Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

With Kyle Busch as the teacher, just what all will Joey Logano be learning?


And the lesson for Sunday's Daytona 500 is.....well, Kyle Busch doesn't take prisoners, does he? (Photo: Toyota Motorsports)


   By Mike Mulhern


   Kyle Busch, a good bet to win this Daytona 500, if he doesn't get sidetracked, has found himself in a surprising position the past few days.
   Busch, though just 23 himself, is suddenly mentor and 'older brother' to new teammate Joey Logano.
   And it can be frustrating.
   And time-consuming.
    "We've just been trying to get a feel for it…and it's just not that easy," Logano says.
   Busch as mentor? The biggest thing is just trying to get Joey comfortable. 
   "He got his car to where it was comfortable, but it didn't have the speed it needed, and it wasn't going to keep up in the draft," Busch said. 
    "For me, to get in there and feel that, and let him know that we have to get him back to where he's a little looser. And he just doesn't like the loose. 
   "He doesn't know where the cars can be hung out yet. 
    "He doesn't have the feel for the air, and how these cars drive, and how erratic they are. 
    "So it's just about buying time with him, and trying to get him accustomed to what I'm driving, what he's driving, and what he needs to feel in his car."
   And Busch says Logano needs to get with the program quickly or be left out of the game: "If you can't keep up in this draft…well, you can't waste time trying to help a teammate that's hurting your performance."
   So crew chief Greg Zipadelli is throwing everything he's got at it.
  "The biggest thing is he just doesn't know," Zipadelli says. "So we're trying to get him around good cars, so he can see what other people's cars are doing.
   "The problem is when we get it tighter, to where it's more consistent, we slow it down.
   "Joey's struggling with what it's supposed to feel like. By having Kyle get in the car, that helps us speed up his learning curve."
   "It's like Zippy just said – we're shoving an elephant down his throat in a short period of time. There's a lot of information overload.
   "It's an extremely steep learning curve for Joey.  He's never been here. It's the first time he's ever driven anything here.
   "You've got to learn the characteristics of the car, what to expect from it, how the car changes over a tire run, the characteristics of the track, where the bumps are and how they upset the car. 
   "And the draft we all know is incredibly complex.
    "And little things like coming down pit road, and how slick pit road is -- Even though you don't feel you're going too fast, it's real easy to slide a car through the pits here. 
    "It's all those little things we all take for granted -- that he's got to learn for the very first time."
   Busch himself would like to make up for losing last year's Daytona, when he had the car to beat, and got beaten, on that last restart. He won Thursday's 150, and he says these cars here are either fast and all-but out of control or more comfortable and slow.
   Busch has complained about his ill-handling car, even though it was fast enough, just barely, to beat Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson Thursday. "So we tried a little something different, to get over the bumps…and it just didn't carry the speed it needed through the corners," Busch says. "So we went back to our standard stuff, and it seemed to drive fine."
   Or at least fast.

busch as teacher?!?

seriously? kyle busch mentoring anyone? really? only answer that comes to mind for me is: hell to the no!

that emotional outburst aside, here's the thing: it reads as if JGR has "suddenly" recognized that they have brought young mr logano into the cup level too quickly and that he is simply not equipped to be racing at this level yet. he has potential in a very big way but he's lacking seat time and track experience. they have done him no favors and should have given him more time to learn his craft. "he just doesn't like loose" speaks volumes: no one LIKES loose (ok, maybe 'almost no one . . .') but everyone learns how to drive it when it's loose. all the examples zippy and busch give, everything they point out that young mr logano hasn't experienced yet all point to the reality that he simply hasn't been given the seat time to be a competent racer at this level. right now, he is (to use stewart's classic line) a dart without feathers.

or worse.

This points out how Kyle has

This points out how Kyle has more technical savvy than he gets credit for.

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