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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Magic of 2008 is gone for Kyle Busch’s team this year

Remember a year ago, when Kyle Busch took NASCAR by storm and his Cup team was unstoppable, the ones who you expected to win every race?

Times have changed very quickly. Through a variety of circumstances, whether it be mechanical problems or his incident with Stewart at Daytona last week (the alleged “dumping”), things haven’t gone so well lately for the man that brings out fans’ emotions more than any other driver in the garage.

The ones who hate him were most likely cheering when they saw him smacking the wall so many times during Saturday night’s race. They’ll likely cheer the fact that Busch is down to 10th in points, just 13 points ahead of 13th-place driver Greg Biffle. If he has a bad race at the Brickyard, he will likely drop from the Chase.

The biggest critic of all is the man himself, as Kyle Busch wants to win and nothing else. He beats himself up for finishing 2nd in Nationwide races, so I can only imagine how angry he is that he has 8 finishes worse than 20th this season. That’s hardly going to win you a title, and he knows it.

The good news is that this slump is happening mid-season. Joe Gibbs runs a solid team, and they need to figure out what is ailing the #18 team. Luckily, they have time. Last year, Busch picked the worst time possible to slump, the start of the Chase, and was never able to recover.

The likelihood of Busch’s bad run continuing to the point where he misses the Chase is rare, but you never know in NASCAR. If that happens, we might want to put Busch on suicide watch. I kid, but this is a driver who has enough talent to win every race he enters, so that would be an amazing development.

You can bet there are some big talks going on at the Gibbs team about how to get Busch’s team back on track. He’s won three races this year, so to not have him in the mix battling for the title wouldn’t seem right … and it would drain the Chase of drama because there would be no villain.

Great week for Red Bull
A dominant pole winner is rare in NASCAR, and it’s been a few years since Ryan Newman was winning them in large amounts.
But this year, Brian Vickers has five poles in 19 races, and is on track to try to reach double digits.
Considering more than 40 cars attempt to qualify each week, that is a mighty impressive feat that is worth noting. Also this week, his Red Bull teammate Scott Speed started 2nd … and it was very weird to see him up front competing for the lead, even if it didn’t last long and Speed ended up wrecking.

Keselowski to Penske talk resurfaces .. don’t believe it
While I am sure Roger Penske would love to have Brad Keselowski behind the wheel of the #12 car next year, I don’t see Chevrolet and Rick Hendrick letting a hot young driver like Brad go, even if it was a one-year loan deal. Something will be worked out to keep Keselowski full-time in a Hendrick-affiliated team like SHR or James Finch’s #09 team for 2010.

They recognize he is a true talent, and you don’t just give that away.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the drivers have talent they have to to be in the Cup series how they deal with adversity something that neither Kyle or his brother seem to have learned growing up. Both are first with a smart alack quotes after a race when they put someone else in the wall or win the race but also the first to point fingers and place blame or disappear into the hauler if things don't go their way. Poor losers are also are in most cases poor winners, everytime they show no class they also show they are both products of poor upbringing. Kyle Busch didn't show any class after he left HMS, he signed with a class team it wasn't like he had to sign with a start and park team. But he still acts like a young boy who got jilted by his prom date instead of a multimillionaire professional race driver. A clear case of too much too soon and possibly something Rick Hendrick saw when he cut him loose you can be as talent in the world but if your undisciplined as well as unmanageable is another story. It might do this kid some good if he didn't make the Chase he really needs a decent slice of humble pie and might go a long way to getting his head on his shoulders. This is no longer racing go carts for your Dad but real adult business it's time to start acting like one.

July 12, 2009 at 9:06 AM 

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