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March Madness NASCAR Style! March 15, 2011

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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It’s time for March Madness! When NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France responded this past week that, “This (NASCAR) is a contact-sport,” after being asked about aggressive racing, France slammed the door on any thoughts that the sanctioning body was inclined to respond softly when it comes to allowing the elite of NASCAR to get it on on the race track. Hello up on the wheel!

So with this being an off-weekend for Sprint Cup Series racing, it’s the perfect time to contemplate what we’ll see as we head from the final races of the early spring into the searing, frustrating, burning summer.

Mark Martin says that the drivers were giving every ounce of what they had inside to the racing last season. Yet, even  he said that what happened at Phoenix early in the race, as racers were extremely aggressive early,  had him taking a deep breath. “Even myself, I’ve been up on it and that’s ok but , you know,when you are up on it every second you are bound to make mistakes sooner or later.”  Martin said these are long races and the drivers are fighting for it every single lap. Martin added, “I think it would do us all a little bit of good to take a breath before the flag comes out and think about what we’re trying to really accomplish.”

Kyle Busch has a sense of humor when it comes to how he’s seemingly noticing the big picture, which is less of blowing up over the moment and now comprehending what it would take to win a championship.

When I asked him about it he joked that everything is going well because it’s early in the season. ‘It’s young in the year, were all still fresh,” He told me while grinning at his crew chief. “We’re not wore out, were not sick of each other after being together for thirty straight weeks or something like that. Times are good.”

 

We’ve seen the Kyle Busch, the boy. We’ve seen the hard-to-guard Kyle Busch but what about the grown up, mature kyle? When I told him that we can’t even imagine yet  how he could race when he gets to that juncture of his emotional development he responded, “Well. hi, nice to meet you.”

I interviewed Carl Edwards both mid-week before Las Vegas, when he almost won and got an apology from Kyle Busch and again after he won at Vegas. He too is thinking bigger picture. What angered him to fits of action earlier on in his career is now something he is tempering, as he assesses what it would take to get the champion’s trophy after Homestead.

For all these guys, in the hunt for NASCAR’s biggest trophy who are all seeing the big picture early on- just wait. As Kyle said, it’s early in the season and everything is still fresh. But the true test is the race season that is just beginning to unfold.

Let’s check out the frazzled, frustration if some of the drivers who are used to being in the hunt don’t have better races soon, after the bloom is off the dogwood and the summer get’s hot and steamy.

It’s going to get interesting.

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