Busch is the new Public Enemy No. 1 in NASCAR; more notes
So NASCAR has its new "Public Enemy No. 1" and it's none other than
It's hard not to notice Busch. That was never more evident than at Richmond Saturday night. After
But Busch saw an opportunity to win for the second-straight week. He engaged in a fierce, side-by-side battle with Earnhardt that culminated with the two cars colliding in the third turn with three laps remaining, allowing
"[The fans] were going crazy and you see it, but you don't pay attention to it," Busch said. "I don't know why they were telling me I was number one, I was in second place. Clint Bowyer got the lead from me -- they were all confused.
"I guess, too many old [Dale Earnhardt] Jr. Budweisers."
Bowyer went on to win the race with Busch finishing second, but it was obvious that the Earnhardt fans thought Busch raced their driver harder than some thought was necessary.
"I told the cops I don't know why they were escorting me," Bowyer said. "I told them they better get on and escort Kyle Busch out of here."
There are plenty of side-plots that thickened this drama. When Earnhardt announced in 2007 that he would leave the family-owned Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) team,
"The `Junior Nation' assumption is probably going to always be right," Busch said. "It's just a product of hard racing with both of us going into the corner and running out of room and we got together."
Brash, cocky, arrogant are all words that can be used to describe Busch, but the bottom line is he simply doesn't care what others think about him; he's a true racer at heart.
Ironically, Busch may reflect more qualities of the late Dale Earnhardt than the late champion's own son exudes. Busch wasn't afraid to take away a victory from Earnhardt because Busch isn't in this game to finish second.
"Everybody probably is racing around the race track scared to death of wrecking Dale Earnhardt, Jr., so why wouldn't I be any different?" Busch said.
Incidents like these make NASCAR promoters, such as Humpy
Unfortunately for Gossage, NASCAR Sprint Cup doesn't return to his race track until November. But it's not too late for Wheeler to get the promotional "wheels" in motion because Lowe's hosts the Sprint All-Star Race in two weeks and the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend.
After Saturday night's incident, the sparks may still be flying in this rivalry.
Rahal, who finished second in the 2006 Liberty Challenge Indy Pro Series race as part of the United States Grand Prix weekend, had never driven on an oval until last Sunday's IndyCar Series race at Kansas Speedway. On Sunday, he got his first experience of the most famous oval in the world as the rookie prepares for his first Indy 500. "It's tough; it's fast," Rahal said. "The speed at which the walls come up on you is unlike any other place. It's a one-lane race track, which we're not used to in this series."
Rahal was one of 13 new drivers who participated in Sunday's Rookie Orientation Program (ROP) for the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on May 25. He took the track shortly after 1 p.m., passed all four phases of ROP by 2:14 p.m. and was then allowed to practice at any speed. He completed 51 laps with a fast lap of 218.619 miles per hour. "The car was good and I felt confident out there," young Rahal said. "It's day one of a lot of days here at the track. I don't think it has hit me yet.
Now Rahal can focus on joining his father as drivers who have competed in the Indy 500. The name has helped him throughout his career but Graham Rahal will actually be racing against his father's team, which includes Indy 500 rookie drivers
"No matter what my dad won, he won three CART championships," Rahal said. "But you never hear about that, you hear about he's an Indy 500 champion."
Another name Graham Rahal should focus on is
Whether Rahal wins at Indy this year remains to be seen but it won't be from lack of advice. He is teamed with
"The advice I've given Graham is patience," Bobby Rahal said. "That's the same advice I gave my two drivers, Ryan and Alex."
There were 13 drivers that took to the 2-1/2-mile oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday with former Champ Car star
After breezing through all four phases of his rookie test, this year's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner ran 93 laps, just one lap short of
While the first three drivers during Sunday's ROP at Indianapolis were on "transition teams" new to IndyCar, rookie driver
Lloyd is a home-grown product of the IndyCar Series. After coming to the United States from England where he raced against and defeated
That championship got him a contract from team owner
"It's strange the way it is working because if you look at my timing stand I have my engineers from Target/Chip Ganassi Racing and a couple of the Rahal Letterman guys," Lloyd said. "I've got two great teams that have won this race before and many other races."
Lloyd also has two-time Indy 500 winner
When asked how he became Lloyd's "driving coach" Luyendyk said, "When Alex came over to driver in the Pro Series he was immediately quick. The guy has talent. We saw that right away. For him to be able to run here for the first time with a car like this and