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Saturday, August 28, 2010

In the Rear View Mirror: The Last 7 Days in NASCAR

It's an off week for Cup Racing in NASCARland so major news has been fairly slow. There are always a few things to talk about, however. Kyle had a good run at Bristol and continued that run into this weekend at Chicago, although his foray into off-road racing fell a bit short. Regan Smith signed a two year contract and Dave Blaney has a ride for Atlanta. Nationwide Racing goes international this weekend with racing from Montreal.

Kyle Busch and The Bristol Sweep
The major news story of the last week has been Kyle Busch's Sweep at Bristol. Kyle brought home wins in all three major touring series - Trucks, Nationwide, and Cup. No one had accomplished this feat before in NASCAR history.

Much debate has been had among fans and media discussing whether the wins were 'earned' or 'taken'. Busch managed to wreck Brad Keseloski for the win in Trucks racing, David Reutimann in Nationwide; many were not happy with Kyle for the wrecks or his lack of apology regarding either incident. Kyle mocked fans after his Camping World Truck Series Win when they booed him en mass and he pretended to cry with one foot perched upon the top of his truck.

The bottom line to Kyle's historic Sweep is this - he goes down in history as being the first. It doesn't matter if fans think he raced dirty to get it. It doesn't matter if he stood in Victory Lane and admitted that he wrecked his competitors to get there. He's not the first to wreck someone and he's certainly not the last. Kyle earned another place in the history books and he deserves respect as a driver for his accomplishment.

Regan Smith & Furniture Row Motorsports
On Thursday a press release came out announcing that driver Regan Smith is contracted through the 2012 season with Furniture Row Racing. Regan will continue to be in the number 78 Chevrolet for at least the next two seasons. Smith has raced in 83 races in his four-year Cup career, and has a mediocre season in 2010. Through 24 races, Regan has not seen a top ten finish and his best finish has been 14th early in the season.

Dave Blaney & Front Row Motorsports
Wednesday brought us news that driver Dave Blaney will be in the Front Row Motorsports number 38 Ford Fusion for the Atlanta race next weekend. The team must make the race on speed, as they are not guaranteed a spot in the race based on owner's points. The number 38 car has been driven by Tony Raines in the recent past; no indication that Raines has left the team exists. He should be back in the Front Row Morotsports number 38 entry in the near future.

Camping World Truck Series Racing
The Truck Series ran the 225 at Chicagoland Speedway Friday night under the lights. Kyle Busch took his 20th Truck Series win and fourth consecutive major touring series win by holding off Points Lead Todd Bodine. Busch led an impressive 121 laps on his way to victory lane. Ron Hornaday, Johnny Sauter, and Rookie Justin Lofton rounded out the top five.

Busch made a four-tire stop on lap 126 when most others took two tires; Kyle reclaimed the lead on lap 131 after restarting four laps before in 7th position. Busch never again relinquished the lead in the remainder of the race that included a green-white-checker finish four laps beyond the scheduled 150 laps after Timothy Peters lost an engine. Todd Bodine remains atop the Points Standing in the Truck Series, 236 points in front of Aric Almirola, who finished sixth in the Friday night event.

Nationwide Series Racing
The Nationwide Series is racing in Canada this weekend. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a 2.71 mile road course located in Montreal. After the first practice Saturday morning the Leaderboard showed Carl Edwards, Jacques Villeneuve, and Boris Said the fastest. The second practice found the top five fastest to be Max Papis, Jacques Villeneuve, Marcos Ambrose, Jason Leffler, and Patrick Carpentier. Qualifications will be on ESPN2 later this afternoon, beginning at 5 p.m. EST.

Photo Credits
Photo 1:
Photo 2: AP Photo/Wade Payne
Photo 3: Autostock

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