Will you be missing the Kyle Busch Series this weekend? Okay, I really meant the XFINITY Series, but it might as well be marketed as Rowdy’s House, don’t you think? How angry does the near-guarantee that the winner of the Saturday race will most likely be the younger Busch and not a points-earning starlet make you?
Oh, we’ve been chewing over this one for a few years now. Unfortunately, the answers haven’t gotten any easier to swallow. There is still no deterrent in place to keep the Cup series drivers where they belong–in the Cup series. And the young guns who do claim XFINITY points at the end of the race are still being hampered by the fact that somebody else is sitting in the catbird seat.
So, what to do? Or is there something to be done about it?
If you conducted a poll amongst fans, the results invariably come back reflecting the desire to kick the overachievers out of the A-ball series. However, when you talk to the drivers, teams and sponsors…well, they all say they want Kyle Busch running up front every single week. They say it sells tickets and TV ratings–which as we know is what makes the world go ’round.
Maybe we’ve been asking the wrong fans to vote. Maybe those of us with strong opinions when it comes to everything NASCAR are simply not the people who watch the races and buy the tickets. Could it be that the popular opinions voiced in social media have very little to do with those who open their wallets?
That’s a frightening thought. And yet…it just might be the only plausible explanation for the situation that doesn’t seem to have any kind of meaningful change coming down the pipe.
As Americans, over the centuries we’ve come to accept the fact that money is power. If there’s no cash inflow, then there’s no product. And all the bean counters down in Daytona keep telling us that if there’s no Kyle Busch in the XFINITY Series, then there’s no reason to show the rest of the world the Saturday race.
It’s such a simple concept! Yet, it’s flawed, mostly because those of us with enough wit to be screaming our displeasure against the system simply don’t like Kyle Busch. We enjoy watching Bubba Wallace, Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez test their wings. There’s a thrill to be had when the young gun passes his fellow competitors and grabs the checkers. Ennui settles in a tad too quickly when that No. 18 pulls out of the pits and disappears into the sunset. There he goes again…
I know. I sound like a broken record. But don’t you feel like one, too? Could somebody just take Kyle Busch out of the XFinity Series?
And then each time I say it, I do recall another interloper–a Buschwhacker, if you will. He drove a lovely car with Winn-Dixie emblazoned across that No. 60 hood. He also won 49 times out of 236 attempts. Why that’s nearly as good as Kyle Busch’s stats! If you recall, we complained about it in the mid-90’s, too. Mark Martin stunk up the show! He stole all the trophies and those rising stars struggled to make their way to Victory Lane. Funny thing though, ticket sales on Saturday were always better when he ran with the kids.
Maybe we did mind the same way we do now, at least competition-wise. Except for one little thing, I can’t recall Mr. Martin ever calling anybody names or stomping his feet or storming off at the end of the race. We liked Martin. We loved him.
And the bean counters in Daytona said the same things then that they do now–if you want to sell the secondary NASCAR series, you’ve got to have a few of the Cup boys on the roster. Win or lose, that’s how it’s got to be.
Well, it doesn’t make the pill any easier to swallow, knowing this isn’t a new problem. However, it does help us to realize that one day Mr. Busch will move on and we’ll find some other new-but-same-old-thing to complain about. It’s our lot in life.
We’re the NASCAR fans.
Under the ICYMI category, Auto Club Speedway hosted the sudden appearance of a bee hive during practice activities early in the weekend. What followed was the broadcast booth’s version of an attempt to give every viewer an ear worm. Remember, BEE happy!
*no bees were harmed in the making of this film*
Sorry. I can’t seem to stop…