After the NHMS truck race is there anyone left who disagrees that Kyle Busch is the most talented driver in NASCAR?
By admin | September 18, 2010
By Richard Allen
I want to start this column by saying that I am not a Kyle Busch fan. However, I cannot deny that the Las Vegas native is the most talented driver in NASCAR today. I am not saying the most talented of all time, but I am saying most talented right now.
After watching TheRaceDayRaffleSeries.com 175 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway I have to wonder if there is anyone out there who truly disagrees that Busch is the best wheel man in the sport.
There are many who dislike the young driver for his brash attitude. However, if emotion is removed from the equation and the ability of the driver is the only factor considered, it seems to me that there is little other conclusion that can be arrived at.
In Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series event, a determined Busch held off fellow Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick for lap after lap even though it appeared as though Harvick had, at least for some of the time, the stronger truck.
But it was in the later laps that Busch’s real talent showed. After a late race caution, Harvick got particularly aggressive in his attempts to pass Busch. Going through turns one and two Harvick drove his truck in hard and forced both he and Busch high on the track. That allowed James Buescher to get around both Sprint Cup regulars.
However, Buescher’s lead would be short lived as another yellow flag waved to set up a green/white/checkered finish. As the trucks lined up double file for the final restart, Busch was on the inside with Buescher up high and Harvick in Busch’s tire tracks in 3rd.
Buescher jumped out to the early lead but Busch closed the gap quickly and made a bold move to the inside. Coming off turn two, Busch moved up to cover the spot in front of Buescher. The two trucks made contact and Busch was sent hard into the outside wall. Where many drivers would no doubt have slowed, Busch stayed in the gas and held the lead. As a matter of fact, he kept his badly damaged Toyota in front of Buescher and Harvick for the final lap and a half.
“I knew I had to clear him regardless of what was going to happen,” Busch said. “I had to clear him, and I tried rubbing off of him, and he was still there just a little bit, and it turned me into the wall. It was a hard hit. It knocked my helmet crooked. I wasn’t sure what I had getting into turn 3 … but the truck felt fine through 3 and 4 — I was surprised, really, that it felt the way it did — and we were just kind of able to mosey around for the next couple laps and bring it home.”
The win was the 21st truck series victory and the 80th overall NASCAR(Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks) win for Busch.
In my opinion Busch is the most talented driver in NASCAR. When I say most talented I simply mean the best at wheeling the car around the track from race to race. He may not necessarily be the best overall driver, which would include not only the wheeling of the car but also the decision making that is necessary to be successful over the course of an entire season. Drivers such as Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart would have to be considered when all factors are brought in to play.
However, if I owned a car and needed a driver to win one race for me, I would want Kyle Busch. He might not be the driver of choice for an entire season but in a single race with equal equipment he would give his car owner the best chance among all NASCAR drivers.
What driver would you want for one race? And remember, I asked that emotion be left out of the equation.
Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.
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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