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
Tuesday March 4, 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.
Voice of Vito · Vito Pugliese · Wednesday September 8, 2010
Kyle Busch has had an eventful past few weeks, getting more airtime and mentions than any show on SPEED in what seems to be a constant loop of public disaffection.
In Bristol, he swept all three races in the Camping World Truck, Nationwide, and Sprint Cup Series, a feat that was heralded by many in the media as historic – and by his detractors as hysteric. Along the way, he accomplished the feat by turning a hapless Jennifer Jo Cobb, a less-than-guilty Brad Keselowski, then got in some verbal digs on what was a writhing and wretching David Reutimann that weekend in the media center following his Victory Lane celebration.
The next week, Busch was serenaded by a chorus of less-than-enthusiastic fans at Chicagoland Speedway following his victory in the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 Truck race, which he noted in his winner’s circle interview – to their continued displeasure.
But the kicker came following last Friday’s Built Ford Tough 225 Truck Series race in Kentucky, where Busch was the object of a “dirty driving” blast by eventual winner Todd Bodine. It was the icing on the cake to a Bristol “diss” we’ve all heard about 1,000 times now, Brad Keselowski’s “ass“essment of Busch following his driver introduction at Bristol Motor Speedway. Clearly, on a public perception level the younger Busch has seen better days, even with his rebellious history of getting fans to rally against him using any means possible.
But what we haven’t heard or seen is a cadre of drivers, team members, or fans who do not sport No. 18 gear rush to the defense of Busch. His prickly demeanor and antagonistic actions to everyone have continually placed the 25-year old driver in a poor light with many in the sport who count the most.
That isn’t to say that Busch isn’t talented or worthy – far from it. We have all seen his talents behind the wheel, and are reminded of it ad nauseum during any Truck Series or Nationwide event where his Truck or car dominates the race. With his 10th win of the 2010 season at Bristol, Busch tied Grand National legend Sam Ard for most wins in a season, and had Busch competed in all the events this year, he would most assuredly be working towards a second consecutive title – or setting up for an epic championship battle with Keselowski.
Beyond that, how many people his age do you know that have started their own racing team and been this successful right off the bat?
Busch is bank rolling the effort largely out of his own pocket – an assertion he made when I spoke with him this April by revealing, “If something happened to me today, I’d have nothing to retire with.” He gets big points for being bold, brash, and ballsy – but seemingly undoes any goodwill just as quickly with the same smarmy attitude and snide remarks that have conspired to derail him in the past. And while the sound bites might be funny, they specifically deflate opportunities to contend and contest championships at the Sprint Cup level.
His quick wit and sharp tongue may serve as a machete to slice through most of the tired and trite answers and soundbites that are routinely regurgitated on a weekly basis in the media center and press releases, but they also conspire to lessen the recognition of his accomplishments and those who have helped to propel him to this success.
Following his unrepentant spinning of Keselowski in the Bristol Nationwide race, Busch took the position that because it was Keselowski, the retaliatory actions he took – for an incident that was no more Keselowski’s doing than either of Carl Edwards’ exploits off the nose of Brad’s Dodges at Atlanta or Gateway – were right and just, simply because it was Brad Keselowski.
The belittling continued following his Sprint Cup victory when Marty Smith of ESPN questioned him regarding racing around Keselowski, to which Busch shot back a terse “who?” when Brad’s name was mentioned. Smith tried to play upon the remark by repeating the Penske driver’s full name, along with the car number, one that did not draw any amusement from Busch.
Those comments preceded the line of questioning regarding the contest with Reutimann in the final laps, when Busch criticized Reutimann for not driving the .533-mile track correctly. Kyle then took issue with a reporter’s response to his answer by reiterating his statement.
“He wasn’t driving the place right, I’m sorry. He fixes how to drive this place, he’ll be right there with me,” which preceded his qualification of a “less formal” comment moments earlier: “Well, I got ‘Oooohhhhh‘ because it’s going to be a ‘big deal _’ in the ‘ media_’ … Jesus …”
I guess you can chalk these incidents up to little more than a coincidence, since I’m referencing it here now. Or would it be irony? Either way, Reutimann offered this response to Kyle’s critique of his performance a couple of days later on Sirius XM NASCAR with host Dave Moody – one that was done while battling a nasty bout with food poisoning race weekend.
“I’m sure in his mind he is, but let’s cut to the chase: he makes a comment like that after the race, he’s not driving my frickin’ racecar and I‘m not driving his,” Reutimann said. “Every driver has to do different things inside their car to make it do what it needs to do because technically a lot of times a car’s not perfect, so you have to do things differently. Sometimes your car won’t do what another guy’s car will.”
“I don’t know if it’s the fact that Superman’s cape was flying out the back when I was behind him, and I couldn’t see what the deal was (as) the reason that I couldn’t pass him. Either way, we ran second. We got beat fair and square, that’s what it came down to. We just got outrun. But again, Professor Busch, maybe he can start a driving school at Bristol and the rest of the field, we can all join in and go. He can show all of us what we‘re doing wrong. I need help.”
“If Kyle says it, it’s gospel. It’s probably the stupidest comment I’ve ever heard anybody say at any given time because everyone’s cars drive exactly the same,” Reutimann added with a tinge of Busch-esque sarcasm. “Everyone’s cars are identical. Nobody’s cars drive any different, so the guy who wins does a phenomenal job and the guy who finishes 43rd is just terrible because every one of the cars are identical. They drive exactly the same.”
Reutimann then conceded what was becoming apparent, and what a growing list of drivers and even more fans are beginning to be more vocal about – an issue with Busch as a competitor.
“It all comes down to the fact that we just don’t like each other very much,” Reutimann said. “It has been awhile. We just don’t like each other, and we agree we don’t like each other and we’re both fine with it.”
What continues to puzzle many is that for Busch, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s one thing if you are disliked for winning a lot – i.e., Jimmie Johnson – but it is quite another when it coincides with intentionally wrecking other drivers, tearing up equipment and displaying little regard or remorse – not even slightly feigned.
Couple that with continued shock and disbelief that others may take offense to your actions and comments, and it illustrates again why Busch has one more barrier to overcome before he will truly contend for a championship and exhibit the qualities of a champion. With the Chase starting following this weekend’s race at Richmond, that is an obstacle unlikely to remove itself anytime soon.
©2000 - 2008 Vito Pugliese and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
List of defenders –
Ricky Craven (TB – said on Sunday he would debate anyone, Kyle is not a dirty driver), Ray Evernham (BK), Jimmy Spencer (both BK and TB), Kyle Petty (TB), Kenny Wallace (TB), Mark Martin (general), Jeff Burton (general – even after dust up earlier this year). I admit he should not have turned JCC, unnecessary drama. That’s my 2 cents.
The TB thing I agre with…I think Todd’s remarks were spurred by a lot of things – had that been Eliott Sadler or Hornaday that went by him, I doubt he’d have had the same remarks. I really don’t see where that was his fault. Todd just lost it. At least Kyle didn’t retort with “that cue-balled headed fool” like Jr did back in the Busch Series in 1998 or 99. That was funny.
As a Kyle Busch hater, I’m so glad that he has all this drama in his life and loves to spend all his time in the minor leagues, because as long as he keeps doing that and as long as the drama follows him, he will never win a Sprint Cup title. He will implode in the Chase, just watch and see.
The poll about Kyle’s antics being good or bad for the sport is ridiculous! Of course he is good for the sport. He is the ONLY driver who keeps the sport interesting these days. He is outrageous, arrogant, unrepentant, and the best driver on the track. He is the best thing (perhaps the only good thing) that has happened to NASCAR since Dale, Sr. died. And not so coincidentally, he is the driver most like Earnhardt in driving style and temperament. Ironhead was no saint either.
As for Todd Bodine, gimme a break! He whined just like Danica Patrick, “Isn’t there a penalty for that? He got me loose! I lost control of my car. So, Kyle must be a dirty driver.” Sour grapes – you bet!
I hope Kyle wins a bunch of championships. At least it would give the JJ-haters something else to b!tch about for a change. But whether he does or not, he is NASCAR’s Most Valuable Player right now. So, have at it, Kyle!
Susan, you say KyBu is the only driver keeping it interesting. You’re entitled to your opinion, but for me, I have stopped watching the trucks and Nationwide races because of the overkill of Kyle. Someone on another site essentially said the same thing as the sign in the little girl’s hands “deal with it”. I do by not watching races, so how is THAT good for the sport?
JerseyGirl, you’re here commenting on Kyle, aren’t you? Vito chose to write about him – again. Todd and Brad can’t beat him on the track, so they trash talk him. Jamie M. beat Kyle fair and square Saturday – and didn’t even call him names in Victory Lane! Too bad for you that you missed it.
The bashers are just proving my point. Kyle is a lightning rod for a sport that needs some sparks.
KB is the best driver at running over other cars…I would put smoke up against him anyday if we are comparing driving ability lol
Love him or hate him, “ROWDY” makes things exciting and is fun to watch. Oh, and his win total just keeps going up. Damn it is going to be hard to decide who to chear for in the CHASE. “ROWDY” or “SMOKE”.
Its too bad that Sprout has all that arrogance to go with all that talent, otherwise I could dismiss him as just another cocky kid with just enough talent to make the big show. I won’t deny that he is very talented, but I think that Steve is right…the drama and his stubborn arrogance is going to hold him back. As far as Sam Ard’s Cup-Lite record goes…if Sam had been in Joe Gibbs cars with Joe Gibbs money behind him he would have most likely won more than 10 that season. With all that being said I do have to admit Sprout keeps things interesting.
Steve is 100% wrong and is simply guilty of wishful thinking and mindless hate. Tony Stewart used to be fun to watch and cheer for. Since Tony has mellowed (or sold out), his wins have dropped considerably. Now he is just another NASCAR mouthpiece running for points. Jeff Gordon has lost his “refuse to lose” mantra, Tony has lost his edge, some guys never had any. And the best way for the sour grapes drivers to get back at Kyle is to beat him on the track by out-racing him, not in their post-race comments or cheap shots on the track. Good example: Brad called Kyle an arse in pre-race introductions, then got his own arse handed to him by Kyle on the racetrack. Tough talk – nothing to back it up. Shut up and drive, little boys!
A final thought for Vito: You pandered to the Kyle-haters with this column, but the fact is that NASCAR fans have never accepted Jimmie Johnson’s 4 championships in a row as a historic accomplishment either. Simply because it was not done by a driver named “Earnhardt.” JJ gets more boos than anybody except Kyle at pre-race intro’s. So you can’t blame the Kyle-bashing on KB’s abrasive personality or his driving style. NASCAR fans are full of hatred and bitterness over the death of Sr. and the failure of Jr. to take his place. And it certainly appears you are one of the mob.
BTW, Reutimann’s driving may be “wretched,” but food poisoning caused him to “retch” at Bristol. Obviously spell-checker is no cure for ignorance. Get a dictionary.
Fans Hate “Kyle” ?????