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.
For Kyle Busch, the weekend at Dover wasn’t as much about the finish as it was about getting through both races without pissing anyone off. Fresh off a 25 point penalty and probation for throwing a HANS device at Casey Mears at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the younger of the Busch brothers had fallen to 10th in the Nextel Cup standings, and the latest in a continuing string of on-track incidents left him on the short end of the stick with several of his competitors in the garage area. Don’t think for a second Busch isn’t aware of the shaky ground upon which he stands. Notice how the second-year driver finished 5th Sunday, but was more concerned after the race with whether or not Matt Kenseth was upset with him for possibly holding the 17 car up a little too long in it’s march to the front.
Truth be told, the criticism coming at the young man from the media, the garage area, and the fans has evolved from a slow murmur to a deafening roar. It seems that one more mistake is all that’s going to be needed here to send Busch in front of the firing squad. Forget innocent until proven guilty; Busch is going to spend the rest of the year trying to avoid doing anything where he could be framed as guilty.
Well, count me out of that lynch mob. I don’t want a part in it anymore.
My turning point with Kyle Busch has nothing to do with Kyle himself, or with racing. It has to do with a hand in poker.
As most 25-year-old guys like to do nowadays, I’m a part of a weekly poker tournament with my buddies from in and around New York City (which, I’ve discovered recently is a favorite pastime of many of your NASCAR favorites"¦but that’s another story). Every week, about six to eight of us put in 20 bucks a pop and take part in a rowdy three hour tournament of Texas Hold "˜Em.
Now, the ringleader of this tournament, the guy that has it all together is a guy we like to jokingly call Head. Head’s one of the most organized, upfront, and mature people for his age you’ll ever meet when he wants to be—- one conversation with him and you’ll think you’re talking to a 35 year old. Only thing is, he’s 24. Head’s also the best poker player I know"¦if luck wasn’t involved, he’d come out on top in our game anytime.
Well, a couple of weeks ago everyone got knocked out pretty quickly, and it was Head versus one of the more "inexperienced" players at the table in a grudge match to decide it all. Not only is this “Mr. Inexperience” notorious for blatantly making bad calls, but he has a history of getting himself into situations where odds dictate he should lose, only to get saved by pure luck of the cards. Now, you don’t have to know much about poker to know that "inexperience" doesn’t matter when it comes to this card game"¦you could win with pretty much any hand if all you have is a little bit of luck on your side.
Luck, as fate might have it, is exactly what struck gold again for Mr. Inexperience on this night. Throwing all his chips in with a far better hand, Head thought he was in great shape; there was but one card in the deck that would send him packing on this night.
Of course, that card promptly came on the "River," the last card you pull from the deck in a hand of Hold "˜Em. Mr. Inexperience had pulled another winning lottery ticket straight out of a hat.
In a perfect world, you’d think Head would just shake this guy’s hand and move on"¦I mean, it’s not this other guy’s fault the cards were dealt the way they were, right? That’s not what happened though. Head was so angry he took all the cards and threw them with such force up in the air it took half an hour to find them all. He then cursed at everyone, slammed his beverage into the ground, gathered his jacket, and promptly stormed off, slamming the door behind him.
What’s my point? Here was a 24-year-old who wouldn’t be caught dead doing anything stupid, losing his cool in the heat of the moment because he wasn’t mature enough to do any better. Bad luck got the better of him.
Subtract three years, add driving talent, 100 times the pressure, and a boatload of expectations, and you’ll find yourself in Kyle Busch’s shoes. How would you react at 21 if you had bad luck handed to you on a silver platter with a winning car? How would you react at 20 if your brother was attacked mercilessly by the media about a crime it turns out he didn’t commit?
I’m not saying that age justifies actions caused by immaturity. Clearly, Kyle Busch has made mistakes, and he will certainly be paying for them in the form of boos from the stands and cutting remarks from his racing peers for the foreseeable future. I’m just through getting up on my high horse when, at 25, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t find myself walking in Busch’s shoes if the tables were turned and I was the one expected to be perfect.
Sadly for Busch, one article won’t change most people’s feelings; the firing squad is lining up for the next time Kyle causes a ruckus, and they won’t hesitate to shoot. I’m just going to sit back and let someone else fire that gun…because it shouldn’t be fired at all.
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Your story describes someone who typically carries himself with maturity who suffered an ‘abberration’ in behavior. Sadly, that isn’t how one could describe Mr. Busch. One can only hope that eventually he will learn to accept responsibility for his childish behavior. Pressure doesn’t ten to bring out the best in people…but it seems to me that it is a necessity for a racer. I tend to put more weight on the fact that, even in the garage, respect from his peers, or lack thereof, tells the true story.
I don’t understand… Are you saying that a kid who misbehaves shouldn’t be disciplined…? That just because he’s a kid he should get away with it?
No my friend… discipline is how you show there is consequences to in-appropriate behavior… it is unacceptable.
The punishment that was handed out to Kyle Busch is designed to do exactly as you mentioned, for him to think before he acts.
Walking on eggshells for more than half the season, one would hope, will teach him to walk softly and think before each step.
Kyle Busch and your card playing friend for that matter, should be admonished by his peers, friends and in Kyle Busch’s, fans and NASCAR.
Your friend… next time you have a game… I would ask him where the new deck of cards were.
This years NASCAR races must be pretty pathetic if this is all you can find to write about.
Thanks for your part in calling off the lynch mob.
As a fan of Kyle’s from the moment I first saw the kid being booed in his second Busch start—long before he did anything to create a reputation of his own—that’s all I ask of fans and media.
No one believes that Kyle didn’t deserve a penalty, even a severe penalty, for his actions. But he isn’t doing anything that many, many other drivers, most far his senior in age and racing experience, haven’t done before. Its just that Kyle’s precocious talent has put him in the position where he has to make such mistakes live on national TV instead of in the safe obscurity of a regional series.
People not only need to remember Kyle’s age, they need to remember that he only has 7-8 years of total racing experience and that this is the first time he’s ever run a second year in the same racing series.
Kyle needs to learn better discipline and he needs to develop more maturity, but a little compassion on the part of the fans and media would probably be more productive than the constant badmouthing. After all, any parent knows that if a child learns that no matter what he does he can’t do anything right he’ll give up trying.
How nice to hear a positive voice! I became a fan of Kyle’s when he started driving in the truck series. I too realize he needs to discipline himself, but who didn’t at age 21? I had to supress an ironic chuckle yesterday at Darrell Waltrip’s comment…”ton of talent and ton of temper” – I remember a young Waltrip entering the series. Everyone in the garage area knew when he was angry too – but electronic media and coverage didn’t exist so that the world knew it too!
There are many drivers who would love to have his ride and be mature about it. We were garaged next to him when he ran some ARCA shows, he was a punk even then! He has always had superior equipment. His ego is growing with his age!!
Some of your readers do not seem to understand that this article is to point out how much presure is on a driver, not written as a direct comparison. Do they stop and THINK how difficult it can be for a person who has yet to experiance such life situations? I wonder how well the critics react when they lose two dollars in the coke machine? I believe the dangerous person is Tony Stewart. His out of contol temper could have killed a driver a Daytona this year, and Nascar did nothing.
I was at the race yesterday and nobody got near the boo’s as the Busch (league) brothers. Times have changed but even today there are people who care about character. With great position comes great responsibility. Big ego’s have killed the reputations of many leaders, from Napoleon and Patton to Bobby Riggs and now the Busch brothers. All of these people have skill, but who cares if you are a jerk? You want us to show restraint? Sure, if I see that either of these guys can change, but that seems to be like asking a scorpion not to sting you. It’s just beyond their control.
This is one of those topics where it is really easy to see both sides of the argument. I like the analogy and the intended message of your story- everybody, even those who are even tempered and mature, loses their cool at some point. I’ll immediately state that Kyle Busch is not exactly one of my favorite drivers. However, I think that he is very talented and he has certainly shown that he can get the job done and, as a result, is deserving of the opportunities he has been given thus far. Despite his run for the ‘04 Busch title, I don’t think a lot of fans had high expecations for his first Nextel cup season, in which he ended up winning two races and taking ROTY honors (although, that should have been Carl Edwards but for his early promotion to the 99 in 04).
Does he come across as cocky, and maybe as a bit of a jerk? Sure. I’ll give him this – at least he backs it up on the racetrack. Has he done some boneheaded things? Absolutely. However, compared to other pro sports where famous and not so famous athletes have been convicted of such things as rape and murder, a 21 year old kid flinging a hans device after getting crashed out of a race doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me. He should not have done it, don’t get me wrong, but it seems like such a minor thing, and yet, he’s getting crucified in the media for it.
Your example with “Head” is not even remotely close to the Kyle Busch situation. He has had a consistent pattern of being a smartbutt, undisciplined little jerk since his Busch series ride. I remember when he was battling Truex for a win, lost to Truex and then ran to his hauler to avoid the media. This little boy needs to mature. He hasn’t changed since he came on to the NASCAR scene.
If you are going to play at the highest tier then you need to be an example setter not the one that becomes the example. Grow up Kyle! That goes for any major sports figure. We’ve got young kids that look up to these guys.
If this was late-night poker in someone’s living room, yes, I’d say cut Kyle some more slack. But this is professional racing at its highest level, and if Kyle or any other kid his age can’t summon the maturity to act like a professional, maybe Cup racing isn’t where he needs to be right now. I also wish the FOX network and SPEED channel would stop trying to shove him in our faces all the time. For a lot of us, that only serves to annoy even further. I’m certainly not going to LIKE Kyle the more he’s forced on me!
As a fan of his I didn’t approve of Kyle being moved up so fast. But Rick Hendrick didn’t consult me about the idea.
Big difference between poker and 180 mph racing on national tv. Unfortunately for Kyle he inherited the title of “That Jerk Kurt’s Younger Brother Kyle”. If I had a brother like Kurt I would do everything in my power to show how much different and yes, better I am than him. But noooooo, Kyle wants us to give him a break for being another jerk by using his immaturity as a crutch. Well Kyle, Nextel Cup is the big league, it is for adults, so when you decide to grow up we might start giving you a cheer or two, but until then, sorry pal, it’s boos for you.
I would be willing to give Kyle a break if he wouldn’t cont to make the same mistakes time and time again. He has even had some veterens of the sport try to talk to him like Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. But it just seems like it goes through one ear and out the other. Hopefully he will try to finish the rest of the season without making the mistakes that he is making now. If he does that the fans will soon layoff him a little. And FCH layoff the out of control temper from Tony. The guy didn’t win 2 Cup Championship by being out of control.
I just love how all of you act like you know what it takes to be in cup, or to win championships (“Tony didnt win 2 championships by being out of control” yeah right, just a little insight for ya, people move out of the way as to not get killed by someone when they are going 190 mph. Tony’s a bully), or even to be kyle busch….what a joke! I am a huge Jeff Gordon fan and think he is the best out there, both on and off the track, but did you see what he did after kenseth dumped him at bristol? Not to mention, Nascar’s role in that one. (made him go to pit road instead of the garage, where he was supposed to go). Point is, he’s got nascar to deal with, owners to deal with, the car, other drivers, his personal life, and god knows what else. Pressure, pressure, pressure. Lay off, most of you would crumble in his situation. I think most people who respond to him negetively, are just jealous, and view him as an easy target cause he’s “just a kid”.
Lets see, to name just a few of Stewarts explosions. He punches out a reporter. Gets sideways on his own and blames the car next to him, so he turns that driver around in traffic at 190 MPH crashing him (this right after ole hot head cries that he is afraid someone will get killed. Maybe he wanted to make his fear come true.) then a few weeks latter he drives a guy into the wall along with himself that Stevie Wonder can see is intentional. And for those who cannot remeber or choose not to, in those championship years his crew cheif had to speek for him after the races because ole Tony was often in such a rage. All these things and many more have happened because when anything does not go his way he goes off his nut. Have you ever heard of a sponsor putting there driver on probation because of his temper? Thats what Home Depot did to Stewart. His anger has a record you could play all night. He is a great driver, no doubt, it is just that a bigger out of control hothead cannot be found. Face the facts Mellisa.
About 3-4 years ago, everyone hated a guy named Tony Stewart. He got as many or more boos than Kyle and the media and all fans gave him nothing but grief. Now he’s everyone’s darling. Isn’t it strange how the tidal wave against Kyle started with Tony naming him out at Daytona. I am a Kyle Busch fan now and will be 5 years from now. A majority of the folks who hate him now will be singing his praises 5 years from now.
I wouldn’t count on that, JC.
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