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.
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