Race Weekend Central

The Curious Cases of Kurt and Kyle

Kurt Busch won his way into the Chase for the second season in a row. Albeit, there’s an asterisk lingering after his addition this year. NASCAR decided that when he returned from the great Delaware Family Court debacle it wasn’t his fault for missing the races, so they wouldn’t penalize him in regards to earning his way into the 2015 playoffs. While I grimaced at the thought of a potential champion having missed three of the qualifying competitions, I could see France & Co.’s position. What they did was plausible. And to top it all off, how the elder Busch has been running since his return to the series has been nothing short of stellar.

 

Yes, I could stomach Kurt being handed the Cup in Homestead after all is said and done. He will have battled long and hard to get there.

 

Now, there’s another story brewing out there concerning Kyle Busch. On Thursday, France announced that NASCAR would be open to “accommodating” Kyle Busch upon his return to the series after suffering a compound fracture to his right leg and a broken left food during the Daytona Xfinity race. This statement was issued after Kyle addressed the media a week earlier stating he has no definite date when he will return. He is hoping for July at the best.

 

Out of a seven month regular season, NASCAR is actually thinking about allowing a competitor the opportunity to win the championship after missing at least five months of competition… ??? Did I miss something?

 

Before we start deciding my incredulity has something to do with a mad crush I have for the older Busch brother vs. the younger, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Neither of the native Las Vegas boys have won their way into my heart. Far from it. Year after year after year, there’s usually a headline that involves the words Busch, rude, insulting, childish and NASCAR. If offered the chance to hob nob with one of them, I’d likely turn down the chance. They can drive. They can drive like there’s no tomorrow. The fact the younger has yet to win a Cup is simple luck on the part of other competitors. It does not mean they are people I want to count among my acquaintances.

 

However, if NASCAR truly thinks that permitting Kyle the chance to snag the hardware this season is a logical conclusion to their exception policy, they’ve got more than a single lug nut missing. I believe the wheel is rolling down the backstretch unaccompanied. It might be getting ready to depart the premises.

 

There’s a difference between taking a week or two off from the job and almost half a year. You’ve passed the Personal Time Off request line and submitted paperwork for Long-term Disability. Co-workers have filled in your shoes and done the job in your absence. If somebody is going to get the annual award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sport in the Face of Unusual Consequences, it’s going to be your substitute drivers. Not you.

 

This isn’t cruel. It’s not meant to demean the abilities of the full-time personality or quash the investment of the sponsors. It’s real life. 2015 has passed you by. I believe in other sports, they’d call the remainder of 2015 an opportunity for building for 2016–not a chance for taking it all anyway.

 

Maybe Mr. France had a few too many Long Island Ice Teas before answering questions that day. Maybe he hadn’t realized that two months have already passed since Kyle’s injury and he still isn’t expected at the track anytime soon. And maybe NASCAR simply has no interest in maintaining the integrity of auto racing as a sport and has cut the line at the Next Great Reality network show.

 

If somebody wants to admit that this is where NASCAR is headed, please tell me. I’ll need a moment to decide if I want to tune in anymore.

Sonya’s Scrapbook

 

Why do we try every possible way to finish under the checkers? Because when you sit in the stands all day long, and the race is called before the cars have the chance to battle for the win, it’s likely to tick you off.  Jeff won his 77th race under the yellow, snapping the Big E’s personal record.  The Earnhardt fans tossed a few cases of beer onto the track to show their disappointment.

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