Busch will wisely drop full-time Nationwide schedule in 2010
In the case of Kyle Busch, he has finally come to realize that running in all of the Nationwide races may have been a distraction from his main job, driving the #18 car for Joe Gibbs in the Cup series.
Earlier this week, he told some members of the media that this full-time double-dipping will not be done again in 2010: “We won six races this year. It's been good and maybe it's taken a little bit away from the Cup effort. I don't think it has, but were already talking about next year and cutting it back and getting our Cup efforts back up to where they need to be. Hopefully we can get it down to about 22 or 24 Nationwide Series races, just companion stuff not flying all over the place."
As to why he bothered to do the full Nationwide slate this year, it was all about a title, something that appears likely to happen, considering he finishes in the top-2 each week.
" We thought about it and how our cars are really good and Joe and J.D. (Gibbs) said man wouldn't it be cool to have a Nationwide championship … so I said I want to do it. I want to win a Nationwide championship.”
While I won’t question a man’s desire to be a champion, it amazes me that Busch would want to step down a level to win one. He has the talent to be a champion at the Cup level if he truly applies himself, and in my eyes there is something unprofessional about him (and Carl Edwards, and Kevin Harvick in the past) dropping down to the minor leagues to earn a title. I’m glad to see it won’t happen again in 2010, at least not with Busch.
Beyond that issue, it’s clear that Busch’s performance in Cup is lacking this year, and there’s no way you can convince me that the nonstop traveling he has done this year to race in all three series hasn’t had some influence in his dropping from the Chase standings.
It’s pretty clear: If Kyle Busch is going to win a Cup title, that needs to be the only title he is concerned about winning. Anything else is a distraction.
Now that Kyle has given me this bit of good news, my next hope is that Carl Edwards, who is also having a subdued year in Cup, will announce he is done with full-time Nationwide racing after this year.
That way, we can have a true race for the Nationwide title between a bunch of young drivers who are future Cup stars – future being the key word in that sentence.
Almost a Villeneuve visit
After Reed Sorenson inhaled carbon monoxide at Pocono (scary stuff, it ended the career of Rick Mast) there was a minute it looked like Jacques Villeneuve was going to take over that ride for Watkins Glen. Thankfully for Sorenson, he has recovered and will drive the #43 car at the Glen, though Villeneuve is still willing to help out if needed.
While I’m happy Reed is OK, I kind of wish we could have gotten a chance to see Jacques out there on the track. I often wonder what could have been if he had made the Daytona 500 the year he planned to compete and had a decent finish. Villeneuve is a solid driver, having beaten Michael Schumacher to win a Formula 1 title, but his NASCAR dreams never materialized. I hope he keeps trying, as I’d sure like to see him around the NASCAR garage and doing well on the track.
Top-5 for Hornish
Easily overlooked due to the postponed race that nobody saw was the fact that Sam Hornish Jr. took advantage of some good debris-spotting by his team, pitted with Juan Pablo Montoya and leapfrogged many cars when the caution flag flew. That smart move let Hornish finish fourth and get his first top-5 finish ever. It may have been a bit lucky, but that team really is starting to come around.
Bad luck for Reutimann
That little love tap from race winner Denny Hamlin may cost David Reutimann big time. He now must climb back into the Chase with only a handful of races left. Let’s just say I won’t be surprised if the #99 car has a close encounter with the #11 this weekend or whenever they are next near each other on the track.