By admin | February 21, 2009
By Richard Allen
Kyle Busch did not do the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California any favors on Saturday. The young driver had his way with the fields of two separate races.
In the afternoon, Busch totally dominated the Camping World Truck Series race on his way to victory. He led 95 of the 100 laps to win the San Bernardino County 200.
No one ever really challenged the #51 truck as he appeared to be on cruise control throughout the event.
Later in the evening, during the second half of a rare NASCAR doubleheader, Busch took control of the Nationwide Series race on the very first lap and hardly looked back, or perhaps it should be said hardly looked ahead, throughout the 150 lap race.
He was not passed on the track all day. The only time anyone else led a lap of either race was during pit stop exchanges.
While that was certainly good news for Kyle Busch, it was terrible news for the Auto Club Speedway.
The crowd for the doubleheader was sparse at best. Those fans saw one driver completely “stink up the show” as the old saying goes. If any of those fans had taken advantage of discounted or free tickets to come to these races, it is likely those same fans will decide not to make a return trip to Fontana for Sunday’s Auto Club 500.
There is simply too much to do in sunny Southern California for a person who may only be a casual fan or not a fan at all to go through the trouble of attending an event that may turn into a runaway. Why waste an afternoon watching one driver decimate the field when there may be something more interesting going on elsewhere?
Keep in mind, I am not saying Kyle Busch will dominate the Sprint Cup race like he did the Nationwide and Camping World races on Saturday. But to a person who does not follow the sport very closely there would be little reason to think otherwise.
If the officials of NASCAR and the Auto Club Speedway were hoping for a walk up crowd to magically appear on Sunday, Kyle Busch took care of that on Saturday.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
*Click on the link to the left to listen to my podcast for more of my thoughts on raing in the Los Angeles area.
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