Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kyle Busch Takes NASCAR Points Lead with Kentucky Win

Kyle Busch pits at Kentucky Speedway en route to his second win of the weekend

The Kyle Busch freight train picked up Saturday where it left off Thursday night as he rolled to a convincing win at Kentucky Speedway in the Quaker State 400. The Sprint Cup race win followed his win in Thursday's truck series race and a third place finish in Friday night's Nationwide Series event. Not bad for a weekend's work and I saw plenty of fans at Kentucky with Busch paraphenalia, including one whose car had the number "18" on the side in shoe polish along with "Bring Out the Brooms" - while that fan did not get their wish of a Kyle Busch sweep of Kentucky's weekend of NASCAR racing, I'm sure they were happy with two out of three. They were probably a lot happier than thousands of fans who sat in gridlocked traffic jams outside the track trying to get to this inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. In the media center Saturday morning, I started hearing stories of horrendous traffic backups at 11 a.m. and the race was still more than 8 hours away! When you add 67,000 seats to a place that used to only hold about 50,000 people total, I guess that's what happens. I'm just glad I got there early.

Kurt Busch leads brother Kyle past packed grandstands at Kentucky

The race itself was fairly processional with not as much side by side racing as I had expected, and no significant challenges for the lead all night. The lead only changed hands on pit stops so I spent more time than I usually do during a race shooting from pit lane. Kyle's brother Kurt Busch jumped out to an early lead and Brad Keselowski looked like he might add the win to his Nationwide trophy from Friday night. Tony Stewart even spent a little time in the lead based on pit strategy but this was clearly Kyle Busch's race to lose, and he stuck it to the rest of his competitors.

The Sprint Cup season is now halfway finished and only eight races remain to determine which drivers will make "The Chase" which will decide the season title over the final ten races of the year. The next time I see these cars will be at the Brickyard 400 in three weeks and it will probably be the same story there as in years past. If you are out front in clean air at Indy in these cars, then you are going to be tough to pass. It will be very interesting to see if the Brickyard crowd rebounds from the dismal attendance of 2010. Perhaps the recent announcement of the 2012 schedule additions for the Brickyard weekend will bring people back this year in anticipation. Adding a Grand Am race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Friday and moving the Nationwide Series race from Lucas Oil Raceway's 5/8 mile oval to the big track to run 250 miles on Saturday are going to be welcome additions to Brickyard weekend track activity next year at IMS. My guess is those announcements regarding 2012 will not help this year's Brickyard, but I will be there to bring pictures back like I always do, most likely from Turn 3 with the rest of the Third Turn Society. Until then, here's my race slideshow, so happy hunting and safe travels. See you at Indy!


Dalight7 said...

Nice photos as usual Jay!

Dalight7 said...

Great photos as usual Jay!!!!