Tag Archives: All-Star Race

Busch to make All-Star return, receives Chase waiver

Kyle Busch is finally back.

After months of healing and rehabilitation, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was cleared to return to competition. He is set to make his comeback during Saturday night’s All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The news came Tuesday morning, along with a video Busch posted to Twitter.

The driver broke his leg in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway, the season-opening race for the second-tier series. After he wrecked, his car went into an inside wall with no SAFER barrier. Busch has been out of a car since that incident, which was nearly three months ago.

NASCAR announced Wednesday morning that Busch will receive a waiver for The Chase, excluding the requirement of starting all regular season races. To make the playoff field, however, Busch needs to win a race and be in the top 30 in the point standings.

“Our decision to grant [Busch] a waiver that allows him to continue running for a championship is one we discussed extensively,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, in an official press release. “The spirit of the rule never was designed to punish drivers who are unable to compete due to extenuating circumstances such as recovering from a racing accident.”

This will be a big month for Busch, whose wife Samantha is expecting their first child any day now. The baby boy will add to the emotional resurgence his father is currently weathering.

Welcome back, Kyle Busch.

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A Hall of Famer an All-Star win makes?

)Credit: 298272Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Jamie McMurray doesn’t win often, but watch out when he does; he can close the deal on some big ones.

The driver of the No. 1 came alive in the final segment of the Sprint All-Star Race and claimed the victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He was thrown into contention by his crew’s stellar performance on the final four-tire pit stop, which was mandatory. He crushed Kevin Harvick’s and Carl Edwards’ efforts and took home the checkered.

McMurray’s win emphasizes his stealth when it comes to the big events. He has now won the Daytona 500,the Brickyard 400, and now the All-Star Race. Add the Coca-Cola 600 and the Southern 500, and it’s a record other drivers would kill to claim. Stats like these could throw him into Hall of Fame conversation. However, is it warranted?

Like I said, his record is nothing to ignore, and he’s done it with a B-list team. Chip Ganassi Racing, an organization who is now running Hendrick motors, has always been resting underneath the surface. This season is the time for a breakthrough; McMurray has an intelligent crew chief in Keith Rodden, Kyle Larson is maturing rapidly, and the horsepower is there. All these factors can catapult the team ¾and McMurray— to a spot on the A-list.

If he’ll ever secure himself in NASCAR history as a Hall of Famer, now’s the time.

The All-Star Race had some great moments, with impressive showings by Harvick, Edwards, and even Kasey Kahne, although he suffered issues after his performance in the sun. What the No. 5 team hit on will most likely be used next weekend as the team hopes to rebound.

How did the event fare overall? Well, it had some good and bad qualities. Moving the Sprint Showdown to Friday night wasn’t a great decision; I can see what direction they wanted to go in, but it became a hassle. Also, Fox Sports 1 didn’t do a good job of advertising the switch, so people were dumbfounded. There were points of great racing, but the last segment erased it. My suggestion is to shorten the final segment and make it more of a Green-White-Checkered deal. THAT will keep the excitement going.

McMurray is known for being a driver who isn’t afraid to cry in victory lane. If he got into the Hall of Fame, I bet waterfalls would pour from his eyes. It’s a make or break season for this chance, and the first domino fell Saturday night.

#QforK: All-Star race, Jeff Gordon’s luck, and pancakes

This week’s edition of Questions for Kristen is here! Let me tackle the All-Star race, Jeff Gordon’s luck, and pancakes!

Do you think Mr. Jeff Gordon will get his miserable (to be nice) luck out of the way and, if so, when? -@folzybear16

This is an issue that puzzles me. Jeff Gordon is, no doubt, a future Hall of Fame inductee. A sudden streak of bad luck has plagued him, though. It’s hard to see him struggle, but he isn’t bitter about it. If you watch the post-race interviews, you’ll notice he just says it’s bad luck.

Everyone gets a black cloud over their heads, like Kasey Kahne did earlier this season. I can’t tell you when it will stop, but Jeff’s luck will come around.

How to fix the All-Star race? -@ourpoppy

The All-Star race has been changed a lot over the years, but there are still flaws. We saw them Saturday night; Jimmie Johnson winning the first segment, hanging back, and then being placed to the front and getting the win.

I think NASCAR should make the final stop require a four-tire change and extend the last segment to 25 laps. That should solve some issues.

Who do you like better? Kyle or Kurt? -@Nascar_Jason_

No contest: Kyle Busch. The guy may not be that likable, but he’s too talented to ignore.

Who was your first favorite NASCAR driver? -@BKmillertime2

When I first got into NASCAR, I listened to my dad to learn. Trying to be like him, I cheered for his favorite driver, Jeff Gordon. Of course, I still cheer for him, but he’s not my favorite.

Since 2008, my favorite has been Kasey Kahne. I was only twelve, but I was amazed by his ability to run the high line so well. He has the mindset of a future champion, and he will get there one day.

As a girl, how do you feel about all the overexposure of Princess Sparkle Pony? -@jesse6524

For those who don’t know, Princess Sparkle Pony is what I call Danica Patrick on Twitter during the races. I don’t mean any harm by it; it’s just funny to shout at the TV sometimes. Besides, it’s catchy.

Patrick is subject to a lot of spotlight, which I think is dangerous to her image, as I have written about before. Just because she is a woman doesn’t make her special. I get that it’s historical, and I’m proud to have a female racecar driver out there, but do we need to talk about her when she’s running four laps down? Nope.

It especially hurts with the sexually-charged Go Daddy ads. We get it, she’s pretty, thirty, and ‘marketable.’ What about the other women coming through the ranks, like Jennifer Jo Cobb, the Cope twins, and Johanna Long? Are they expected to sashay around on TV, wearing nothing? I don’t like that it may force other female drivers to go to that level just to be noticed. But, since I’m a girl, it doesn’t appeal to me as it does to male fans. Men make up a chunk of the NASCAR fandom, so I guess that means sexy commercials and Princess Sparkle Pony stay.

If you were a driver’s wife, what do you think your routine would be for a race weekend? -@KaitlynKait

Three words: chocolate chip pancakes.

I can make some pretty good chocolate chip pancakes, so I would make those every morning before a race, with some bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon, right?

After breakfast, I’d give him a pep talk to get his confidence up. Then I’d hold a Twitter chat because I’m addicted.

Other than that, I’d just pray he would be safe. The rest is really out of my hands, right?