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Kyle Busch sparking a Gibbs vs Hendrick rivalry could add flavor to this NASCAR season

By admin | August 3, 2013

Kyle Busch thinks there is method to the 48 team’s madness. 

By Richard Allen

In case you haven’t noticed, the Chase for the Sprint Cup is only a few short weeks away. And what could be better for NASCAR, the television networks and the fans than a good old fashioned rivalry? And what better rivalry than Joe Gibbs Racing vs. Hendrick Motorsports going into the ten race playoff?

On Friday afternoon at the conclusion of Sprint Cup qualifying, JGR driver Kyle Busch did his part to throw some fuel on the fire of a rivalry between the sport’s two most powerful organizations when he claimed that the HMS team of driver Jimmie Johnson manipulates the system to gain an advantage in time-trials.

“A lot of these other teams figure out how to play by the rules,” Busch insisted. ”It seems like there’s one that’s late more often than the rest. … Every time they’re late, they’re always fast. Maybe we need to be late.”

After having his car arrive late from pre-qualifying inspection and then catching a little cloud cover during his run, Johnson grabbed the pole position for Sunday’s 400 at the Pocono Raceway with a track record speed. It will be the Sprint Cup points leader’s third time this season to start from the pole(one of those was due to the field being set by points).

Johnson claims that Busch is making more of the situation than is really there.

Are Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson up to something? Kyle Busch thinks so.

“I wish there was some master plan behind it all,” Johnson said upon hearing his competitor’s remarks. “They’re welcome to try it and experience the stress that goes with it. My heart was pounding out of my chest trying to beat the clock. I don’t wish that on anyone.”

This is not the first time a rival driver has called out the Hendrick teams. Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski accused the organization of tampering with the rear ends of their cars earlier this season. That claim came just before Keselowski’s Penske Racing team was hit with a penalty for tampering with the rear ends of their cars.

The 48 car’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, does have a bit of a reputation for working in the “gray area” so there might be some validity to Busch’s comments. But the JGR teams have had some inspection issues this year as well with engine issues, roof flaps and a Nationwide infraction.

For any team to be competitive, they likely have to be working in that so-called “gray area”. So the real issue isn’t who is getting away with what as much as it is who is accusing who of what. That kind of thing may not help the on-track product a whole lot, but it can at least improve the entertainment value of pre and post-race quotes.


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5 Responses to “Kyle Busch sparking a Gibbs vs Hendrick rivalry could add flavor to this NASCAR season”

  1. Offkilter Says:
    August 4th, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Poor Kyle. Can’t outrun the 48. Can’t win the big trophy. So why not cry a little. I’m thinking the 48 team aint really concerned with what the 18 driver has to say. They make their statements on the stopwatch.

  2. Chris Fiegler Says:
    August 4th, 2013 at 9:34 am

    My Guess that Jimmie Johnson will be the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.

  3. Tony Geinzer Says:
    August 4th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I feel Rowdy may try, but, he knows he isn’t that great, isn’t a role model, and worse, takes it out on any undeserving soul who thinks hes wrong (Ron Hornaday). Even though I am holding hope for A JJ Gang Em Up of 6, but, the likelihoods of Bowyer Lurking and stealing the Gold and deleting the Chase is realer and stronger.

  4. Offkilter Says:
    August 4th, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    JimmIE blows a tire and levels the playing field @ Pocono…for the remaining HMS cars. Sorry, Kyle, you got spanked again. But, hey, at least the remaining JGR guys did worse. Heck, there’s even a possibility that the crazy talk and sports columns about the 11 team making the chase may finally be at it’s tired end.

  5. Leto Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Didn’t Kurt try the “let’s say anything we can to hopefully undermine the 48 team” thing a couple years ago?

    Don’t these people ever learn that the only way the 48 team will lose is if they beat themselves?