By admin | June 1, 2010
By Richard Allen
To say that Kyle Busch found himself at the eye of the storm in Charlotte over the course of the last two weeks would be a bit of an understatement. Even for this driver who rarely runs away from controversy, this was an eventful fortnight.
As has been well documented, Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin had an on track moment during the Sprint All Star Race. Busch then drove to the back of Hamlin’s hauler and stormed inside to await the arrival of his newfound rival. Owner Joe Gibbs felt compelled to serve as mediator for the post race ‘discussion’.
The incident spilled over well into the next week. Verbal jabs were exchanged and Hamlin, who has often been criticized for his own lack of maturity, questioned whether or not Busch would ever grow up. At one point Hamlin went so far as to have boxing gloves delivered(via Fed-Ex) to Busch during a press conference.
As for the Coca-Cola 600, the two never really had issue with one another.
It seemed as if Busch had his troubles behind him until a late race caution bunched the field for a restart. Just after the green flag waved, Busch, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton found themselves racing three wide into the first turn. In what appeared to simply be a ‘racing deal’ Burton ended up with a flat tire after he and Busch made slight contact.
After the race, Burton confronted Busch on pit road and delivered some very intense finger pointing and yelling.
Later, Burton insisted that he appreciated Busch’s intense style but that he would not be the victim of the young driver’s aggression.
No doubt, Busch will be glad to put the Charlotte Motor Speedway and all the yelling and confrontation in his rear view mirror.
However, the next stop on the Sprint Cup Series tour is at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. Statistically, this is one of Kyle Busch’s worst tracks. In ten starts there he has only one top-5 and two top-10s on the tricky 2.5 mile layout.
Busch’s average finish on the track is a less than stellar 21st. His last five results have been a 12th, 43rd, 36th, 22nd and 16th. These are definitely not the type numbers this driver is used to putting up on other tracks. Even if he is glad to be leaving the controversy of Charlotte behind, the poor performance of Pocono may not provide much to look forward to.
Kyle Busch has had a two week stretch in Charlotte he would like to forget. However, he has had a two year stretch in Pocono that has been less than memorable.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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