Sunday, July 5, 2009

Daytona Fail

The 400 miler at Daytona on Saturday night certainly provided an exciting finish as Kyle Busch caused the 'big one' and took three hellacious hits in less than five seconds. All in all the race was a good one to watch mainly because the caution would come out every time the drivers needed to stop for tires. Tires looked to be a major factor, as cars with the right setups didn't have tire problems while those who missed the setup were hanging on for dear life, or suffering blowouts.

Back to Kyle Busch, once again Saturday night he proved that he still has a lot to learn about plate racing. Yes, he has won at Daytona and Talladega, but in both of those races last year he didn't have to pass anyone or block anyone on the last lap. That's where he falls short.

At Daytona last year a caution came out during the green, white, checkered just as it looked like Carl Edwards would pass him for the win. Edwards was denied the win because of the yellow flag. At Talladega last year Busch also won during a G,W,C finish. Having to only hold of Juan Montoya....not exactly a plate race master himself.

For the last three years, if he's not leading, Busch has made very poor decisions at the superspeedway tracks. His finishes have suffered as a result of those poor choices.

Two years ago, at the July Daytona race Busch let Jamie McMurray outdrive him to the checkered flag. Think about that one, Jamie MCMurray OUTDROVE anyone let alone Kyle Busch. Three years ago, in the Daytona 500, while Matt Kenseth and McMurray were causing the 'big one' on the last lap coming off of turn four. Kyle turned left and lost it while in the inside lane. The wreck was just starting in the outside lane. He could have held his line and finished in the top five easily.

This year it seemed that the McMurray finish was on his mind, as Busch wanted no parts of a side-by-side drag race with Tony Stewart to the finish line. Turns out that his chances would have been much better doing that than coming down into Stewart's car and causing the 'big one'.

The problem is that Busch has so much talent that he thinks his talent will override that restrictor plate....wrong! The draft and aerodynamics mean more than talent at the plate tracks, re: McMurray.

Talent doesn't always win out at Daytona. Three time champions, the Labonte brothers never won at Daytona. Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt each took 20 years to win the Daytona 500. Mark Martin has never won at Daytona. While Mike Waltrip has two 500 victories, wth!

Busch has a hot setup at the plate tracks....for now. That won't last forever. He needs to study up, and learn more about the drafting techniques involved in a shootout than trying to rely solely on his talent.


  1. While Stewart had a run on the outside, I don't think he could have overtaken Busch. That was one race in which Busch cost himself a win. If he doesn't make the Chase, he can look back to this race. Either way, it's a valuable learning lesson for Kyle.

  2. Well Gene ( now I know) it is a given that Kyle has a lot of talent but is still a bit short on experieince as in the case of Daytona this week. Trying to pull a block when a car is on your rear quarter ( not bumper)is not going to get you a win. Far from it.

    It would have been better to see both of them side by side bumping and banging to the win. Perhaps he has learned from this.

  3. Drafting is hard to learn when no one will do it with you. Kyle reminds me of Maverick in Top Gun - always driving with a chip on his shoulder. At most tracks it works just fine but not Daytona nor Dega. He is used to blocking and went with what he knew -- he'll definitely learn from this one.

    Good to see genuine concern from Kurt about his bro on the post race...not sure if Kyle would say the same about Kurt.

  4. Jon...That's what I thought. Kyle should have just taken his chances with the drag race. Time after time in Cup and NNS races at the plate tracks he doesn't know whay to do on the last lap. The NNS race at Daytona in February, when he pushed Smoke through turn 3 and 4, he didn't have a clue on how to even attempt a pass.

  5. Photo...glad to find your blog, man. I was wondering why you weren't writing as much at Faux.

    Kyle will have to live with all that last lap carnage he caused for a long time. I hope he does think about it some.

  6. was good to hear Kurt's concern and Tony's also. Which has me concerned about someone else's lack of....

    Most of the time I don't mind Kyle not interviewing after a bad finish, but....he caused a lot of damage and hard hits....he could have at least sent word through a PR lackey that he hoped everyone was OK, and that he takes full blame.

    Speaking of PR lackeys, does Kurt have a new one? He has been all over TV and radio lately.

  7. I thought the backlash following the Mayfield story was pretty interesting.

    That's not a drug you generally hear associated with professional athletes.

    But the other drivers, however outspoken, were genuine in their concerns. If he was in fact using, he would jeopardize the lives of everyone out there.

  8. Chris....just in time to check out the latest Damn! of the

    I'm working on a Mayfield piece right now. I'll probably post it on Tuesday.

    How you liking the new Fox site?

  9. Kurt has the same amazing PR guy he always has had...he (Kurt) is just way more agreeable and in demand for press now that he is in the top 5 in points.

    Kurts PR guy worked with Rusty, Alan Kulwicki and represents Miller's NASCAR interests as he has done for nearly 25 years. One of the best in the business.

    By the way -- tez has made it over...

  10. You can't mirror drive Smoke, or you get destroyed :)

    ... glad Kyle was okay after the melee.

  11. got that right. I remember one of the last IROC races at Daytona...In two separate incidents. Tony drove right through the car in front of him and flipped them right over top of his car. Unbelievable in-car camera shots.

    It may have been the last race ever at Daytona, and I'm pretty sure Mark Martin was one of his victims.

    Unlike Kyle, they were not even blocking...LOL

  12. Great blog, like I said in my frame by frame your boy Kyle was doing a heck of a job hanging on to his race car threw the turn in the first place. You will see it.

    Like Lori said he walked away from it and thats what counts before everything else.


  13. Hey Jamie, thanks for looking me up. I'm going to look at your frame by frame right now.