Busch has himself to blame for his car becoming a pinball
First, after his run during the intense heat in the Grand-Am race for Chip Ganassi, he went there to get some IV fluids as a precautionary measure.
Then, the Firecracker 400 ended with Busch being the pinball in a real-life 180 mph video game … First hitting the wall head-on after making contact with Tony Stewart, then getting RAMMED harder than I’ve seen in a while by Kasey Kahne, and finally getting T-boned on the driver’s side by teammate Joey Logano.
It wasn’t quite as shocking as Carl Edwards’ close encounter with the fans at Talladega, but it was still quite a sight to see, and collected a good dozen cars, some of whom were able to cross the finish line, and some who weren’t.
So, as usual when something like this happens, the question comes up: What’s to blame? Is it restrictor plate racing itself, which bunches up the field so much? Perhaps. I agree the plates need to go, but they can’t be given all the blame in situations like this.
There’s another factor so many people forget about – the drivers.
Kyle Busch did not have to drive directly into Tony Stewart in his attempt to win the race. It’s ironic that Busch appeared to be angry at Stewart after the race, as if Stewart had done something wrong. All he did was drive in a straight line. It’s not his fault that Busch made the move he made.
The same goes for the big Talladega wreck. Carl Edwards tried to block when he knew he was already beaten, and he ended up in the air. The same thing happened at Daytona to Busch. To Edwards’ credit, he admitted it was his fault, and was even jovial enough to run across the finish line after emerging from his car’s wreckage. Busch, of course, went off to sulk as usual, but this time I’ll give him a pass for the media snub -- After getting knocked around like that, I don’t even know if he recognized what time zone he was in.
But going back to the wreck, I’m pretty sure that Busch will come to realize once he sees the footage that the entire thing was his doing. He had just taken the lead for the first time all race with a couple laps to go, but on the final lap Tony Stewart was clearly faster.
Stewart was on Busch’s bumper as close as he could possibly be, hoping to get him loose and slide by for the win in the final turns. And just when it was clear that Stewart, the faster car, was going to do that – Busch basically drove into Stewart. The rest is history.
I understand why he did it. It’s Daytona, the holiest of all NASCAR tracks, and all drivers will do almost anything to win there. So I’m not criticizing Kyle Busch for wanting to win.
But if I hear one word out of his mouth about how he got a raw deal and Stewart played dirty, I’m going to have to chuckle. Because it was his too-late blocking move that caused those dozen or so cars to become garbage heaps … and Stewart has no reason to apologize like he did in Victory Lane.
In short, I have to differ with the TNT announcing team, who said it’s not fair to blame anyone when these wrecks happen, because they say anything goes on the last lap at Daytona. It’s pretty clear to me who was at fault Saturday night, and his name is Kyle Busch. And I’m fairly certain he’ll come to the same conclusion after watching the end of the race.