Kyle Busch looking to make history
By Roger Diez
In a wreck that looked a lot like a Talladega “big one,” Miles the Monster beat the tar out of about a third of the NASCAR Sprint Cup field on Sunday. But when the dust settled, Kyle Busch had scored his fourth Cup win of the season, much to the disgust of all the Junior fans in the audience.
To say that Busch is on a roll is a huge understatement. He’s having the kind of season that Jeff Gordon used to have on the way to his four Cup championships. Not only is Busch leading the Cup points chase with a 142-point cushion, he also has forty bonus points going into the Chase for the Championship, making him the hands-down number one seed.
In addition, he currently runs second in the Nationwide Series points with four series wins, and although he’s out of the top 10 in Craftsman Truck points, he’s a threat to win any NCTS race he’s in besides the two he’s already won. That sound you hear is the grinding of Junior fans’ teeth.
Whether you’re a Kyle Busch fan or not, you have to be in awe of his schedule this weekend. Of course, he often runs Craftsman Truck, Nationwide, and Cup in the same weekend, but they’re usually at the same track. This weekend he ran the Truck race at Texas Friday, is in the Nationwide event at Nashville today, and taking to the Pocono track for the Cup race on Sunday.
It’s the first time a driver has attempted running all three top NASCAR series at three different tracks. Busch will be starting the Truck and Nationwide races from the back of the field because due to the travel schedule he’ll only be able to qualify for the Cup race at Pocono.
– The other evening I was listening to the Night Shift on Sirius NASCAR radio, and Geoff Smith of Roush-Fenway Racing was being interviewed. He made some interesting comments about the Car of Today. They have found that the car has markedly different handling characteristics when running in clean air compared to running behind another car.
He said that Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle, the two Roush-Fenway drivers with the most experience this season running up front, have said that when running behind another car it’s just like hitting a wall. You can get only so close, and then the car just won’t pick up. And it doesn’t matter if it’s Kyle Busch or a lapped car you’re behind, the COT just stops. They are working on the problem, but so far have no clue as to a fix.
– If you like road racing, or if you want to find out what it’s like, next weekend is your big chance. The Reno Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) is holding a National points race at Reno-Fernley Raceway June 14-15. In addition to five National races incorporating 30 different racing classes, two Regional points races and a Vintage race are also on the program.
The races will be run on the 2.2 mile “horsepower” course configuration, most of which is visible from the paddock and spectator areas. The best part is that a five dollar ticket gets you complete access to the paddock area, where you can look at the cars up close and talk to the drivers and crews. Racing begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 8:00 a.m. on Sunday with racing action all day except for an hour break for lunch.
I will be one of the announcers for the event, so I’ll try to explain things on the PA system so they’re understandable for veteran road race fans and first-timers alike. As the old TV commercial used to say, “Try it, you’ll like it!”
– Attention all Jeff Gordon fans! ESPN Inside Access will release its Jeff Gordon DVD this coming Tuesday, June 10. The DVD features footage from Gordon’s early days as a youngster in quarter midgets and takes him through four NASCAR Cup championships with lots of exclusive interviews and rare video footage along the way. It will sell for $19.95 in stores.