Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bristol Makes a Few Things Crystal Clear

I wasn't even there and I'm exhausted from this weekend's action at Bristol Motor Speedway.  Between the fiery craziness in Saturday's Nationwide race and the truly unsettling wreck during the EZ Seed Showdown, this weekend was a race fan's roller coaster.

However, now that Thunder Valley is quiet and the results are in, there are a few things on the Cup side that were made crystal clear:

It was a mistake for Joe Gibbs to fire Steve Addington - Since being shown the door by Joe Gibbs Racing, Steve Addington has joined the Penske fold to head up the No. 2 team of Kurt Busch.  JGR's loss has been Penske's gain.  So far this year, Kurt has raced circles around his little bro. Kyle Busch - Addington's former driver.  Kurt has out-performed Kyle in every race, leading 441 laps so far and notching one win, two top fives and one pole.  Kyle, on the other hand, has managed to eke out a top 10 and lead 37  laps.  Wonder if there are any regrets among the powers-that-be at JGR?

Jimmie Johnson gets it done - Lots of race fans may not like seeing Johnson's handsome mug in Victory Lane again and again, but they should be used to it by now. Johnson is the real deal.  His victory at Bristol - his 50th Cup win and third this year - can be chalked up to a sweet race car and his enviable knack for keeping cool under pressure.  The driver of the No. 48 can finish a race with the best of them - and if he's anywhere near the leader with 10 laps to go, he'll get it done (even if that means going three-wide at Bristol).  Will the loss of the rear wing throw JJ and company off their game at Martinsville? Perhaps. But haters shouldn't hold their breaths.

This year, Dale Jr. makes the Chase - It sure wasn't pretty, but the No. 88 team managed to leave Bristol with a seventh-place finish.  And though the driver/crew chief radio chatter was rather heated and rife with expletives at times, Earnhardt Jr. ended up driving his car toward the front, even after a speeding penalty on pit road punted him to the middle of the pack. All's well that ends well, and Junior's solid Bristol run gained him five places in points - he's currently in eighth spot.

Greg Biffle - not bad at making enemies - In addition to Joey Logano and his dad, Biffle now has Mark Martin and his fans to contend with.  Martin was racing to the front Sunday, only to get tangled up with Biffle, who claimed his radio became unplugged and didn't know Martin was there when he hit him.  The result? Martin got out of shape and went back up the track, which led to a 13-car incident.  Martin was about as angry as he gets after the wreck - and although he did finish the race, he ended up in 35th place. More importantly, Martin lost nine spots in the points standings.  We'll see if Martin sticks it to The Biff at Martinsville.

Photo info: Brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch chat in the garage.


  1. I have said that letting Steve Addington go would be a big mistake for Kyle and Joes Gibbs. Guess things are proving me right so far but it couldn't have happen to a nicer driver! Kyle won what twelve Cup Races in two years with Addington and then decides he wants another crew chief? Any other driver would have to have his head examined to get rid of a crew chief like that. It was very clear that Addington was the reason Kyle was running so good. He never showed anywhere near that success over at Hendrick so it was clear Addington and Kyle were a great team but they ran him off. Bet Kyle and Gibbs will both regret this before it is over.

  2. I agree with everything here except that the Biffle/Martin-inflicted wreck was "unsettling." A game-changer perhaps for a dozen drivers, but it didn't have the calamatous swirl 'n' smack of a 'Dega or Daytona Big One. More like a slo-mo CRUNCH. Nice move by Harvick threading through it. And yay Jimmy!

  3. LOL - hey David - I wasn't calling the Biffle/Martin wreck "unsettling. I was referring to the wreck in the legends race (the EZ Seed Showdown) that sent Larry Pearson and Charlie Glotzbach to the hospital. That was a real scary moment.