The Gaynalysis is just one gay NASCAR fan’s take on the race weekend. You can read the “straight recap” of the race from Richmond by clicking here.
As Shirley Bassey once sang…. “and it’s all just a little bit of history repeating.” That is what it felt like for me and Kyle Busch.
In September of 2009 – a guitar-smashing, pre-Samantha Kyle Busch was in true OldKyle-Form when he missed the Chase in Richmond by only 8 points. I was so gleeful that Kyle missed his spot in the Chase that I wanted to write about it – and Queers4Gears.com was born. That first post, “Schadenfreude Kyle Busch“, on 9-13-2009 started it all and I found my “snark” in that inaugural post.
Last night, back at the same 3/4 mile track in Richmond, Kyle missed the Chase again – but this time the margin was even smaller, as Jeff Gordon knocked Kyle out and clinched the final wild card spot by only 3 points. This time, I wasn’t ass gleeful – I really felt badly for Kyle – there was no schadenfreude. Actually, in ’09 I think Kyle had performances on the track that should have earned him a spot – but because he was soo bratty, no one felt badly when he missed.
Switch to 2012. Kyle is a different driver and more importantly a better man. But, his performance on track this season was not up the level it was in 2009. His “improved” attitude has changed the way that I and a lot of people in NASCAR feel about him. With what he can learn from Denny Hamlin’s recent hot streak and his new teammate Matt Kenseth – 2013 may be the year Kyle does more than battle to make the Chase…. he might battle to win it.
With the storm clouds rolling in late Saturday most weren’t sure if NASCAR would be able to run the entire race. No one wanted to see a Chase berth decided by a rain-shortened race and despite a red flag of nearly an hour – they ran the entire race….ending just before 1:30a.m. It’s 1:30a.m – do you know where your driver is?
There was a lot of build up to this race…. WHO WOULD MAKE THE CHASE? For a while, it didn’t look like the race would match the hype as the 12 drivers who came into the race with Chase spots all had kept them. But after the rain, as the race wound down, the final wild card spot was constantly switching back between Gordon and Busch. A failed pit strategy and missed lug nut put the nail in Kyle’s coffin.
But you can’t blame it all on a collapse by the 18 team – Jeff Gordon drove his proverbial ass off. The 24 started on the front row but fell fast – and by the time of the rain delay, Gordon was a lap down and didn’t hold out much hope for his chances.
That’s why this week’s Q4G shout-out (for the first time) goes to a crew chief and not a driver. HEYYYYYY ALAN GUSTAFSON. You took a car that wasn’t going anywhere and made some huge changes – allowing Gordon to finish P2 and steal the final Chase spot from Kyle Busch. If anyone ever says NASCAR isn’t a team sport – tell them about this race. Gustafson was a leader in the purest sense of the word.
Oh, I guess I should probably mention that Clint Bowyer won the race. Both he and teammate Martin Truex Jr made the Chase – the first time that Michael Waltrip Racing has put 2 cars in the Chase – and honestly, had Mark Martin run a full season – I think MWR would have 3 cars running for a Championship. Who would have bet on MWR to overtake JGR as the dominant Toyota team?
Before the race began, presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited the driver’s meeting and talked to fans. His presence at the race emboldened NASCAR’s efforts to market to 50% of Americans…. 100% of the time. We constantly hear that NASCAR wants to expand out from it’s Southern Conservative roots….. they just must not want it badly enough. NASCAR has a product to sell – why alienate half of the potential customers? Let’s keep all politicians away from the race track…. if Mitt wins, the Chasers can go see him at the White House….. they have already visited President Obama 3 times.
Lastly, I need to close out the Gaynalysis with a stern warning to Clint Bowyer! BACK OFF CLINT! I WILL CUT A BITCH! I saw you trying to kiss Kasey…. just back off buddy!