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« Has NASCAR leveled the playing field too much? | Main | Talladega offers Junior chance at redemption »

This time, it’s Kyle Busch who makes crucial pit road mistake

By admin | April 20, 2009

By Richard Allen

You have to know Kyle Busch wants to beat the Hendrick Motorsports organization any time he gets the opportunity to do so. In the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway he had his chance but made a crucial mistake when it mattered most.

Granted, the stories regarding pit road miscues are usually reserved for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his crew, and this week they did make yet another costly goof on pit road, but that is beside the point.

Anyway, back to Kyle Busch. This time it was he who ultimately cost himself a shot at victory Saturday night on pit road.

With 12 laps to go the caution flag flew when Junior and Casey Mears got tangled together. Almost everyone came down pit road for a final stop before the dash to the checkered flag.

Busch saw an opportunity to beat the #5 HMS car out of the pits and apparently could not keep himself from pushing just that little extra bit harder on the gas. Since the best place to pass nowadays is on pit road he no doubt hoped to get away with that tiny bit extra.

But, there was to be no such luck for the driver of the #18 Toyota. NASCAR officials caught him in the act of being too fast on pit road.

Perhaps he pushed that little bit extra because it was his old ride, car #5, that he was trying to get around. Surely, there could have been nothing better than to once again prove to the organization that let him go they made a big mistake.

Instead of racing for the lead, or even 2nd place, Busch was sent to the end of the line to pay for his infraction. He settled for a 17th place finish when all was said and done.

Busch currently holds the 7th spot in the Sprint Cup standings, 216 points behind leader Jeff Gordon. Perhaps he could be a lot closer if not for that #5 car.

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

* For a chuckle, click on the link below to chack out my latest animated short film, “Racing Re-Cap: Phoenix”.

In this episode racing reporter Mark Mustang is surprised to discover that his co-host, Daisy Dreamboat, actually travelled to Phoenix but is disappointed when he finds out why.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhAGYy4CGBQ

Topics: Articles |

2 Responses to “This time, it’s Kyle Busch who makes crucial pit road mistake”

  1. Allen Edwards Says:
    April 21st, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I wonder if Kyle used a taste of his own medicine on himself? “Man Up Lady,” he might say to himself. Why? He has himself taken hisself out of the last two races: Texas by whacking at John Andretti and killing his own tire and now Phoenix. He was so on his team’s back when they “lost” him a race by pit road mistakes, I wonder what he thinks about all that now? Hey I think he is a brilliant driver; what the sport needs; and is somewhat a throwback of the ‘good ole days,’ but every now and again this kid needs his ears whacked until they bleed. He must see that ALL people make mistakes, including him.

    Man I tell ya, two of the most respected and successful business people on the planet — Penske and Gibbs — drew the cards on having to manage the Busch boys. Wow! On one hand they win, on the other hand they really do needed slapped in the face every 3 or 4 days. ‘Dude’. What a crock of sh.t calling a billionaire “dude” in a disrespectful way no less. Hey a billionaire can be wrong and does need push back from his employees–and as much of a rebel as I am personally in that regard even I wouldn’t call the man that holds your future “dude” in such a callous way. I thought Kurt learned from anger management and media training. Guess it was just a bandaid on a larger problem. I wonder if Old Man Busch treated those kids like Old Man Jackson?…Now there is some well adjusted kids for you…Michael, Janet…

    All I can say is that if the economy gets any worse–and it can–and NASCAR goes away–and it can (note to public: Lehman, GM, Chrysler, Wachovia, WAMU, IndyMac, etc. Ever heard of those?), then the Busch boys with their attitude couldn’t get a job stuffing M&Ms or filling Miller bottles as it were. So as the Zen Master said, we shall see.

  2. Jimbo Says:
    April 21st, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Given the fact that NASCAR has decided not to punish either Junior or Mears for their actions at Phoenix, incidents that were out in the open for all to see, it kind of makes you wonder about speeding on pit road, which we all have to take NASCAR’s word for. At a critical point in the race, NASCAR’s decision took away Kyle’s chance to go for the win. If they posted all the speeds entering and leaving pit road in real time and in full view of the fans, then I would have no problem accepting their decisions. Like the “debris cautions”, pit road speeding has become yet another way NASCAR can influence the outcome of a race. I’m a Martin fan and glad he won, but you have to agree that Mark’s win was a better outcome for all concerned. Had Kyle won, everyone would have been complaining what a rotten race it was.

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