Immediately after the checkered flag flew Saturday night at Richmond, all 12 Sprint Cup chase drivers and team members were given custom made Sprint Cup chase hats with their sponsor logos on the front.
Kyle Busch, losing his chase chances by eight points to Brian Vickers, did not get a hat.
When you look back at the past 25 races, it would be pretty easy to speculate where Kyle Busch could have picked up eight extra points.
Busch led the majority of laps at Darlington until a visit to the turn one wall sent him backwards to a 34th place finish and a paltry 66 points.
The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona was another opportunity for Busch. A final turn tango with Tony Stewart relegated Busch from a certain top 5 finish to a 14th place finish. These two races represent a potential gain of over 150 points.
There are certainly more examples. What stands out here is not the bad luck or missed opportunities; it is a statement that makes regular appearances in Kyle Busch interviews.
“I don’t race for points, I race for wins.”
An article in Sunday’s Virginian-Pilot stated that Joe Gibbs Racing was working on a contract extension with Kyle Busch. This extension would keep Busch at JGR for the next few years. The original contract is set to expire at the end of the 2010 season.
Early in the 2005 Sprint Cup season Joe Gibbs told Tony Stewart he could not race in any races other than his Sprint Cup obligations. Gibbs’ said Stewart needed to focus more on winning the championship. It worked.
If Joe Gibbs Racing is in fact going to keep Kyle Busch past next season, maybe it’s time for Coach Gibbs to educate Busch and once again issue a few directives.
The first order of business should be points. It takes points to win a championship. No points, no championship.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Carl Edwards have no wins this season. Mark Martin has four wins, the same amount as Busch does this season. Because of points, not wins, all three are eligible for a championship. Busch is not.
The next directive should be the same one issued to Stewart. Joe Gibbs has to put a governor on the amount of races Busch feels a need to run every weekend.
Slow down for a year or two and put all your efforts into winning a Sprint Cup.
Finally, Busch’s antics need to stop. Yes they are great for the fans and NASCAR needs a bad boy to keep ratings inflated. The question here is when it is enough.
There is no way Busch’s antics do not have some effect on his team. It just cannot be possible that his tantrums and emotional outburst’s do not spill over onto his team causing more than the usual amount of stress.
Busch has now missed his fifth opportunity at a championship. If Coach Gibbs does not intervene and changes are not made, he will miss many more.
Source: Pilotonline.com/Dustin Long
Photo credits: David Yeazell