This week, we’ll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Busch Series race to capture the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what some select few were thinking after the Gateway 250, as well as the NASCAR off week that was.
Buschwhacking Cup regulars dominated the USG Durock 300, leading all but four laps of the race and taking nine of the top 10 finishing positions. Denny Hamlin was strong early in the event, but a problem getting onto pit road and a dead battery knocked him from contention. Kyle Busch dominated the second half of the race until the caution flag flew for a spin by Aric Almirola with 34 laps to go. Busch’s team made a decision to come to pit road for tires while the cars of Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, and Clint Bowyer stayed out. Busch restarted the race eighth but was only able to make up three positions by race’s end. Harvick took the lead with 27 laps to go and held off the charge of Kenseth over the last 10 laps to become the first repeat Busch Series winner at Chicagoland.
Every once in a while in racing you see that perfect match – a struggling driver or team turning the corner when surrounded by the right people. Teams often swap crew chiefs within its own organization in an effort to jumpstart poor performance, but beginning this week at Chicagoland, it will be both a young driver and a struggling race team depending on each other to live up to their respective expectations in the Busch Series.
After eight weeks straight, the Craftsman Truck Series drivers get a break in their 25-race schedule. Since off weeks tend to be slow on news, I got to thinking about the series and the shape it’s in. Week in and week out, television coverage shows massive amounts of empty seating at every track, but is the lowest tier of NASCAR’s “big three” in trouble?
With his win on Sunday, has Denny Hamlin vaulted into position to be Jeff Gordon’s most serious challenger for the championship? Or is someone else still in better shape?
Travis Kvapil returned to victory lane at Memphis Motorsports Park Saturday night. He held off Ron Hornaday on a restart and ran away from Jack Sprague with just five laps remaining to win the O’Reilly 200. Hornaday, Mike Skinner and rookie Aaron Fike rounded out the top five.