Why Kurt Busch's Victory Was Important To NASCAR

Larry BurtonSenior Writer IMarch 8, 2010

Larry Burton (Panama City Beach, Fl) I cover college football. I am a sportswriter among many other pursuits. But usually I'm surrounded by sports addicts, or those who are trying to be. Sundays are days that I can usually get started with an article or two while enjoying my friends and a NASCAR race.

Today was almost different. The usual suspects I hang around almost didn't want to come over and watch the race.

The reason?

They—and admiringly, I—didn't want to watch another rerun of the Jimmie Johnson show.

Yes, I know history is being made with each win and with each championship, but I'm sick of them. Hey, I love NASCAR as much as the next guy, but it's a totally different sport. Each week, half the college football teams win. Lately in NASCAR, every team but one loses.

Hey, if I were to name my top 20 drivers, I don't know that Kurt Busch would make the list, but I was so glad to see him win because it meant Jimmie Johnson didn't.

Everything that happened today in that race was interesting.

NASCAR is getting to see what it means for the boys to "take the gloves off" with the paybacks today.

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The wing proved why it doesn't belong on a "stock car," though the train left that station too many years ago.

Junior showed us you can look a gift horse in the mouth, lots of drivers showed us that good drivers make stupid mistakes, and that in NASCAR—like most sports—nothing is certain. In this case, I'm referring to a Jimmy Johnson win.

And for me and millions of others, that may be reason enough to watch next week.