Monday, May 24, 2010

View From The Flagstand

This week's View from All-Star night in Charlotte was three quarters cruise, and one quarter bruise. The All-Star event's ever changing format makes no difference, it still comes down to those last ten, money laps.


The Bruised Deuce of Kurt Busch may have looked like it was ready for the recycling bin, but late Saturday night they were both in Victory Lane. Busch won the first, 50 lap, format, scraped the wall a couple of times in the next two segments, then charged to the front when the opportunity presented itself.


Martin Truex Jr won the transfer race, and dodged enough spinning cars to finish second in the main event. JGR had some fast race cars all night, Joey Logano was third and Denny Hamlin was fourth. Special shoutout to Bobby Labonte who was 10th of the 13 cars running at the end.


Jimmie Johnson looked to have the car to beat until he spun late in the race after Denny Hamlin pinched his car off down low coming off turn four. Hamlin also blocked teammate, Kyle Busch, earlier when Busch had a run to the outside, resulting in Busch hitting the wall instead of Hamlin. Two more drivers, along with Keselowski and Bowyer, for the Hampster to give a wide berth to in the foreseeable future. Joe may need to hire additional spotters for Denny's next few races.


The current All-Star race format. We all know that it's all about the last ten laps. All the money, all the racing, all the wrecks! But, do we need three, boring, follow the leader segments to get there? Fifty laps for the first leg? Way too long.

How about a 25 lap first segment. Yellow comes out, pitting is optional. Second leg, 20 laps, starting order will be finishing order of first leg. Ten minute break for car adjustments. Then the 10 lap finale. Oh, did I mention that the first two legs pay $250,000 to win!


I'm glad I'm not one of those folks who thought there was a 'new' Kyle Busch out there. I'm also glad that he still has that fire and will to win. When he loses that, he will be a loser. However, Busch's actions after wrecking himself Saturday night were outlandish even by his standards. How can he blame someone for wrecking him, and they never touched? Not even close! Busch went into the turn too hard, Hamlin came up, Busch had two choices... hit Hamlin, or hit the wall. Sure bet: Denny will give Kyle half an acre of room for the next three or four months.

Busch parking at, and storming into, Hamlin's hauler was way over the line. Would he do that to a non-teammate? Only if he wanted his ass kicked by one of their crewmen. Instead of getting him out of there, Joe Gibbs waited with him. Would anyone else's boss do that? Kyle knows he's too talented for Gibbs to discipline him..... maybe it's time for Gibbs to prove him wrong?


  1. Hey Gene!

    Think of the literally thousands of things that come together to make a race and compound that by another thousand things that any individual in the race can have go wrong. Then there's mother nature and "the hand of God". So many variables to consider. Crazy things that we never hear about come into play. Things like whether a driver or a pit boss had a bad night or doesn't feel good. Consider the stress, not only on the racing team, but also on the highly refined vehicles as a huge effort is put forth to win. So many things can happen without explanation and they're mostly bad.

    Then consider why only a handful of these competitors win on a regular basis. What's the common denominator? It's gotta be the will to win. Only a select few have the ability to will themselves into the winner's circle. This select few competes with each other and when things go badly, their frustration shows in many ways. Kyle can't seem to help himself. He's got to point fingers publicly. We both know the others, when disaster strikes, are doing much the same thing, they've just learned to keep it under wraps, so to speak.

    Joe Gibbs has gotta be gratified to not only have Kyle but also Denny Hamlin on his team. Both are young, hard charging drivers with something to prove, but there are times when these two, just like Gordon and JJ, will have confrontations, all while willing themselves to win.

    Like you're saying, if a driver loses that will to win, he might as well hang it up (Jr.?)...

    Viva the will!

  2. Dwind... great points, thanks for the input.

    Maybe his wanting to be the greatest, his quest for perfection requires him to accept no blame when anything goes wrong. Maybe Kristen will give us her diagnosis of Kyle?

    Most perfectionists that I know, also won't ever admit they're wrong. Oh, wait a minute, not perfectionists, I meant to say women. LOL

  3. I hear ya Gene, but you're walkin' on real thin ice, especially with summer comin' on.

    Let's face it, women, in their quest for perfection, will always fall short if guys like you and me are involved! (At least I know that's true with me...) LOL

  4. Oy! You two!! =P

    My diagnosis would stem from a rough childhood - bad relationship with parents - taught they were God's gift and don't listen to anyone, they know everything, never wrong etc and when challenged they respond with extreme anger - a good front to back people off and keep the control all to themselves. Now if you can break thru that front then you BFF's forever. Think JG's has and so has Addington. I really should write a book about this...LOL

    Can we all have a huge WOOT! for Kurt and Brew Crew!! WOOT!! WOOT!!

  5. It's too bad Denny Hamlin wasn't Jimmy Spencer. Then both Busch brothers would have had a pancaked nose in their careers.

    Also, it's great that Labonte finished 10th, but that may have been the worst top 10 car I've ever seen. He simply couldn't keep up most of the night, which was partly why he missed the wrecks. But hey, anything positive is a step in the right direction.

  6. Kristen...Diagnosis sounds about right. Except I'm not sure about Addington being tight with either brother. Kyle is still badmouthing him every chance he gets.... and Kurt's radio feed Saturday night for most of the race was X-rated. I think Addington's greatest value is that he lets their tirades roll off his back, and does his job.

  7. JM....LOL, Denny is a long way from Spencer. Denny is another spoiled kid that had his parents sacrifice for his dream... just like the Buschs.

    Yeah... B Lab finishing 10th of 13 cars running is nothing to brag about.

  8. Actually I think Addington has gotten thru Gene. I have no doubt Kyle is bashing him esp since his bro is winning with is old crew chief. But there have been several incidents where Addington has gone up to Kurt at his worst, put a hand on his back or shoulder and Kurt calms down - if Pat Tryson had done that Kurt would have punched him fer sure. Kurt is still a verbal abuser in the car but with the team and in the hauler its different...

  9. Hey Gene!

    Just curious... I see you're advertising for Danica now. (Google ads on the right)

    Geez, times sure do change! LOL

  10. HAHA, Dwindy. It's all green.