Kyle Busch did not win. The position was there for the advantage but the late race caution shuffled the deck for an “all in” run for the finish.
It was Eric Jones in the #43 that almost had it down on the apron but the car lost traction and slid back on the track in front of Bubba Wallace who clipped it with the #23 and took a dive to the infield safety tire wall. It was Kyle Busch out front racing team mate Truex, Jr before the caution.
With the history and “home town” advantage, one would think a gamble for the win would be second nature. However, it was the Hendrick teams that gambled on two tires at the pit to roll them out in position. It paid off for Alex Bowman as the ALLY #48 took the checkers at Vegas after starting the late race run with team mate Kyle Larson on the front row.
Kyle Busch was left back in fourth place. The caution was not with Busch’s words as post race comments seemed to pull Bowman through the coals of harsh language and criticism of the win. Kyle is not known for constraint at a loss that was so close to a win and reports are that the two drivers have, indeed, spoken following the race. Cooler heads and a sense of humor prevailed as both Bowman and Busch threw down with special sales on their merch.
Animal Shelters benefited from the sale of Bowman “All Luck – No Skill” T-shirts (from Kyle’s comments) and some Kyle Busch items online were marked 48% off (Bowman’s number). Heat of the moment comments were turned to lighter responses and good cause results.
Racing this month is all about big tracks and big speeds. Next month the short tracks will put these new cars to a real test. The drivers and teams have only had a temporary stadium bit of asphalt to get a taste of short track bumping. Richmond and Martinsville are ready to heat up the mix. The Richmond “D” oval track offers some of the speed of the west and mixes it up with some tight turns. Toyota Owners weekend is a good cross over into the short tracks.
Martinsville is tight and quick. Those new bigger brakes and wider tires will get a workout and many drivers will be reaching for the Blue Emu after 500 laps. It’s a track that has been testing cars for a long time and this year with a really new package is going to be very interesting.
Bristol…? They are bringing the dirt back in. These cars are designed to be at home on asphalt. Dirt wasn’t part of the plan when the drawing boards were out on this car. Bristol and dirt came into the mix on the back end. It is going to be a Food City show!
Let’s not forget that weekender racing is also opening up fast. Every home track is looking at schedules and a supply line for tires after many last year had to limit or cancel some events. Tracks of all types are getting under way for 2022 so nobody has to wait for the NASCAR Cup show to catch exciting racing all around the country.
NASCAR is in Phoenix this weekend. Everybody can’t be there… So where are you racing? Check your home track schedule and catch some laps!