Winners: 2011 NASCAR Champions

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Austin Dillon
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Tony Stewart

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Musings After Darlington

Grow Up

All Kyle Busch is doing is further proving his own immaturity.

Busch, who won at Darlington in convincing fashion Saturday night, has relished the attention he's received since his incident with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Richmond, and on Saturday proceeded to egg on the fans who were booing and throwing beer cans at him. Pretending to wipe off a tear, cupping his hand around his ear, asking for fans to throw full beer cans so he could drink one on the way to Victory Lane ... the boy doesn't know when to quit.

Relishing the Bad Boy role in NASCAR is one thing -- inciting a fan base that already detests you is just stupid. Dale Earnhardt Sr. never pushed the fans like that, and neither did Jeff Gordon. Even Tony Stewart never went that far -- he saved all his venom for the media and his fellow competitors.

Such immaturity shows a lack of respect -- for his competitors and for the fans, who are what this sport is all about. Stewart understands how important the fans are -- even the ones who hate him -- and my guess is most drivers realize that. Busch instead sees the hatred as an insult and sees fit to turn that around and throw it back at the fans.

Racing is karmic in the sense that the less respect you show on and off the track, the more it will eventually show in your results. I realize Busch is in the top five in all three national touring series, and has a combined eight wins this season, but if he keeps this up, he'll see why Rick Hendrick got rid of him last year without so much as a blink of his eye.

Busch is an amazing talent -- probably one of the best in the Sprint Cup Series -- but unless and until he grows up, that won't matter.

Questionable career move -- maybe

The Associated Press is reporting that should Tony Stewart leave Joe Gibbs Racing, the team would likely pursue Greg Biffle, who will be a free agent at the end of this season. Biffle stated repeatedly he would like to re-sign with Roush Fenway Racing, but after a disappointing finish Saturday at Darlington, Biffle expressed his frustration in no uncertain terms.

"It is really frustrating, but you know what, I've just come accustomed to expecting it because week after week, it's something," Biffle said in the AP piece. "Something breaks. Something falls off. I give it 110 percent as a driver all the time, and you just want your equipment to last and be able to win these races."

Ouch ... certainly a different tune than the one Biffle had been singing. And with Carl Edwards off the market following his extension with Roush, Biffle could very well be the Sprint Cup Series' most prized free agent this coming offseason -- unless Stewart opts out of JGR for 2009.

But would Biffle be a good fit driving the No. 20? The equipment and the team will certainly be there, but does Biffle really want to play third fiddle behind the kids -- Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch? Biffle's had to take a back seat before -- to guys like Mark Martin, Edwards and Matt Kenseth -- but none of those guys have the ego that Hamlin and Busch have.

How would Biffle respond to that?

Biffle already has Craftsman Truck and Busch Series championships, so he wants the best shot possible to win a Cup title. And if this season is any indication, JGR might be the best place to go (though Roush's No. 99 and Rick Hendrick's No. 88 might have something to say about that). I'm just not sure the personalities would all mesh.

Biffle seems to be a little too right in the head for Gibbs' bunch of hotheaded talents.

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