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Second Fiddle: Around the NASCAR Busch Series · Toni Montgomery · Thursday May 3, 2007
Carl Edwards said this week he's having a "blast" racing in the Busch Series this year. Well of course he is. He's leading by 433 points in the championship hunt, well on pace to blow Kevin Harvick's record championship margin of last year out of the water. At this point he can stay home a few weeks and still be the points leader no matter what anyone else did. The guy way behind in second is none other than Kevin Harvick and he's not even running a full schedule.
Yeah, Edwards is having a blast all right and I'm really glad he's enjoying himself, but I'm betting guys like Mike Wallace and Bobby Hamilton, Jr. aren't having near as much fun. Don't get me wrong, racing is supposed to be something a competitor enjoys. Drivers have often said when they don't enjoy it, it's time to hang up the helmet. That being said, I can't help but wonder how much fun the Busch regulars are having getting totally blown out of the water by a ringer?
Yes, I said a ringer. That's what you call it when a pro from a higher level is called in to give a team an advantage. We use it all the time when we talk about road course specialists. Honestly, when a Cup driver comes to race in the Busch Series, he's a ringer too as far as I am concerned.
Maybe I am over reacting, but there is something about Edwards talking about how much fun he is having that just rubs me the wrong way given the state of the Busch Series these days. Here are these drivers and teams just trying to survive and make a living in difficult terrain these days and then the guy who stands to take the lion's share of income right out of their pockets this year smiles and says he's having a great time. Sure seems like a slap in the face to me.
Edward's was clearly the pre-season favorite for the championship and why wouldn't he be? He's been competitive in the Busch Series for years and most of the other Cup drivers who stood to be his biggest competition aren't running full schedules. Edwards, along with those other Cup drivers, have by far the best teams with the most resources. The few other Cup drivers running full time are doing so with Busch teams, along with a small handful of Busch only drivers. None of those teams has anywhere close to the resources needed to keep up. That made the championship picture pretty obvious before the first engine ever fired in the Busch Series this year.
I'm sure none of the Busch only drivers are surprised at how things stand. Maybe they are not even surprised at how huge the margin is. If nothing else, maybe record championship margins set by Cup drivers two years running will finally let it scream out loud enough how big the gap between the haves and the have-nots has become. Lord knows no one who has the power to fix it has listened or looked at any of the other multitude of clues and signs that has appeared over the last few years. But I'm also betting the have-nots would prefer to not have their noses rubbed in it in the process.
©2000 - 2008 Toni Montgomery and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I agree completely with your article. There has to be some limit to how many Busch races the Cup drivers are in.
It’s sad that the likes of Carl Edwards are out there having “fun” at the Busch Driver’s expense.
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IF you want to know more about Toni Montgomery or to see all of her Frontstretch articles, check out her archive and bio page.