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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NASCAR's Burning Busch...

As everyone who follows NASCAR knows, this past weekend NASCAR "benched" Kyle Busch, driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing number 18 M&M's Toyota, not only for the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, but also for the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.  After spinning Truck Series driver and championship contender Ron Hornaday during a caution flag lap, Busch was called onto the carpet by NASCAR for what may be the worst penalty of his career.  May be...

I say that because NASCAR has made it clear to great drivers in the past and no doubt has made it clear to Mr. Busch now that NASCAR races will continue whether he is in a car or not.  Past greats such as Rusty Wallace and Darrell Waltrip have made comments in the past that they have been cut down to size by NASCAR as well, so the sentiment is not new, but one has to wonder just how Kyle Busch will receive it.  Will Busch continue to burn out of control or will the fire be put out?  Hopefully for Kyle Busch and JGR it will be somewhere in the middle.

This season supposedly brought out the "new and improved" Kyle Busch after JGR had to reassure sponsors last year that Busch would play by rules and be a good face for their brands.  The new calmer and less "Rowdy" Busch, who most of the year looked as though he had gained a few pounds after his off-season marriage, won less races during the 2011 season but seemed poised to make a serious run for the Sprint Cup as he entered the Chase.  No doubt the let down of another Cup slipping away from his grasp fanned the flame in his Toyota Tundra last Friday night.

Another question is what assurance can Joe and JD Gibbs give their #18 sponsors heading into the 2012 season that this will not occur again?  Will any of their sponsors look elsewhere to spend their money?  Only time will tell.  I am sure that if Busch begins to stack up wins again that the sponsors will be happy to ride along, no matter how bumpy the road.

It may well be a good idea for JGR to seek sponsorship money for the #18 from UFC, WWE, or perhaps having him do some public awareness ads showing him teaching police officers how to properly spin cars out with the PIT maneuver.  Give him a black paint job, buy the #13 for him, and embrace the image.  Or better yet, buy him the #2 and paint the car pink.  To much, Earnhardt fans?  Don't tar and feather me, I am one of you.

The simple fact is that a "Rowdy" Busch is good for NASCAR.  Does NASCAR need Kyle Busch, no more than they need in-car cameras or double-file restarts.  But they sure make the races more interesting.


Sue Rarick said...

Even if M&M leaves that's JGR's problem. I haven't heard anything about Dollar General or Traxxas. That being the case Kyle still has Nationwide and trucks as an owner driver. And if he's let loose that leaves the new and improved Indy series open to him......Remember Indy was more popular than NASCAR untill Penske and Ganassi started up CART and ruined open wheel racing.

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