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