A Chase without Kyle Busch would be a shame
He has four wins, tied with Mark Martin for most so far this year in a season that has seen 13 different drivers take the checkered flag. Unfortunately for Busch, he had a horrendous summer stretch and tumbled out of the Chase a few weeks ago. Since then, he’s been playing catchup, and has just one more week to make his final move.
Busch is 37 points out of the Chase, and he needs to have a Richmond weekend similar to what Jeremy Mayfield did early several years ago: Win the race and claim the final spot in the Chase.
I’ve been pretty critical of Kyle many times, but I still recognize his tremendous talent and the excellent quality of his team. The #18 car is without a doubt one of the top-12 cars on the circuit and deserves to be in the Chase.
I think Kyle can knock either Greg Biffle or Matt Kenseth out of the top-12, and take their spot, but he’s also got to get past 13th-place Brian Vickers. Without a doubt, this Saturday will require perfection from Busch if he plans on racing for a title.
Both NASCAR and its fans should be rooting for Busch to make the Chase, as every title fight needs a villain. If I have to sit through another friendly Carl Edwards/Jimmie Johnson fight, or something even more boring, I’ll be very disappointed. I want to see big bad Kyle take on good guy Johnson. Or maybe big bad Kyle can take on his former teammate and former bad boy Tony Stewart. Kyle vs. anyone would probably be a decent story.
Bottom line is that without him, the Chase could be pretty bland. With him, it could be electric if he does well.
And mark my words: If it turns out that either Martin or Busch miss the Chase despite winning more races than all the other drivers, NASCAR will institute some kind of rule that allows the driver with the most wins to get an automatic bid to the Chase. It just doesn’t seem right that one or both of these guys might not make it.
Congratulations to Ashley Force Hood
It’s been decades since a female drag racer (Shirley Muldowney) made a significant impact on the sport, but Ashley Force Hood is changing that with her big win in the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis. This is one of the biggest prizes in drag racing, and her win is one for the history books as she is only the second woman to win at the event, and the first to do so in Funny Car.
I don’t really follow drag racing, but I watched SPEED’s “Wind Tunnel” show this weekend and saw a great interview with Funny Car legend John Force, Ashley’s father, that is well worth watching if you can track it down. It’s both powerful and informative.
In the lengthy piece, Force talks about how he dealt with the death of one of his drivers a couple years ago, as well as his own terrifying accident … and then goes on to explain how he used that information to improve the chassis and other parts of the car to make it safer for his other drivers, sparing no expense to keep his drivers safe.
He also said he’d love to see his daughter win the event this weekend … and it looks like he got his wish. Congratulations to the Force family. They’ve been through a lot in the past few years and a win like this is no doubt some great medicine.