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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Some smack talk continues, but Richard Childress-Kyle Busch drama is likely over for now

So it appears the RCR-Kyle Busch incident is over … for now, at least. Childress issued the following statement at Pocono:

“Here is the deal. I am going to make one statement on this deal. I appreciate everyone’s patience during the last week when I couldn’t talk to everyone. The main thing is I take all the responsibility for my actions last week. I am very passionate about this sport. I am passionate about my race teams, our fans and I let my emotions get…come in front of my passion. But that is behind us. I guess the next thing is the fine that was levied against me, I’m going to pay it personal. I agree that NASCAR should have done something with me. I don’t agree that they didn’t handle the situation that happened on the cool-down lap.

“With that said, we had a lot of fans to send in donations last week toward our fine, I am going to pay it personally. All that money that has been sent in, that is still coming in, we’re going to take and donate to the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. At least in every bad situation, something good will come out of it.

“Hopefully Kyle (Busch) and myself will both end up learning something from this. Thank you all very much. Talk to you later. That’s it.”
You’ll notice there’s no apology in there, as Childress probably doesn’t feel too bad about what happened.

Harvick continued to fan the flames a bit, though. When asked what fellow drivers though of Kyle, he quickly said: “I think that is pretty self explanatory.”

One of his teammates, Clint Bowyer, was a little more respectful in his reply, saying:
“Truth be told Kyle Busch is one of the best drivers in the sport. Everybody knows that and everybody has pretty much a uniform opinion about his personality. It’s the same for everybody I think. What you see is what you get. That’s what is great about this sport. You guys do a good job of covering it and people get wonderful opportunities to see and understand what a driver is like. We have fans ask me all the time what’s Kyle Busch really like, what’s Tony Stewart or Jeff Gordon, what are these guys really like and that’s the answer I give them all the time. We cover this sport well and what you see is what you get. There is enough opportunity there, both sides, whatever side of that person is going to come out.”

And Carl Edwards said he has made peace with his often foe on the racetrack.

“I don’t know about the general perception because I try not to talk with other people about someone else. My perception though of Kyle is that he is a very hard racer and we have gotten into it before as you guys all know. We had our deal at Phoenix this year and I felt that he really was trying hard to set things straight after that. Even last weekend he raced me extremely clean there at Kansas. He is just a hard racer and we have a very good working relationship on the race track I think, other than that deal at Phoenix which he came over and apologized for. To me, we are fine and we race hard and it is fun to race him.”

In case you’re wondering, Kyle said that if other drivers don’t like him, they should tell him to his face.

"As far as needing respect in the garage area - certainly it makes your day a little bit easier. Makes your job a little bit easier. I've been able to have good conversations and talk to people outside the race car or at driver intros or stuff like that. Whether it's the case that they're not being true to my face -- I don't know, I can't read that. I'm not in people's minds. If you're mad at me, you'll have to tell me," he said Friday.

And for those wondering why Busch had a beef with RCR driver Joey Coulter in the first place, he explained the last lap incident in detail.

“I will say that if I didn't roll out of the throttle, we both would have crashed off of turn four. The kid did what he was supposed to do on the last lap there. We raced each other for 18 laps and I was having fun with him trying to keep him back and I thought I had it done and then he got on my inside down the backstretch there and pulled a slide job through three and four and kind of squeezed me up there. I had two options -- lift and let him beat me, which is fine, no problem. We're racing for fifth in the Truck Series -- wasn't for a win. Or crash the both of us. It wasn't necessary for any of that."

In terms of Childress’ reaction, Harvick said “kinder and gentler is boring” and he was proud that Childress came to the team’s defense

“Richard is one of those guys who has driven race cars and understands what comes with being inside the car and the frustrations. A lot of times Richard sides with the drivers, more times than not, in our competition meetings, on the race track, off the race track and always has our backs. We’ve all got his back. As you can tell, he’s always got ours. It is fun to drive for a guy that has got the passion and the desire to do what you have to do to be a part of this sport. He is a great guy and I love being on his team.”

Is this whole Childress team vs. Busch battle over then? Somehow, I doubt it it's permanently done, but it should cool off for a while.

Jr. weighs in
In addition to being NACAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt. Jr. is also a team owner, and he has been in the middle of these types of incidents before.

“I’d get mad. Heck yeah,” he said. “When Denny and Brad were being idiots at Charlotte that one race and banging into each other’s fenders and stuff it really upset me. I was in another car and I went up there and ran into Denny.”

He even said there is a current situation that still has him annoyed.

“That happens all the time and yeah you get mad. That damn Beuscher kid wrecked Danica in California for no freaking reason at all so he’s on the list. He’s got his coming one day.”

Who knew a Dale Jr. – James Beuscher rivalry was in the making? (not really, that just sounds silly)

Pit crews too quick?
In a twist that once seemed improbable, many drivers are coming short on fuel because … their pit stops are too fast?

That’s the contention of Greg Biffle, who blames the new fueling system and has had a lot of fuel issues this year.

“The issue is that the teams are faster than you can fill the car with gas. It is that simple. The pit crews have gotten so good and the guys have gotten so good and trained and worked so hard that they can get the tires on the race car faster than you can get the car full of gas. Congrats to them for how hard they have worked and what they have accomplished. With the new fuel connection or whatever you want to call it, has slowed up the fueling of the car enough to where you can literally change tires faster than you can fuel.

He said it’s a minor difference, but it still has an effect.

“Not by much, but it doesn’t take much. You know, when you are filling 18 gallons in 12 seconds, one second, you do the math on how much fuel that is. It is over a gallon a second. So if you are two-tenths of a second off then you are talking about almost a half a gallon of fuel or probably over that. It is very important. The thing doesn’t flow very well when the can gets low, which makes it worse. You know as well as I do that when you start dumping something out that has a lot of fuel it it, it has a lot of pressure. When it gets lower, it doesn’t want to flow as fast.”

So if the alternatives are improving the fuel delivery system or slowing down pit stops, I’m guessing the first option is a better option to explore. And this is a testament to how awesome pit crews have gotten. It really is a science to do what they do so fast.

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