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Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Being a team owner should mature Kyle Busch

Note to readers: Before I get going on racing, I have to interject a serious note and say that I almost had to fill a newspaper the day after Christmas with news that some psycho had blown up a plane full of people right down the road from me here in the Detroit area. For whatever reason, whether you want to give credit to a higher power or just call the attempted terrorist a complete idiot who didn’t know how to properly work his bomb contraption, everyone was OK and went home safely that Christmas Day. The lesson: Let’s all be thankful for what we have and the fact that we can enjoy our lives and time with our families this holiday season and year-round, because there are plenty of crazies out there who don’t want us to have that ability.

Will Kyle Busch become more mature as a team owner?
He talked like it wasn’t going to happen, but we all knew better. Kyle Busch will be a team owner in the Truck series in 2010, fielding at least two cars (one for himself/Brian Ickler, one for Tayler Malsam, and possibly a third truck for Johnny Benson if sponsorship is found.)

Perhaps the biggest coup in all of this is that Busch has snagged Rick Ren, the winningest crew chief in Truck series history, away from Kevin Harvick Inc. to oversee the operation. Kevin Harvick can’t be too happen about that.

With this new venture will come a lot of responsibility for young Mr. Busch, and I have a bold prediction to make: It may make him finally act his age and stop whining so much.

We all remember Kyle’s outbursts in the past – from calling his crew members names when they screwed up to literally walking out of the track in disgust when he didn’t win. This came, in part, because the racer Kyle Busch wanted to win and nothing else, and didn’t think about the whole picture of why things happen and what they mean.

Now, as a team owner in Trucks, he will see a different side of racing. He’ll still want to win just as much. But he’ll understand the whole process of what’s happening on all aspects of the team, and will have a better understanding of why things might go wrong and he won’t win every week. As the owner, he can’t cry about what other people are doing … he has to take charge, stand up and say “I’m the owner. I have to fix this and make it right.”

Tony Stewart is a good role model in this aspect. Like Kyle, he used to cry a lot. Now that he is co-owner of a Cup team, he understands that screaming or pouting every time you don’t get your way is not going to help the situation. He’s doing well as a team owner, and has matured emotionally as a result. The old, whiny Tony is mostly gone since he became an owner.

I hope the same will happen to the whiny Kyle Busch once he sees what truly goes on behind the scenes at his own team.

Another road course in Nationwide
I have to give kudos to the Nationwide Series for adding a third road race to the schedule. Montreal and Watkins Glen are joined by Wisconsin’s Road America, which will host a race the weekend that had initially been scheduled for a visit to the Milwaukee Mile.

While many NASCAR fans don’t like the road course races, I love them and believe they expose who are the truly skilled drivers. And this is one of the most famous road courses in America. Now, the Nationwide series had more road racing than Cup, which is kind of cool if you ask me.

In fact, I would love to see Cup add a race in Montreal or Road America, but it will never happen.

Swine flu hits NASCAR
Someone who sadly did not survive this holiday season was Richard Childress Racing crew member Donald "D.J." Richardson, Jr., who passed away on Christmas Day due to complications from the H1N1 virus, also known as the swine flu, at the young age of 37. My condolences go out to his family members on their loss, and to everyone at the RCR organization who knew him.

Bud Shootout changes yet again
So it turns out last year’s Bud Shootout changes didn’t quite last. The whole “top 6 cars of each make doesn’t work when only one team is running Dodges. So they have tweaked the rules yet again, and I actually like it.

For one, the number of people competing is bigger, which I like. It makes for excitement and likelihood of passing and competitive racing. Second, they have configured it now to include everyone who has been competitive in the past at Daytona, either now or way back. You have all previous winners of races at Daytona, all past winners of the Shootout. Then, to spice things up we throw in the reigning Rookie of the Year (Joey Logano this year), all past Cup champions, and all 12 drivers who make the Chase.

Due to the limited number of Dodges, NASCAR had to make a change, and I think this will be fun. It’s two-thirds of the way to a full race a week before the 500, and everyone will be going for the win. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

Smell like a race car driver?
So amid all the other hoopla, Danica Patrick is releasing a perfume.

While taking a break from my initial reaction, which is to fight the urge to omit, I had a flashback to simpler times, before Jeremy Mayfield was allegedly hooked on meth, and he asked a young lady in a commercial, “Is that Octane 93 you’re wearing?”


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