For all us Kurt Busch fans out there, it sure was nice to see him finish ahead of his brother Kyle.
We know he's talented, we know he's driven, but the equipment (we won't dare call it a race car) he's been forced to drive this season isn't fit for backyard racing, let alone the most prestigious race arena: SPRINT CUP RACING!
I was fortunate enough to be able to get into the Dodge Hospitality at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this month. I say fortunate because a small group of us were able to spend a few minutes with Kurt.
If you've never had the opportunity to hear Kurt speak, he is incredible. He dives straight into a one-on-one interaction with the fans (even if they are not his) and talks about details that some drivers never mention.
He was open about the new C.O.T. and where Penske was headed with the new engine package. He was hopeful he'd run well that day, but was confident that 2009 would be a much improved year.
If the race at Lowe's Motor Speedway this past weekend was any indication, I say we're gearing up for a great 2009 season.
Being a Busch Boys fan (both Kurt and Kyle), I was happy to hear Kurt brag a bit on little brother. He was honest in saying there was a rivalry there and that he's been too long in Kyle's rear-view mirror.
I don't think Kyle is the better driver; I just think he has a few things that Kurt is lacking right now.
No. 1 is equipment.
There is no comparison between Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing this season. I'm not sure if the credit should be given to Toyota for building the superior car or Joe Gibbs for hiring the right people to tweak them.
No. 2 is the "Here's to you" attitude.
Kyle had something to prove this year; Kurt didn't.
Being released from Hendrick Motorsports for the most popular driver in NASCAR must have been a huge slap in the face for this up-and-coming superstar.
Nothing would be nicer than to throw it back at Mr. Rick.
No. 3 is what I call NFF, better known as the NO FEAR FACTOR.
Kyle drives like a madman who is obsessed with racing. Remember the days of Kurt Busch vs. Jimmy Spencer? Kyle was fortunate enough (and yes, I said FORTUNATE) to plow into Dale Jr. this season, becoming one of the most hated drivers ever.
I think the only way you can make it big in this sport is to be the most loved or the most hated, so good job, Kyle. I know it drives me to sit in the middle of a bunch of Dale Jr. fans at Talladega wearing only Kyle Busch apparel.
I love the battle, I love the reaction, and I love it most of all when Kyle gets out there and wins! Don't you think Kyle gets the same feelings?
Kurt doesn't have that this season. I thought it was there when 2008 started: the feud with Tony...but that was short lived. What Kurt needs is a rivalry with another superstar. Maybe Dale Jr.? Carl Edwards? Jeff Gordon?
I remember reading an interview Kurt did years ago where he was quoted saying "If you think I'm good, wait until my brother comes on-board".
I'm sure he never thought he'd be running so far behind baby brother, but it makes me wonder what may have happen if Kurt would have stayed at Rousch, would he be running where Biffle and Edwards are?
Would he be the superstar of the team? Would he have another championship?
Okay, I'm going to take the high road from here on out. I never hear Kurt bad-mouth his team, and I'm going to stop. I am going to try and have the faith that Kurt does.
Let's hope that by Newman leaving and none of team PENSKE making it to the Chase, that Roger will kick it up and 2009 will be their year.
I'm a loyal fan as long as Kurt is there, and he is Penske's best shot and getting back in the Chase next year.
Good luck, Kurt!