There is no end in sight to the comparisons between the racing careers of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch, the driver he replaced this season at what has been NASCAR’s premier racing organization: Hendrick Motorsports. And replace Kyle Busch at HMS, Junior absolutely did. Make no mistake about it; had Rick Hendrick not had an opportunity to sign NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, there really would not have been any “room at the inn” for anyone else. But as a result of Dale Jr.’s free agency, Busch was forced out of HMS, and eventually signed on with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2008 season and beyond.
The Coca-Cola 600 produced long green-flag runs, tire and fuel strategy, and 17 on-track green-flag passes for the lead. Why was it so much better then the rest of the races on the cookie-cutter tracks this year?
10. Took someone’s advice literally when they said something about “getting the monkey off his back” in hopes of winning a race.
In the past, the extra 100 miles that make the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR’s longest event has proved to add an extra dimension to an already grueling race. This year was no different, as it wasn’t how you started but how you finished that made the difference. It seemed that every driver who ran up front ran into problems — and in the end, Kasey Kahne survived for the victory only after Tony Stewart succumbed to tire problems three laps from the finish. Kahne moves into the top 12 in points this week with his first win in 52 starts, and appears to be picking up momentum after winning the All-Star Race last week. But will his breakthrough win be enough to put him in this week’s “HOT” list? Check out the latest edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup below to find out.
Hold on a second here. There’s a “should” or “deserved” in racing? Not the last time I checked. To confirm, let’s review the definition of the winner in any given race: it’s the car that passes over the start/finish line before any other competitor. Now, there’s no caveats in there; it’s a black and white statement devoid of emotion and heedless of moral obligations. I will grant the possibility that NASCAR might, on the random occasion of swine gliding over Daytona, rearrange the finishing order due to some other worldly divination of the rules. But, for the most part, once those tires take the checkers, the results are set in stone.
1. Rumba, Anyone? – Two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves — better known to the general public as last year’s winner of the mega hit TV show “Dancing With The Stars” — seems to be interested in following such open-wheel standouts as Juan Pablo Montoya, Sam Hornish Jr., Dario Franchitti, Patrick Carpentier, and AJ Allmendinger into the NASCAR ranks. However, the Brazilian initially refuted a Los Angeles Times story published last week that reported he was interested in talking to Penske Racing, whom he drives for in the IRL, about a move to their NASCAR operation. “I did not understand much,” Castroneves said of the journalist writing the story. “I found my English is apparently getting worse. [They] definitely took it out of context.”
Sunday evening, NASCAR’s top series put out its version of an endurance race with the running of the Coca-Cola 600. The series’ longest event, it’s a true test of both man and machine, and everyone needs to be on top of their game. But two of Sunday’s 43 starters — one a bubble dweller and one who soon may be — were already at a serious disadvantage before the marathon even got underway.
The very enigma that is Kyle Busch stirs conflict in the minds and hearts of motorsports journalists. Frankly, it seems almost a requirement to add a conjunctive qualifier when describing his persona in any way. He’s a great driver, BUT he has an immature attitude. He has his arrogant ways, BUT he can wheel a racecar. More often than not, any observation of Kyle Busch includes both the positive and the negative from the author’s standpoint. It’s like a battery.
After several months of sporadic racing for the Truck Series, we are finally at the point of the season where we get to race almost every week. I love it! I hate racing one week and then waiting three weeks. Racing every week suits me just fine. Now, we head to Mansfield — and I am excited. I’m also excited about PIT Corporate Training being back on my No. 11 Toyota Tundra this weekend. We got close to winning at Mansfield a few years ago, so we are going to try to accomplish the win this time. When you have a team like Red Horse Racing behind you, you are excited to race everywhere.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have arguably the biggest, most important sponsor of all time. This “sponsor” does not sit down every few years and negotiate a new contract for x amount of dollars. No, they wrote their first contract many, many years ago and, in fact, have never “renegotiated” it since. That sponsor is God… and his team is Faith Motorsports.