|Kyle Busch loses cool, pays with 3-lap penalty|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 07 November 2010 16:02|
That turned out to be his warmup act for the weekend.
Busch was penalized three laps Sunday - the first for speeding on pit road and two more for flashing an obscene gesture through his windshield at the NASCAR official who signaled the infraction while standing in front of Busch's car.
The sometimes volatile driver of the No. 18 Toyota was trying to beat the pace car and stay on the lead lap after he spun out halfway through the race and had to come in for repairs. He finished two laps down in 32nd, the third time in four races he's finished 30th or worse. Busch hasn't finished higher than 13th in the past six Chase races and dropped to seventh in the standings.
``I'm sorry I lost my cool to everybody on this team, to everybody at NASCAR and all of my guys that support me,'' Busch said. ``I apologize to all of my guys for letting them down and for getting so behind today that we could never make it up.''
The latest Busch drama came a year after he was in position for a rare sweep of all three Texas fall races before running out of gas late in the Sprint Cup race.
Another run at a Texas three-step started just fine with a win Friday night in the Camping World Trucks Series. He dominated most of the Nationwide race Saturday and was side-by-side with Carl Edwards for the restart on a green-white-checkered finish. Edwards shot away from Busch at the line and won, and an agitated Busch said Edwards jumped the restart.
Busch was strong again early Sunday, climbing as high as third after starting 29th. But by Lap 75, he had a piece of debris flapping on his front bumper and was sliding back. He lost control of the car after he said someone spun him out while he was trying to get to the bottom of the track about 100 laps later. He kept the car off the wall.
``You get spun out and wrecked like that and you're not supposed to lose your cool - I mean, hello,'' Busch said. ``It's just so frustrating the way that you have such a fast race car and then you get spun out and you don't expect to lose your cool, I guess.''
BAFFLING FOR BIFFLE: The last five times Greg Biffle has led the most laps, he hasn't won the race. He was downright dominant in Texas, but transmission problems doomed him.
Biffle led a whopping 224 laps - almost 200 more than Mark Martin's second-highest total - but didn't have second gear on a restart with three laps remaining. He was on the outside of the second row but had no chance to make a run at the leaders. He was so slow without his higher gears that he bottled up Jimmie Johnson when the four-time defending points champion was scrambling to keep pace in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
``We know we have had this problem and have neglected to fix it,'' Biffle said. ``We had bad drive train vibration problems and today it bit us. It shook the guts out of the transmission today and they still don't know what it is.''
MARTINIZED: Mark Martin is one of just four drivers to enter all 20 races in Texas. He was the only one of those four in the top 10 Sunday. In fact, he was the only one higher than 30th.
The 51-year-old Chevy driver actually took the No. 5 car to the lead on Lap 302 when he decided to stay off pit road after the second-to-last caution, roughly 30 laps from the finish. Martin lost the lead one lap after the restart and hung around behind Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth as they battled for the lead in the final three laps after the last caution.
``The car was stronger than we expected in practice, or stronger than I expected for sure,'' Martin said. ``It was really awesome on the long runs, wasn't quite as sharp on the restarts on new tires.''
SLIDING SADLER: Elliott Sadler shocked everyone with a blistering lap to capture the pole Sunday. He couldn't find the same speed in the race.
Fellow front-row starter Greg Biffle took the lead away on the first lap, and Sadler steadily slid down the grid during the first half of the race, bottom out at 31st. He ended up 23rd and has just one top-10 finish this season.
Sadler's Sprint Cup future is uncertain because Richard Petty Motorsports isn't planning to bring him back, and the company is on shaky financial footing anyway. He announced this weekend that he will have a full-time Nationwide ride with Kevin Harvick next season
MOTOR HEAD: Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson drove the pace car that led the field to the start. Turns out the left-hander has more than a passing interest in motor sports.
``Other than baseball, it's the only thing I've ever wanted to do,'' Wilson said Sunday, less than a week after the Rangers lost to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.
He doesn't just talk about it. Wilson - known as str8edgeracer to followers on Twitter - competed a year ago in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, a December endurance race in Sacramento, Calif. He took the green flag for his team, but also served as crew chief for a 15th-place finish.
``I was on the radio the whole time. I slept like an hour,'' Wilson said. ``I'd love to do the Daytona 24 hours. That's kind of the next step.''
With Brett Bodine driving, Wilson took a 140 mph spin around the 1 1/2-mile high-banked Texas track with teammate Tommy Hunter in the backseat hollering ``faster, faster.'' Wilson said it was a little different ``trusting someone else.''
That speed was about 50 mph slower than Wilson said he once drove on the Autobahn in Germany - 315 kph ``in somebody else's car.'' Asked what Rangers president Nolan Ryan would say to that revelation, Wilson said, ``It was years ago.''
Still, Wilson stands by his hobby.
``Life's too short to derive myself of that pleasure,'' he said. ``I'm not cavalier at all. I wear my Hans device all the time. I wear my firesuit. I've been doing it for years now.''
INFIELD TRIBUTES: The grass infield at Texas Motor Speedway offered a pair of tributes to a couple of NASCAR executives who died recently.
Jim Hunter, who spent parts of six decades in the sport, was honored with a painted replica of the NASCAR logo that replaced the series name with ``HUNTER.'' The 71-year-old Hunter lost a yearlong battle with cancer late last month. He started as a newspaper reporter and later became a public relations official.
Jeff Byrd, a longtime president at Bristol Motorspeedway, had ``J. Byrd'' displayed in the part of the Speedway Motorsports Inc. logo that usually has a race car. SMI, Bruton Smith's company, owns the Texas and Bristol tracks. Byrd also died of cancer.
SPARK PLUGS: Sunday's race was the 20th in the Sprint Cup series at Texas. The first 12 races had different winners, but the tables have turned since. Repeat winners have taken four of the past eight races. ... Jeff Gordon made his 615th consecutive start, the longest active streak. Bobby Labonte is next at 614.