Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

Maybe Busch-versus-Busch for the NASCAR championship?


The sweet smile of success: Kurt Busch may give kid brother Kyle a good run this spring (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern

   Hey, now, maybe Kyle Busch will have a little competition from his older brother this season – on the track, for the wins, and down the stretch in the chase.
   What a change-up of a season so far.
  Consider, if the championship playoffs were to start today, here's the 12-man lineup:
   -- Jeff Gordon.
   -- Clint Bowyer
   -- Kurt Busch
   -- Carl Edwards
   -- Matt Kenseth
   -- Tony Stewart
   --  Kyle Busch
   -- Kevin Harvick
   -- Kasey Kahne
   -- Greg Biffle
   -- Brian Vickers
   -- David Reutimann.
   That's four Chevy teams, two Dodge teams, three Ford teams, and three Toyota teams.
   Noticeably missing from the top-12 are three-time champ Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Burton…and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
   The owners in the top-12 four races into the new season – Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress (presuming Bobby Ginn isn't really running something over there with Bowyer's team), Roger Penske, Jack Roush, Stewart, George Gillett, Dietrich Mateschitz and Michael Waltrip.
   Noticeably missing from that owner's list – the newly merged Chip Ganassi-Teresa Earnhardt team, with drivers Martin Truex Jr., Juan Pablo Montoya and Aric Almirola.
   In fact Almirola's status as a full-time driver on the tour is still in some question because of sponsorship.
   General Motors executives, who were here at Atlanta Motor Speedway over the weekend holding seminars on the state of the car maker, are expected to make a whirlwind tour through GM's North Carolina shops in the next few days, to discuss things with the teams, and perhaps to check out just what all those GM-NASCAR dollars are going for.
   (It might be a good moment for some of those Chevy teams to downplay the glitz and focus on the expensive technology needed to keep a top team running.)
   Of course four races hardly makes a season, particularly one that drags on toward November Thanksgiving.
   But let's check out what the Sprint Cup standings looked like at this point last year, and how the playoff lineup eventually looked six months later.
   Coming out of Atlanta 2008, Kyle Busch was a top the standings, with Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman (then with Penske, and just after his Daytona win), Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex and Matt Kenseth. (Carl Edwards would have been right in there too, if not for that 100-point NASCAR penalty.)
   And the men making the 2008 chase: Kyle Busch, Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Earnhardt, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Burton, Stewart, Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Harvick and Kenseth.
   It's certainly a breakthrough win for Busch: "This was big.
   "Good things come to those who wait….and we've waited over a year and a half for this COT to find a good package. And we've had that to start 2009."
   Busch called the race "like old school Darlington, old school Rockingham," referring to notorious tire-chewing speedways.
   And Busch didn't have a smooth day of it, by any means: "The times I did brush the wall, I was just being stupid -- trying to race the competition.
    "I lost track of the ultimate focus, which was just driving the car and considering how many laps you have on your tires.
   "We went through some hard times last year, trying to figure out where were our weak areas and where can we improve.
    "To start off this year rolling like we have, it feels good….it leaves me speechless, because of how much hard work has been put in."

   Yes, it's been that kind of season so far for Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com