Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

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.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kudos to Kurt Busch for expanding horizons to drag racing

In these days of big-money racing, it’s a rare sight. But it’s definitely fun when it happens.

It became known this week that NASCAR star Kurt Busch has earned his NHRA Gas competition license by completing a drag racing school. He is hoping to race in the Gatornationals event this month in Gainesville, during a week away from Cup.

My initial thoughts?
First off all, I think it’s pretty cool to see a driver want to cross over like this. It’s almost unheard of in these days of drivers being focused on one series only.

Second, I’m amazed Roger Penske is letting him do it, and it’s a testament to the kind of guy Penske is. I don’t picture Rick Hendrick allowing Jimmie Johnson to go drag racing, but Penske has apparently given the OK. He understands this is what Busch wants to do and respects his racers' wishes.

When Busch hits 160 mph in his new vehicle, a 1970 Dodge Challenger with a Dodge Hemi engine, he will be the latest in a long tradition of crossover drivers.

Back in the day, before I was even born, it wasn’t uncommon for drivers to do just about everything. Guys like Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt and others have raced in basically every series out there, from NASCAR to Indycar to Formula 1 to sports cars and more.

There are plenty of people who cross between Indycar and NASCAR (I think someone named Danica does it), but the choice of drag racing makes Busch’s move more interesting than all those moves.

Driving a quarter-mile straight ahead in a few seconds is a lot different that driving 500 miles in a stock car race. It’s a lot shorter, but some would say it’s even more intense and stressful, because you only get one shot. There’s no “lucky dog” pass.

I’ve never gotten into drag racing that intensely, but I will be watching with interest when Kurt Busch takes this leap, even if it’s only a one-time deal. I applaud him for going outside the normal standard in today’s corporatized NASCAR world and taking a risk by trying a racing discipline that is outside of his comfort zone.

While he doesn’t have the resume of greats like Andretti and Foyt, Busch certainly has their spirit when it comes to embracing racing of all kinds.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home