I realized during this race that Kyle Busch can at this point only be stopped by Kryptonite. He was penalized for a missing lugnut, smacked the wall pretty hard a few times and his car looked like it been to war, but he still made it to Victory Lane. I’d say the championship is pretty much his to lose at this point. His transformation from contender to the series’ most dominant driver was not predicted by many, and even his growing legion of detractors have to admit he’s fun to watch.
On the opposite end, Greg Biffle had to be bummed out after a heartbreaking mechanical failure moved him from dominant leader to the garage and 43rd place. Biffle is one driver who’s been snake-bitten this year at times. He’s a great driver, having won both Truck and Busch titles, and challenged for a cup title a few years ago. But he’s used to winning, and if the mechanical failures keep up, you may see him decide not to renew his contract with Roush. It would be hard for him to do that, as he’s been with Roush for a decade and no doubt has close ties to many people in the organization. He claims he wants to come back, but only time will tell if that comes true.
Most shocking to me Saturday was how durable this new car is. Almost no cars failed to finish the race, but almost all of them smacked the wall at Darlington at least once, some very hard. With the old car, a good dozen cars probably would not have finished after all that contact.
One thing I love is retro paint schemes, and Dale Jr.’s No. 88 Mountain Dew car with the old-school Darrell Waltrip look was a cool thing to see on the track.
Shocking number of the week is 12 -- which is David Ragan’s points position. Jack Roush must have had a crystal ball, because everyone else was calling for this guy to get canned, including me. Roush said the kid had talent, and we should wait and see. He was right, and now the driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford is playing with the big boys in Chase territory. If he can hang in there and make the Chase come September, that would be one of the biggest one-year improvements I’ve ever seen in NASCAR, considering he was basically out playing bumper cars most of the 2007 season.