Busch lacks class

Published 6:52 pm Friday, June 12, 2009

To say that Kyle Busch is one of the most, if not the most, talented driver in the world would not garner much argument. But to say that Kyle Busch has class would get dissenting opinions across the board.

In fact, many fans and observers would agree that Busch lacks class before the incident in Nashville Superspeedway’s Victory Lane last Saturday night, but now there is no doubt. Busch won the race in dominating fashion, his fourth Nationwide Series victory of the year, but in Victory Lane, he decided that smashing the custom-painted Gibson guitar that serves as the race trophy would be a good idea. But, as the old saying goes, “Kyle, you’re no Pete Townsend.”

This was no ordinary guitar.

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It was a one of kind, custom painted by the renowned motorsports artist Sam Bass. More than that, it was the trophy for winning the race.

Representatives from Gibson were in Victory Lane, Bass was in Victory Lane, and representatives from Federated Auto Parts, the title sponsor of the race, were in Victory Lane. None were impressed.

I say the stunt was disrespectful on several fronts. It was disrespectful to Sam Bass. It was disrespectful to Gibson, whose headquarters are in Nashville. It was disrespectful to the track operators. And it was disrespectful to the other drivers.

Given the difficulty of winning a race in any of NASCAR’s top series, any other driver on the track would cherish the coveted trophy.

Busch has been his typical flippant self about the incident, saying he wanted to give a piece of the guitar to each member of his crew. I wonder if the grandfather clock is in danger if Busch wins the race at Martinsville later in the fall. Or do you think he will stomp on the Stetson hat presented to the winner of the Texas race?

Given the current health of General Motors, yesterday’s announcement that GM would cease financial support to Chevy teams in the Nationwide and Truck series shouldn’t come as a surprise. But, it seems to me that only the strongest teams competing in those series will survive the cuts. With corporate sponsorships getting hard to come by in the lower series, manufacturer support was getting some of these teams to the track each week.

The move will certainly be felt in the Nationwide series, but will mightily shake the viability of the truck series. There were discussions of the bad health of the Camping World Truck series before the season started, but the removal of this amount of cash could spell doom for what, I believe, is the most competitive series of the three. Toyota and Chevrolet dominate the truck series and you will see Toyota widen the gap in the months to come.

Give a call to Tony Stewart for winning the race at Pocono last week. Many doubted Smoke in his role as driver/owner, but he won a race and sits atop the points standings. And the other Stewart Haas Racing team, the No. 39 of Ryan Newman, sits squarely in the Chase hunt in fourth position.

The series moves to Michigan this weekend for the Lifelock 400. With eight top-10 finishes, five top-fives, and two wins in nine career races, my pick to win this week is Carl Edwards.