By admin | June 8, 2008
By Richard Allen
Kyle Busch crashed early in the running of the Pocono 500. The point standings leader saw the gains he had amassed over his recent run of domination all but evaporate. His lead over Jeff Burton is now just a slight 21 points. In an interview while his Joe Gibbs Racing crew worked to repair his damaged Toyota, Busch said that his right side mirror had broken prior to the race which left him unable to see the car of Jamie McMurray on his outside. Since he did not hear from his spotter he assumed he was clear and moved up the track only to discover that McMurray still occupied the space. Busch’s car turned head on into the wall. He wound up with a 43rd place finish.
Who says broken mirrors are not bad luck?
Carl Edwards was one of several top contenders to suffer from misfortune on pit road. Upon leaving the pits after what was supposed to be his last stop he radioed back that he had a flat tire.
When he asked crew chief Bob Osborne how it happened the pit boss would only say that he would tell the driver what happened after the race. Osborne then singled out two crew members by name and told them it was their fault and to come and talk to him.
It is likely that a pretty good scolding ensued.
Michael Waltrip’s crash may have cost him the comfort of coming to the track with the assurance of making the race. He may find himself outside the Top 35 in owner points when the official standings are released later this week.
MWR could then be in much the same position it was in last year. This Toyota team is not sharing the good fortune of some others.
Speaking of Toyotas, A.J. Allmendinger’s 12th place finish, combined with his win in the All Star qualifying race, show that since his return to the #84 team he has made great strides.
Sometimes a vacation may be beneficial after all.
Sunday did not start off well for either of the Busch brothers. Kurt found himself spinning through the infield grass early on but recovered for an 8th place finish.
Was Jeff Gordon in Sunday’s race? His 14th place finish was as quiet a run as a four time champion could have.
Only one time was he ever really near the front and that was due to pit strategy. He faded quickly in that run and was scarcely heard from again.
It was a bad day for former Indianapolis 500 winners. Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish each found plenty of trouble and wound up 38th, 41st and 42nd respectively.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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