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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stop complaining and give Toyota credit

One of the biggest stories in NASCAR this year has been the rise of Toyota from a manufacturer whose teams could barely qualify for races last year, to the likely make of the series champ this season.

This meteoric rise echoes Toyota’s success in the Craftsman Truck Series, where they are contenders for the win every week. The haters (including Jack Roush and Kevin Harvick) have already started to come out of the woodwork, saying Toyota has an unfair horsepower advantage and NASCAR should do something to even the playing field.

Last time I checked, NASCAR is a competitive sport. We don’t put lead weights in Lebron James’ shorts to slow him down, so there is no good reason to punish Toyota for simply doing their homework better in the offseason than Chevy, Ford and Dodge. Anyone who suggests otherwise is probably just mad because Toyota is doing a better job than they are.

There is no evidence of cheating going on at Toyota, so any discussion of trying to inhibit their cars in any way goes against the competitive nature of the sport. Many people loyal to American brands want to stay angry at Toyota for its success in the sport, but they should refocus their energy on the American companies and urge them to produce better racecars.

Nobody likes a sore loser.

Kyle Busch is officially insane. This weekend, he plans to run Friday night’s Truck race in Texas … Then he’s going to run Saturday’s night Nationwide race in Nashville … Finally, he will compete in Sunday's Cup race in Pocono. He’s skipping qualifying and practice in the two lower series, but still will qualify and practice at Pocono. That’s a ton of flying and travel that seems pretty unnecessary. What does he have left to prove in the lower series? If he can pull off three wins this weekend, I may have to investigate whether he is of this planet.

The latest proof that trying to cheat is a bad idea is the predicament Haas-CNC Motorsports (Cars #66 and #70) finds itself in. Scott Riggs, once comfortably in the top 35, now has dropped out and does not have a guaranteed spot at Pocono.


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