Race Weekend Central

Kyle’s Next Feud? One Other Rivalry We Need To See

There is no doubt that the biggest news of the week has been about the Richard Childress – Kyle Busch scuffle after the Camping World Truck series event last Saturday. Even my local radio sports station, which talks nothing but college football 24-7, even during the summer, took a few minutes to analyze the situation. Point is, whether you side with Childress, Busch, or neither, this altercation has generated some good publicity for the sport. Yes, I would love nothing more than for the talk to be about how great the racing is and not what happens off of the track, but I’m also the kind of guy that enjoys hearing about the post race soap operas. Who doesn’t? Unfortunately, Childress is a car owner so we know this drama won’t continue on the track. That, and the stupid probations… but I digress. Anyway, this isn’t the first feud of the season, but when was there actually a good feud that carried over for months? You could say Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski, but they aren’t necessarily what you would call two of the best drivers out there (though Edwards seems to be well on his way), nor are they the most recognizable names in the sport. NASCAR could use a feud that not only carries on for a while, but contains two of the best or most marketable drivers. Here are two rivalries that, if they were to happen, would help with television ratings and would even fill up some of those empty seats we have been seeing lately.

Danica Patrick – Kyle Busch

When I think about the potential for this, three words come to mind. O. M. G.

{Start sarcasm} With Patrick finishing in the top 10 in her last two Nationwide outings, she has shown she is ready to compete in Cup and dethrone Jimmie Johnson from his championship reign. {End sarcasm}

In all seriousness, Patrick is already one of, if not the most marketable racers in all of motorsports, and a move to Sprint Cup competition seems all but inevitable. And what better driver would there be to anger than Busch? Or vice versa? Over the years, Patrick has proven not to be afraid to show emotion towards the guys. Remember when she looked mad enough to kill Ryan Briscoe when they wrecked on pit road in the Indy 500 several years back?

As for Busch, we all know his history. With the Childress deal, I don’t know the exact details, and it’s probably just a small group of people that do. What it sounds like, however, is that he got his butt kicked by a 65 year old grandfather. As much as I like Busch – his insane driving talent, exciting personality, and how he feeds off the fan’s hatred towards him are examples of how he is different from the other 42 drivers in good way – how awesome would it be to see him getting beat up by a woman along with a senior citizen?

Patrick and Busch have already raced together in the Nationwide series, but the only time they have been near each other has been when Busch has put her a lap down. That would likely be the scenario in Cup as well, but that’s how stuff could go down. Busch, trying to lap Patrick, gets frustrated by her trying to stay on the lead lap, punts her out of the way, causing Patrick to retaliate. Unfortunately, this seems like it would be nothing more than a one time deal, as, despite ‘boys have at it,’ all grudges seem to be these days. Just one altercation though, and this would have the sports world abuzz for weeks. Sadly, it seems Patrick won’t be racing Cup full time until 2013 at the earliest, so it will need to wait for a couple of years

Jimmie Johnson – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Remember all the chaos between Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon at Talladega in 2004, when Gordon got pelted with beer cans for winning? Well, we certainly don’t need beer cans thrown again, but it is obvious that there is a lot more apathy from fans these days. If Earnhardt were to have some intense battles with Johnson for the lead, maybe it would give the fans something to get riled up for again. In 2004, Gordon was still the top guy in NASCAR as Johnson had yet to win any championships. Now that Johnson has replaced Gordon as guy to beat, he also represents the man Earnhardt needs to do battle with.

You won’t see a post race dispute between these two for a couple of reasons; for one they are teammates at Milk and Cookies Motorsports, and neither man has really ever shown much animosity towards someone after a race. This doesn’t have to be one of those types of rivalries, however. Instead, it could be what a real racing rivalry should be about; clean, yet hard, racing for wins and the championship. Johnson is the man many people are tired of seeing win title after title, and Junior is the one most people want to see win a single race. The one thing that is preventing this from happening is Junior and the 88 team. They are better this year for sure. He has certainly surprised some critics, including myself, with his solid, comeback like performance in 2011. The one thing, though, is he needs to translate this consistency into winning while continuing to avoid trouble as he has done all year. Without going to far off in a tangent, Earnhardt will also need to show he can lead laps by running up front and not all this gambling on fuel. That won’t work every race. He needs to start getting some wins soon. If he can do that, than we could be in store for a classic battle between Johnson and Earnhardt in the Chase.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share this article

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com