOLATE NORTH AMERICA and we are disappointed in his actions. MARS in no way supports or condones activity that breaks the law or threatens public safety and we support the Iredell County Sherriff’s Department for enforcing such laws. We take our responsibility as a sponsor very seriously”.

Yea but, what do you intend to do? Nothing, because the old adage of even negative publicity is good publicity.

Ain’t gitten’ rid of ole’ DW that fast. He’s going to be on FOX2 (SPEED) Raceday for the next six weeks. He’s like the mole in my yard. Just when I think he’s gone, there’s another pile of dirt.

06/06/2011 09:40 PM

Mike…I usually agree with you 99.9% of the time, but yesterday’s crowd was down 20%? Based on what? This was the first spring race, not the annual fall race. Two different animals I think, agree empty seats aern’t good, but maybe 80% of capacity will be the demand for this race. Just isn’t a fair comparison at this point in time. I knew it wasn’t a sellout, after getting weekly emails from the track the last 2 months looking to get me to buy tickets.

06/06/2011 09:50 PM

To the clueless: DW on FOX 2011 (Speed included) was, and will be thru the end of the season, the All DW, All the Time HOF Promotion Tour. Fans use you HOF vote as a vote against DW and FOX, vote for any body but Ole DW. Send a Message! Use the Jr. Nation method of voting, vote early and vote often!

06/06/2011 10:05 PM

I’d rather see an MPG race play out than a manufactured MPH race with a few laps to go.
KyBu better start polishing up the resume’.
Now second best woman in the series after Danica.

06/06/2011 10:34 PM

another good article Matt the only thing I got to say is kyle got his ass handed to him by RC and did nothing now all you kyle fans might say he showed restraint the only thing he showed was fear because as RC was hitting him the only thing he could do was fall to ground lol RC warned him about it told him what he would do if he wrecked another car I like kyle as a driver outside the car he acts like a punk I bet it will be awhile before he runs into another RCR car or truck

06/07/2011 12:00 AM

Kyle should be in hiding. He got his butt kicked by a 65 year old Grandfather. LMAO.

06/07/2011 08:57 AM

Hey Joe sorry to you and and anyone I offended with the fag comment. Punk or prick would have been more appropriate for Kyle Busch.

Regarding Kyle’s eye candy who cares … dude beauty fades eventually and you can only be a newlywed so long … all good things come to an end. Been there done it.

06/07/2011 12:29 PM

I agree Kryle showed what a true wuss he is when he isn’t in a car to protect him and use as a battering ram. Since RC threw the first punches he had every right to defend himself – it is called self defense. It wasn’t restraint it was fear of getting his clocked cleaned worse. RC is 65 Kyle has the advantage of youth sounds like a good match to me.

06/07/2011 12:50 PM

So now Kyle can have free reign to run into RCR vehicles the rest of the season without any repercussions. Once again Nascar protects their boy.

I have a feeling revenge is coming in Sonoma if not sooner. Probation is almost over and you can be sure Harvick is biding his time for the right opportunity.

All you guys longing for TNT shouldn’t get too excited. Their coverage was good for 1 race last year and then it went down to the level of FOX shortly after. I expect that again this year unless they made some changes. I hope I’m wrong, though.

Bill S.
06/07/2011 01:06 PM

If Kyle is in hiding, (which he is not, he is testing at some road course this week – maybe with the LFA!!), he sould be huddled up with his attorney – not over the pussy speeding ticket, but about his options for a civil suit against Dickie Bird. Kyle chose not to press criminal charges unfortunately, but the statute of limitations on civil charges gives him plenty of time to consider whether to hit Gramps in the wallet again.

As for Kyle being some kind of coward for not fighting back, remember he is on proabtion with NASCAR and cannot fight back. Dickie Bird knew that and, like the COWARD he is, chose that moment to express his long-held desperation and frustration over his own crappy stable of drivers.

And oh, how the holier-than-thou types would have had a field day if Kyle had fought back and the old fart had gone down and broken a hip.

Hypocrisy rules among the Kyle-bashers.

06/07/2011 02:19 PM

scratching and hair pulling like a girl is how Kyle fights back.

06/07/2011 09:34 PM

In a civil lawsuit, the victim brings a case for money damages against the offender or a third party for causing physical or emotional injuries.

Ok let me get this straight Kyle should file a civil suit? He did not go to the hospital for even an hour much less days – no broken nose, no week/months of therapy, I didn’t even see a black eye.

Oh I get it he is now officially a nut case. LOL

Last but not least the law and Nascar would go along with it always allows self defense. Kryle just doesn’t know how to fight w/o being behind the wheel of a car. You think RC sucker punched Kryle? Kryle sucker punches with his car.

06/07/2011 11:33 PM

Just a couple things. (when have I ever been able to shut up?)

Susan, send your supprortive emails to Mars. (I’m talking the candy company not the planet.) Three of your notes written as you typically post here will do more to convince them the sort of supporters they want aren’t being garened through thier sponsorship than 100 negative notes from us might.

Secondly I feel for Richard Childress. He pays for all those damaged race cars, two of them at Darlington, one of them put into the pit wall AFTER the race when Harvick went to confront Busch. He lost the purse money that those two cars lost due to thier lost finishing positions. Those cars have to be rebuilt. Fabricators have to work hundreds of hours of overtime to piece them back together again, then they have to be sent to the wind tunnel for testing which is hideously expensive. All those tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars come out of his pocket.

Coulter never roughed up Busch’s truck. The pass was clean and it wasn’t for the win anyway. Busch was just frustrated because he didn’t have a race winning truck.

RC had put Busch on notice, you want to have a go with my drivers, I’m good with that. But stop tearing up the equipment I’m laying out my money for.

Unwisely Kyle failed to take that warning to heart and he got his ass beat. Oh well.

Back in the day there used to what we called “blanket parties.” A driver who was out of control and wrecking other racers would be walking through the garage and would have a blanket thrown over him. The rest of the parties involved would beat the crap out of him but he’d never know who hit him because the blanket blinded him. If any driver was ever due a blanket party it is Vile Kyle.

Bill B
06/08/2011 07:07 AM

Regarding the blanket deal, I think you are confusing a scene from Full Metal Jacket with NASCAR.