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Holding A Pretty Wheel

Kyle Busch and the Five Amazing Mentors: A Tale of Speed and Impertinence

Since his outburst about teamwork, or the lack thereof, at Daytona earlier this month, Kyle Busch has been under a microscope that is already on high power as he searches for a new ride for 2008 and beyond. He's been called a whiner, immature and spoiled. His comments were looked at as childish and jealous. Whatever the reasons for his comments or Busch's personality shortcomings, it was brought up that nobody at Hendrick Motorsports has ever taken Busch under his wing. Kyle Busch has never had a mentor, they exclaimed! How could he possibly know better?

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A Sunday Without Racing?! Whatever Shall I Do?

I keep thinking there's a race on Sunday. Yes, logically, I KNOW the Nextel Cup Series is off this week, but my brain is in denial or something. There's a Busch Series race Saturday night, and I'll be keeping tabs on that one, but Sunday seems a little empty. Not, mind you, that I don't have anything to do. OK, the truth is, I didn't make any plans for Sunday because I'd forgotten about the week off (and I should be grateful because it's the last one of the season on the Nextel Cup side) and face it, most of my family and friends know better than to drag me off on a Sunday. So…I'm going to take a look at all the things I can get done on Sunday-and the reality.

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Dragged A Jeff Gordon Beanie Around Lately? A Reality Check

You know the guy (heck, maybe you ARE the guy). He parades around the track with the little Jeff Gordon doll in the noose dragging behind, just hoping someone will kick it around. He (or she) boos Tony Stewart vehemently during driver intros. He calls Jimmie Johnson all kinds of unprintable things that have nothing to do with his racing ability. He is pretty vocal about whether Jack Roush is well, a nice guy or not. He has already decided that he will no longer be a Junior fan because Junior is going to drive for Hendrick Motorsports. There is a small but vocal group of race fans who seem to have more fun hating one driver or another than they do cheering for the drivers they _do_ like. They appear to attend races with the singular goal of booing a driver (or a select group). In fact, they boo louder than they ever cheer-at least until the guy they were booing gets in a crash. If-heaven forbid!-the guy they were booing actually wins-they shower him with beer cans, many with a good portion of the beer still inside. At Indy last year when Johnson climbed from his car to retrieve the checkered flag he'd dropped-a few cans were aimed at him-no helmet, no car. Those people are race fans?

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Your Only Job is Fairness: An Open Letter to NASCAR

Dear Brian, Mike, John, and the rest of the people in position to make up rules as you go along: I know your jobs aren't easy. I probably wouldn't want any of them. I'm a school teacher, though, so I know a thing or two about being fair. Fairness isn't about convenience. It isn't about making an example of someone, and it isn't about proving a point. Fairness is about applying the rules to _everyone in the same manner_. I thought you had been trying to do just that this year. After all, you came down hard on teams with aerodynamic alterations at Daytona. After all, you told everyone that you would penalize offenders with violations on the Car of Tomorrow, and you did. When the No. 8 car was found to have an illegal wing angle after qualifying you punished them according to your previous statement. After all, they had tampered with the COT in competition (qualifying, even the sham it has become with the top-35 rule, _is still competition_, make no mistake about it) and they had been warned.

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WARNING! Invisible Debris Is Hazardous To Your Health!

There is a danger lurking in the shadows at your local NASCAR track. It's more dangerous than a flipping, burning racecar. It's more insidious than a soaked tire. It's scarier than Jimmy Spencer in a Speedo. It's...Invisible Debris! Yes, race fans, Invisible Debris is everywhere! It could be lurking in Turn One, ready to devour an innocent tire. It might be on the apron in Turn Four, waiting to jump into the racing groove and wreak havoc when we least expect. It could even be on a straightaway, biding its time, waiting to maim an innocent racecar. Obviously, NASCAR must take the road of caution when dealing with such a hideous beast. After all, it could strike at any moment, rendering a race "exciting" and "a close battle" on the track. Yes indeed, NASCAR had better be cautious with this hideous threat!

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A Plateful of Trouble

It could have been ugly. We got lucky; but it could have been tragic. The 2007 Daytona 500 was marred with crashes. There was no Big One, just a bunch of Little Ones, but a couple of those looked deceptively bad. Bottom line... there was nothing about those crashes in that race that made it fun to watch.

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Before It’s Too Late

It's a lot like the first day of school. You believe in possibilities-it's a brand-new year, and anything can happen. And, poised to start the 2007 NASCAR season on Sunday, it feels a lot like that indeed. This season will be a lot of things-exciting, colorful, fleeting. But I also find myself starting off a little skeptical. There have been so many changes in the offseason that I wonder if they're desperation moves.

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DEI’s Impossible Dream

Sometimes there are no easy answers to impossible situations. Sometimes there is no clear cut truth. Sometimes things don't go according to plan. Such appears to be the case within the walls of Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated. When Dale Earnhardt, Jr. told the racing world on Wednesday that he wants majority interest in DEI, it brought to a head a contract-and life-dispute that has likely been brewing far longer than most of us know.

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Split Personality

I have a split personality. No, don't call the men in white coats. Neither one of us is violent. But I have noticed that sometimes, the race fan and journalist in me puts me at odds with the driver fan in me. Some race fans don't have this problem as they are simply driver fans to the point where if their guy is winning or losing, nothing else matters. Not the rules, not the lack of parity in the sport, and certainly not tradition or facts.

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This Is Only a Test

Wake up, NASCAR fans! Race season is just around the corner - and the roar of the engines at Daytona is the reminder we all needed, right? Well, maybe. I have to admit, I stopped thinking about the Patriots' playoff chances on weekdays in favor of checking speeds online. I took a few minutes to wonder where exactly Jimmie Johnson ran over a herd of zebras.

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