Tag Archives: Pocono Raceway

This is Why Kyle Busch Will Not Win a Championship

Last week in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Pocono Raceway, Kyle Busch was racing Kasey Kahne with 18 laps to go. Busch ended up wrecking himself and Kahne. He finished the race 12th while Kahne finished 42nd.

With 18 laps to go Kasey Kahne had passed Kyle Busch and was working on another car. This brought Kyle Busch back to try and pass again. Better to let Kahne explain it.

This is just when one guy in on the inside and one guy is on the outside and a wall is coming, the car on the outside is going to hit the wall first if he doesn’t…. you know, when you run out of space.  The guy on the inside wants to use the entire exit of the corner to carry his speed down the next straightaway. My whole opinion, and my whole point on that was I had already passed Kyle (Busch) the reason he passed me back was because I was passing Ryan Newman and two cars, with no one in front of us-the next car was way up-going down the straightaway side-by-side gave Kyle the opportunity to get a big draft, and stick his nose in there when we got to turn one. So suddenly he is back and he knows if he didn’t clear me there, that we would be a position behind. So he just floored it, and if it is close someone is going to lift. So that is the way I look at it. You just put someone in that position, and it’s all up to the guy on the inside. His spotter was telling him outside, outside, outside.

If you watch NASCAR week in and week out this is exactly the type of racing we want to see. Side by side racing in order to get the position on the other driver; side by side racing in order to win the race. This is the dream of every race fan and every driver.

Here is the problem: the only way to get that side by side racing we want is for the driver on the inside to feather the petal enough to not get loose and run up into the driver on the outside. The driver on the outside needs to do the same to maintain his position and keep off the wall.

What Kyle Busch did was force the issue by driving too hard, expecting to intimidate the driver on the outside to lift and simply let him by. This might be a great strategy if you’re racing Mark Martin or Jeff Burton, but at the end of a race even that strategy will fail. This is what we saw from Kasey Kahne.

Sure this was just one race but Kyle Busch does this more often than not. He over drives his car near the end of a race and puts himself in a position that takes himself out of contention. In this race he did manage to bring the car home twelfth, but other times he has taken himself out.

As for Busch winning a Championship, he cannot race every driver like this. It might work in the Nationwide or Truck Series but there will always be one driver who isn’t intimidated. It will only take one to keep him from winning, or worse yet, ruin his day. In the Chase for the Sprint Cup a bad or even mediocre race will keep you from a Championship.

Kyle Busch is one heck of a driver. The only problem is he has to reserve the move he made on Kasey Kahne for coming off of turn four on the last lap at “Enter Name of Speedway Here”. That will make him a great driver and create the kind of racing we all want to see.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 298968 NASCAR Via Getty Images

Kasey Kahne Has Got This Pocono Triangle Down

Last week NASCAR was at the high banked, high speed, Monster Mile. Kasey Kahne didn’t have a very good day finishing 19th. This week NASCAR and Kasey Kahne return to a much different track. This week they are at the Pocono Raceway, the Tricky Triangle as it is called, for the Pocono 400.

The Pocono Raceway is one of the most unique tracks that NASCAR visits each year. Every track on the circuit (except the road courses, of course) has four corners. Pocono is a triangle, so it only has three corners. In fact, they are so proud of it there is a sign painted on the wall just after the marking for turn 3 that says “What Turn 4?”. It is also special because each of the corners are modeled after other famous speedways. Turn 1 the now closed Trenton Speedway, Turn 2 Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Turn 3 the Milwaukee Mile. The track is 2.5 miles in length and the race is 400 miles; 160 laps.

Looking at the driver ratings for Pocono one might think there are only two drivers who have any chance. Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin have done very well here and their 109.3 and 109.1 ratings reflect that. Jimmie Johnson’s 8.8 average finish also stands alone.

Last year though, Kasey Kahne all but got a season sweep at Pocono. In this race last year he started the race only to have to fix a U-joint; when he returned to the track though he had the fastest car of the entire field. Even though he started the race 43rd, he managed to race his way back to a 36th place finish. In the August race, Kahne and the entire #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet team lead the most laps on their way to winning the race.

When asked about Pocono Kahne said, “It’s always been a good track for me. Need to perform for sure.

Two weeks ago Kasey Kahne looked to have a strong car at Charlotte only to be blocked from his pit stall and getting trapped a lap down. Jimmie Johnson, Kahne’s teammate, dominated the race to win. After the race, Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus uncharacteristically admitted he used Kasey Kahne’s set up.

Like last season Kahne’s luck hasn’t been very good but he has had a fast car of late; he should be able to build on Charlotte and his success last year at Pocono Raceway to win the Pocono 400.

If you cannot get to the Pocono Raceway for the Pocono 400 the race will be broadcast on TNT on  Sunday, June 8th starting at 1 PM ET. This is the first race of 2014 on TNT.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 288896 Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Pocono
Jimmie Johnson…………………… 109.3
Denny Hamlin………………………. 109.1
Kurt Busch………………………….. 104.7
Jeff Gordon………………………… 101.1
Tony Stewart…………………………. 98.5
Carl Edwards………………………… 97.3
Ryan Newman……………………….. 96.4
Kasey Kahne………………………… 92.8
Kevin Harvick………………………… 89.6
Matt Kenseth………………………… 89.6
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among active drivers at Pocono Raceway.