by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowAugust 13, 2009 10:52 pm UTC 1 Comment
NASCAR superstar Kyle Busch was in On Pit Row country at the Toledo Speedway today. The Shrub did some testing of his CRA Late Model race car to prepare for the 100 lapper he’ll run on the fast half mile Friday night.
Busch sometimes gets criticized because he races too much. He’s a contender in all three of NASCAR’s top series and makes regular appearances at venues like Toledo and Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway. We caught up with Rowdy and got some good stuff.
About that schedule balancing thing…
“It’s real tough to do sometimes but when you have the CRA Series and guys that work with you around your schedule it seems to really help us out and for this particular event being so close to Michigan(International Speedway) really helped us out. It really helped me and I wanted to be here at Toledo Speedway because I haven’t been here since 2002 and I felt like I wanted to come back and put another race on in the CRA Super Series.”
How ’bout this Toledo track?
“Toledo Speedway is a tough place because when I was here [in 2002] it was brand new asphalt so it really stuck on the bottom but I haven’t been here in a while to see how the racing is so I don’t know if it’s two-wide or three-wide or single-file or what. I think we’ll have a pretty good show and there should be a good field of cars here and it will be a fun time for me. I’m going to miss qualifying so I’ll have to start in the back and make it more exciting for the fans. For sure it can be done. It’s a tighter short track so it’s hard to pass sometimes. With the short straight-a-ways here and the longness of the corners you’re in the corners for a long time so you don’t have much time to get a run on a guy and get along side of him getting down the straightaway before you get into the corners so it’s a tricky facility but that’s what makes it fun. The harder it is the better.”
“We just got to do what we did last week at Watkins Glen. We just need to get a good solid race. Something that will keep us in contention for the race win at the end of the race if possible and get a good, solid top-10 or top-5 finish and that’s all we can ask for right now. The wins will come later when we are able to race for wins but right now we need to be smart.”
Can you be a points racer Kyle?
“When you’ve got a car capable of winning you’re going to try to win the race, that’s how any racer is. But when you’ve got a 3rd or 4th place car there is no point in pushing it and getting yourself caught up in the fence or spinning out or something like that. Last week we had a car probably good enough for third and I overdrove it a little bit there at the end of the race trying to get a little more out of it, trying to catch the guys in front of me and it just fell into place and I ran fourth there. I was catching Carl [Edwards] at the last couple of laps. We just have to do the same thing.”
Are you a Michigan fan Kyle?
“It’s a fun track. It’s similar to California and I really like California. I’m a lot better out there [California] for some reason. Michigan’s a tough place. I don’t know if it’s because everyone else runs better there or if I run worse there or what. California seems to suite me a little bit better but here at Michigan it’s a fun, wide racetrack that you can really race all over the place.”
“I said it before and I’ll say it again. I wouldn’t have been able to. If one of the cars didn’t give it would have been a wreck. I didn’t feel like it was a fair move because it was putting into jeopardy another guy’s car. I would have had to gone through the grass or he would have knocked me into the grass-one of the two-we would have made contact so that’s why I didn’t think it was a clean move. Nobody knows what I went through in that situation to make it a clean outcome so I wouldn’t be able to do the same move because it wouldn’t be clean.”
You really like this kind of racing don’t you?
“Yes. It’s great. I love the short track racing. This is my favorite type of vehicle-the late models-and bias ply tires. When you’re able to come out here in your own equipment and you trust the guys that work on it and you know it’s safe and you got the best seat that you can get in it then you come out and have some fun and try to enjoy what you can about racing and that’s a good way to just kind of relax sometimes and give back to the local short tracks.”
Thanks Kyle. And thanks to ARCA for the access and the photos.
“It’s all for fun and just giving back to the numerous short tracks and just trying to keep short track racing alive.”
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowApril 5, 2009 11:00 pm UTC 12 Comments
This looks to be a tough second round, Fast Lap Region draw for one of NASCAR’s all-time greats. But there are no easy wins in the NASCAR 64 Greatest Drivers Tournament at Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie.
Mark Martin may have irritated a few NASCAR fans with his on again-off again retirement plans. But there is no denying his legacy. 35 Sprint Cup Series wins in 726 starts with 243 top fives and 296 top tens. 49 Nationwide Series victories and four-time Sprint Cup Series runner up. Two big ones have eluded Mark: the Daytona 500 and that Cup championship.
Bobby Allison was the ’83 Winston Cup champion and is the owner of 84 Cup series victories and 58 poles in 718 starts. Allison is a three-time Daytona 500 winner. Bobby won 10 races and finished second 12 times in ’72 driving for Junior Johnson. He finished second that year to Richard Petty. Son Davey Allison is also one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Driversand raced until his death in ’93. Son Clifford Allison raced ARCA and the NASCAR Nationwide Series until his fatal crash at Michigan in ’92.
Martin’s round one win over Carl Edwards wasn’t a slam dunk but neither was Allison’s bout with Tony Stewart. I have a hard time seeing Mark getting by Bobby here. But maybe I’m underestimating the Mark Martin fan club. What do you think? Leave us a comment.
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowOctober 15, 2008 3:03 pm UTC No Comments
It was a wild weekend. ARCA brought off one of the best Championship Weekends in the organization’s history thanks to perfect weather, a convincing ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series finale and Justin Allgaier’s come-from-behind ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship.
Oh, and there was that little thing with Scott Speed and Ricky Stenhouse Jr, taking each other out of the race and championship. There was that.
by Charlie Turner
I watched highlights of the Talladega Superspeedway Sprint Cup Friday practice while I waited for the start of ARCA’s 250 mile race today. The highlight of that practice was Dale Earnhardt Jr’s big practice wreck. It looked like, on the replays, the right rear tire had blown. Junior’s wreck took out Tony Stewart and a couple other cars. It doesn’t help their chances, no matter what they say.
“I feel like we’ll definitely mentally be stronger for Sunday because of what happened today,” Earnhardt said.
Uh huh. I’m buyin’ it, are you?
Then the ARCA RE/MAX Series race started. ARCA runs Hoosier Tires. NASCAR, Goodyears. ARCA blew a BUNCH of right rear tires in the race. They cost several contending cars shots at winning the race and screwed with the championship points in a big way. Nearly all of the top teams – Red Bull, Roush-Fenway and Kevin Harvick Racing included – were affected. It’s something to watch Sunday.
Photo credit: Icon Sports Media, Inc.
by Charlie Turner
Mindy passes out advice to Rowdy Busch, the M & M’s team and A J Allmendinger.
Tune in for the continuing saga if Biff-Man and Rowdy. Click here for the latest Monday Morning Crew Chief.
by Charlie Turner
Scott Speed is good. But his stay in the ARCA RE/MAX Series has taken on a different tint from the glowing comments of early this season. Speed leads the series points but has been vocal about how relatively unimportant the ARCA RE/Max Series championship is to him. He has told national media how the ARCA equipment is crude, compared to even the Truck Series and how he “would rate himself an “A” and his team a “C” even though his Eddie Sharp Racing Camry was clearly one of the two best cars in the series, at the half-way point. He has become known among some as “Speedo the Clown”. And others think less of him than that, due to the above attitude and, lately, actions on the track.
I don’t know what any of this means for a Cup career. Maybe nothing. And Scott will have a Cup career regardless. There is speculation that Speedo will replace A J Allmendiger at Team Red Bull for the 2009 Sprint Cup season. Allmendinger has taken some well publicized shots to his ego, and for the good of the Red Bull No. 84 team (and admittedly, his own survival in the team) swallowed his pride and toed the company line. Not sure Speed would do that. And at the very peak of Cup competition – on the teams that contend for wins and championships – team chemistry is often the final piece of the puzzle.
Photo credit: BethAnne Heisler – ON PIT ROW