By admin | September 7, 2008
By Richard Allen
The last time the Sprint Cup Series raced at Richmond, Kyle Busch cemented his place as NASCARâ€™s most hated driver when he and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. crashed while racing for the lead late in the going.
Whether intentional or not, and it did not appear to be intentional, Junior got into the back of the #18 car on lap 211 during the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. Busch was sent spinning into the wall and the â€œJunior Nationâ€ was sent into a frenzy.
Busch lost a lap but made it up and went on to finish 15th. Earnhardt had a solid 4th place run.
Now, the question going into the Chase that remains, is the issue between these two settled?
Almost certainly, as long as the two drivers are in the hunt, it would seem unlikely that either would risk ruining his own chance at a championship for revenge against the other.
However, if one of the two should fall out of contention, might there be some retribution? That retribution would not have to come in the form of a crash. One driver can interfere with another by blocking, making an entry into or out of the pits more difficult or any number of other ways to make life difficult for a competitor.
Whatever happens from this point on, these two drivers have made the races in Richmond worth the price of admission for many fans.
A little rivalry never hurts.
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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