No Busch Monsters
May 26, 2006 | 10:26 P.M. EST
I don’t see anything wrong with what we’re doing. I know some of you think I’m just saying that since I am running some Busch races for RCR. While it’s true that I’m entered in some of these races, my sentiments aren’t necessarily self serving. Remember, I came up through the Busch Series, so I think I can offer an informed and experienced perspective. I was a Busch Series regular who raced against the Cup guys every weekend. Just about everyone in the Cup Series moved up from the Busch Series ranks and some of the more recent graduates made the step with only a year of experience in a Busch car.
Here’s the thing, if I thought running some Busch races would be detrimental to the series, I wouldn’t do it. The Busch drivers are afforded the opportunity to race with some of the top drivers in the sport. When they perform well and outrun the Cup drivers, people stand up and take notice. Car owners and sponsors pay attention to what’s happening with the Busch Series. That’s how I got the chance to race in the Cup Series. I was running well against the Cup regulars and got noticed by the owners. That’s one of the great benefits for the Busch regulars. Think of it like this. If a Triple A baseball player hit a homerun off of Pedro Martinez, chances are he’d get called up to the “Show.” The same principle holds true in our sport. That’s why my teammate Clint Bowyer got his shot so early in his career. He proved last year that he was capable of racing with, and beating, the best drivers NASCAR had to offer.
Now, I will admit, the Busch owners need some help in this scenario. NASCAR has to figure something out for the owners. Unlike the Cup Series, the Busch Series has a tire rule which limits the number of tires teams can use throughout the weekend. I think the Busch teams should receive another set of tires for practice. Heck, even charge the Cup drivers for the tires. We have extra time on the track by running our Cup car so they deserve another set of tires in order to get a better handle on things during practice. I’m good with that.
Something can also be done with the purses. I think NASCAR could weigh the purses heavier toward the regular Busch Series teams. I would be fine with that too. I race in the Busch Series because I love to race. It’s what I do. It’s not about the money, it’s about the trophy.
The NASCAR Busch Series is a great product. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the history and heritage of our sport, including the Busch Series, and would never do anything to tarnish that tradition. At the same time, traditionally, you’ve always seen lots of Cup guys race Busch cars. Just something to think about.