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« Just in case you had any doubts: Jeff Gordon is back | Main | Racing Re-Cap: Texas »

Self-inflicted troubles doom Junior and Kyle Busch

By admin | April 5, 2009

By Richard Allen

 

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Kyle Busch did not really need enemies on Sunday during the Samsung 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. There was even one occasion where the two almost found themselves in a tangled mess as they raced among a pack of cars just after a restart. While Jeff Gordon was turning in a near flawless performance on his way to victory, Earnhardt and Busch were taking steps to eliminate themselves from contention.

Earnhardt again suffered from mistakes in the pits. After a lap 205 caution, the #88 crew left a lug nut off of one of the tires. That was a mistake which forced Junior to come back to pit road a second time which in turn would force him to restart at the back of the lead lap cars.

However, the errors on that stop were not limited to the missing lug nut. As he came down the pit lane a second time he once again drove right by his pit stall, precipitating yet another trip to pit road. The crew sat seemingly unconcerned as their car drove right on by. This is a problem that has cost this team before, namely in this year’s Daytona 500.

Junior and his crew almost recovered brilliantly on a later stop. By taking only two tires they put their car at the front of the pack. However, while taking his customary high line around the track Junior drove too high and banged the wall, doing enough damage that he had to make an unscheduled stop and thus lose one lap.

Eventually, Junior finished 20th. He remained 16th in the overall Sprint Cup standings.

Kyle Busch also manufactured his own problems on Sunday. On lap 109 he appeared to become irritated with John Andretti. As the two cars exited turn 2 and sped down the backstretch, Busch veered left and into Andretti to express his displeasure. The contact resulted in a cut left rear tire for Busch’s #18 Toyota.

Busch only made matters worse by speeding on pit road during a later pit stop. Even though he was eventually able to serve the pass through penalty under caution, he was prevented from being able to race his way back onto the lead lap.

As a result of his self inflicted troubles, Busch finished 18th in the Samsung 500 which dropped him one spot in the Sprint Cup standings to 7th place.

Each of these two drivers could have had a much better result in Texas but each did themselves in by creating their own problems.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

* For a little mindless entertainment click on the link below to check out this week’s episode of my animated short series, “Racing Re-Cap: Texas”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YNGel2TmTE

It seems as though serious racing reporter Mark Mustang is having trouble with his recap of the events in Texas because his co-host, Daisy Dreamboat, had too good of a weekend and wants to share it during their show.

None of the charcaters represent real people.

Topics: Articles |

5 Responses to “Self-inflicted troubles doom Junior and Kyle Busch”

  1. Tykie Simonson Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    And where is the outrage about Kyle’s reckless driving 2 laps down at the restart and that being the reason Jr. went in the wall. The media as usual just ignored his dangerous driving.

  2. Ginger Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you Tykie. I don’t think Richard watched the race at all. How could anyone who did possibly miss Kyle’s egotistical move on Jr?

    BTW, Mr Allen, all your todo about Jr’s missing the pit stall. If I can find the facts, surely you can. ” We were already last in line on the lead lap. We come down pit road and all the lapped cars were in their stalls and didn’t want to get t-boned by one of them. I didn’t get it in the stall so we just went around and came back in, that time pit road was empty. ”

    When in doubt of the facts, give our driver the benefit of a doubt.

  3. Marybeth Wallick Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    “Junior and his crew almost recovered brilliantly on a later stop. By taking only two tires they put their car at the front of the pack. However, while taking his customary high line around the track Junior drove too high and banged the wall, doing enough damage that he had to make an unscheduled stop and thus lose one lap.”
    I find it odd that an article on Jr.’s race totally missed that Kyle drove him up the track again, think Richmond, while Jr. was first and Kyle was 2 laps down, thus allowing Jeff to retake the lead and punting Jr. down to 7th place.
    Marybeth

  4. John Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Kyle did mess up. Unusual for him, although Jr’s problems are not unusual…

  5. Bob Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Junior needs an empty pit road to pit? If the lapped cars were in their stalls surely Junior could get his in too.