Barring any crashes, or mechanical failures, Kyle Busch will earn a chase berth this weekend at the Watkins Glen Cheez-It 355.
Yes it’s a road race, which have become tantamount to a short track Saturday night brawl. Anything could happen, but Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing are ready to clinch their spot with the Toyota M&M’s team.
What that means is staying as far out of trouble as possible, running as clean a race as possible and delivering a car that Kyle Busch can feel comfortable in driving. That, in and of itself is no stretch, this isn’t their first road racing rodeo.
Kyle Busch is a no-nonsense hard charging wheelman that is no stranger to victory lane in road races having won at Sonoma and repeatedly challenging at Watkins Glen.
He’s being referred to as a ‘Wild Card’ by mainstream media sports writers to whom NASCAR is usually an afterthought. This just isn’t the case.
Technically, a wildcard is defined by the Urban Dictionary as: “A person who is generally unpredictable and has no defined role in a group of friends, and their often reckless and wacky behavior can either benefit or hurt the group depending on the situation.”
Kyle Busch, unpredictable? He has been at times. Whacky, at times and it can’t defended. But reckless, not really, he’s fast he has unmatched car control and he can road race. Hence the definition of ‘WildCard’ may fit to those who don’t like him, but the term doesn’t fit Busch’s determination or skill level. Kyle Busch will lock himself into the Chase this weekend.
The biggest caveat is he gets taken out early by someone else or somehow loses sight of the fact that he needs to lock in this weekend, not win the race.
It can be argued, and should be, that driving to win is the surest way to make the playoff, however the unpredictability of a road race, not Busch, is the real ‘Wildcard’ is it’s a road race.
Now comes the subject of Toyota’s new found engine energy. I say energy as it seems that since Indianapolis and Kentucky the Toyota’s have found more than just horsepower. They have found power in the entire power-band, not just top speed.
That alone is an advantage at any road race. Having torque upon corner exit is a beautiful thing for a road racing driver. Being able to utilize the power of an engine throughout it’s power range is what is necessary to go from high speed down to slow corners and then utilizing that horsepower coming out onto a straight.
sThis is where passes are made and smoothness counts.
The Toyota’s have found something and it’s working. This plays to Kyle Busch’s strengths. He’s now able to utilize everything the Toyota has to offer and Watkins Glen is exactly one of those tracks where this should be a winning combination.
A ridiculously fast driver, a well grounded and strategic team and useable horsepower throughout the power-band.
What could possibly go wrong, it’s only a road race.