Thursday, July 9, 2009

Was the finish to the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona just racing or did Kyle Busch get dumped?

Coke Zero 400 at Daytona was an encore presentation of Aaron’s 499 at Talladega.

(Photo Credit:

As another Saturday night NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at this time Chicagoland Speedway is on the horizon, I’m still thinking more about last Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

Now let me state the obvious, when it comes to restrictor plate racing, most of the time, you get an exciting, heart pumping, yet heart stopping, hard to watch at times race and basically every plate race is an encore presentation of either the previous tracks race or in this case, the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in my eyes was an encore presentation of the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega a few months ago.

So let’s get right into it, on the last lap coming to the checkered flag, was the incident coming into the tri-oval between #14-Tony Stewart (who was running in second at the time) and #18-Kyle Busch (who was leading on the last lap) just racing or did Kyle Busch get dumped?

First I thought that the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona was just another restrictor plate race, Daytona is handling race track so you have to have more than just speed to win here, with the exception of the finish of the race nothing really surprised me at all. Mark Martin getting tagged up off turn 2 was just simply a product of getting tight up off and another driver was there, Matt Kenseth did nothing wrong and it was a racing deal.

“The big one” as most people call it reared its ugly head again as it normally does during most restrictor plate races and the back straightaway was the hot spot, unfortunately several drivers just got caught up in one person’s mess, which set off a chain reaction.

However, what about Tony Stewart vs. Kyle Busch? I have watched the reply so many times from so many angles, it makes my head hurt, but I see the same thing each time that I saw on the first shot in real time, Kyle Busch came off turn 4 with the lead, Tony Stewart was right there on Kyle’s back bumper, Kyle went to block, Stewart went high, now this is where Kyle Busch should have stayed low, the yellow line didn’t play a factor in the incident, if Kyle would have stayed low, then he might of won the race.

But the first reaction of most drivers is block and Stewart was already to Kyle Busch’s outside, Kyle Busch came up to block, hit Stewart’s left side, which sent Kyle Busch into the outside wall just before the tri-oval and Tony Stewart won the race. I was glad to see that all of the drivers were ok after that both the Big One and the last lap wreck on the front straightaway, from Kasey Kahne having no were to go and slamming right into a basically stopped Kyle Busch to even more a few more drivers slamming into Busch after the tri-oval including his teammate #20-Joey Logano, there was really no place for most drivers to go.

Fast forward to earlier today (Thursday at Chicagoland), Kyle Busch was interviewed in the media center and said "NASCAR should look at it when a second place driver dumps the leader, then black flag his (left out word) and he doesn’t get the win, if he is on him from behind and moves him out of the way, but there is no wreck, then he wins the race, but if you along side of him and you dump him, then they should give the win to the third place guy." (took from the SPEED Live of the video from the NASCAR Media Center at Chicagoland Speedway). Kyle Busch was also asked if last week’s incident, would that be considered a dump in your mind? He siad "It would be considered a dump yes."

Kasey Kahne said that that incident was a long ways from a dump in his mind, they were both battling for the win (there was more in the audio after that). Tony Stewart said he talked to Busch on Tuesday and everything was fine, so he will go off of that conversation and leave it at that.

Personally I am trying to stay objective and my opinion and say what you will, but Kyle Busch has nothing to complain about, Stewart didn’t dump him, if anything Kyle Busch came up on him and wrecked himself, however I see it as, it’s just racing (a racing deal or incident), welcome to restrictor plate racing, I am giving Kyle Busch the benefit of the doubt and the first thing most drivers do in that case was block, so it’s a racing incident.

As for Kyle Busch’s comment that NASCAR should look into this when a second place driver dumps the leader, the win should go to the third place driver, NASCAR already does that, case in point, in January at the Toyota All-Star race at Irwindale Speedway, on the last lap, Joey Logano made a mistake and put Peyton Sellers into the turn 4 wall with a video game move and even though Logano crossed the finish line first and originally I thought he won, Logano was penalized to last place and third place Matt Kobyluck won the All-Star race.

Daytona was Daytona, just like Talladega is Talladega, welcome to restrictor plate racing, did you enjoy the race?