By admin | July 13, 2008
By Richard Allen
The loudest cheer of the night during the LifeLock.com 400 came when Kyle Busch found himself stuck in the infield grass while attempting a victory celebration. Busch seemed to take it all in stride as he climbed up on his car’s door frame and gave an “oh well” sort of gesture then offered what is becoming an all too familiar bow.
Unfortunately for Busch haters, it appears as though the only time they will have the opportunity to cheer his misfortune is when something goes wrong during his victory celebrations.
His car had to be pushed out of the infield grass in order to make the trip to victory lane. His crew did not seem to mind the extra work.
It almost seemed as though Jimmie Johnson’s late race pass of Kyle Busch was going to serve as a statement by Hendrick Motorsports that the organization was ready to reassert itself as the dominate force in NASCAR racing.
But then, Busch made a daring and gutsy move around the outside to get back around Johnson and go on to win the LifeLock.com 400.
At least for now, any reassertion by HMS over Joe Gibbs Racing will have to wait.
Someone with the last name Busch has won each of the last four NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
The magic show put on by Larry McReynolds and the TNT crew has to have been one of the silliest things ever done by a television network while covering a sporting event. And worst of all, they took time away from green flag racing to have us watch Larry Mac saw Mark Fein in two.
However, to be fair, the green flag racing at the Chicagoland Speedway was not exactly edge of the seat stuff throughout most of the event.
The race was the last to be covered by TNT this season.
Two races ago Jeff Burton was right behind Kyle Busch in the Sprint Cup standings. He was in second place only 64 points back of Busch going into the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona.
Now, Busch has run off two victories in a row and Burton has had his troubles in each of the last two races.
Burton was involved in a crash in Daytona which relegated him to a 37th place finish. In Chicago, he missed his pit stall on one occasion then got tangled with the car of Michael Waltrip on another.
Burton wound up 19th and now finds himself in 3rd place 291 points in back of Busch.
The LifeLock.com 400 was an odd race in one sense. There were a total of nine caution periods during the race but none was for a serious accident. Only two of the yellow flags were for incidents on the track and both of those were for minor spins. The other cautions were either for debris or for the sake of checking tire wear.
One Roush Fenway Racing driver was able to overcome adversity during the race but another was not.
Matt Kenseth had a flat tire and fell one lap down to 37th place. However, his problem happened early enough in the race that he was able to recover. A strong car combined with good pit strategy and a well timed caution put him back on the lead lap.
Kenseth went on to finish 7th.
Carl Edwards, on the other hand, thought he had a flat tire and came to pit road under the green flag. As it turned out the actual problem was that his front splitter was broken and ultimately had to be repaired.
Edwards wound up 32nd.
Martin Truex had a good run after having his team penalized by NASCAR earlier in the week. The #1 DEI car was hit with a 150 point penalty for infractions found during a technical inspection at Daytona.
Truex finished 9th in Chicago.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
Topics: Articles |