The 2015 season is over and Kyle Busch is the champion for this year. It was a tremendous fête, missing 11 races and still winning five races and coming home the champ. Congratulations to Kyle, but something very troubling is going on in the sport. It’s almost like we turned back the clock to 2006.
It’s been awhile since I’ve appeared in these pages. My trip to Martinsville was a disaster (snowmegaddon), so next on my schedule was Bristol, which despite gloomy skies, tremendous races happened. The crowd was good, but many wanted to make fun of the crowd. No the track wasn’t full, but a good 100,000 was there and Kurt Busch outlasted and outran one of NASCAR’s darling young drivers, Kyle Larson to claim victory, and qualify for the playoffs.
Just a day after I wrote the story, I saw what I call “the letter.” It was a letter to Earnhardt from Amanda Gardstrom. Gardstrom is the daughter of NASCAR legend Fred Lorenzen. In the letter, she also commends Earnhardt. She knows all too well what can happen when proper medical care isn’t given after a concussion. You see, Fred Lorenzen now resides at a nursing home, and dementia rules his day.
Monday’s NASCAR announcement about the new format for NASCAR Camping World Truck, XFINITY and Monster Energy Cup Series season was not only unusual, but might just be the most extraordinary thing that’s happened to the sport since the announcement that the championship would be based on the last 10 races of the season—the Chase.
The small snippet on the scanner conversation between Jimmie Johnson, who had just blown a sure win by jumping the start in Sunday’s Fed Ex 400, spotter Earl Barban, and crew chief Chad Knaus. I thought I heard the quote, but having it replayed today on SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio channel proved I did hear that. My only question is who is “they” and why do they not want Johnson to win?
Did anyone doubt that Jimmie Johnson would lead the Chase points after Martinsville? Earlier in the spring race, he and teammate Jeff Gordon were headed for a 1-2 finish before somebody got greedy and the result was Ryan Newman winning. Never mind that Hendrick Motorsports owns this place, and if for not a strange turn of events, HMS would have won both races at Martinsville Speedway. As usual.