Three Nextel Cup Series drivers dominate the buzz this week around NASCAR land. Kyle the Younger Busch and J J Yeley - who are connected - and Robby Gordon stories abound.
Kyle Busch has taken shots - of both the cheap and deserved kinds - because of his petulant and brattish behavior on and off track, all year long.
Robby Gordon is only days removed from an embarrassing - and perhaps planned - meltdown and stand-off with NASCAR officials at Montreal during the Busch race there. There were plenty of "There goes Robby, again" comments.
Gordon and Busch are regularly slammed for attitude problems. Maybe they just don't play well with others. Few observers question their driving talent, though. The Daly Planet caught this from ESPN's Brad Doherty on NASCAR Now.
Calling Robby Gordon "the most talented driver in the garage" and saying that "we will see a future championship out of Kyle Busch." John has a great review of the whole show.
I have never seen or heard anything negative regarding J J Yeley's attitude. It disturbs me when Yeley's impending replacement at Joe Gibbs Racing by Kyle Busch would generate this statement from Restrictor Plate This, and my friend The Diecast Dude.
"Certainly Kyle Busch is a better driver than Yeley."
Jerry goes on to give plenty of testimony supporting Busch the Younger's abundant driving skill. It's all good, too. Kyle has won stock car races in ARCA, the Busch Series and Nextel Cup, all while driving for Hendrick Motorsports. But, in my feeble little mind, Busch has not done anything to rival this 2003 season, turned in by J J.
Yeley followed up his USAC Sprint Car championship with a USAC Silver Crown championship in 2002, but nothing would prepare him for one of the most impressive seasons in USAC history. In 2003, Yeley reeled off an amazing 24 USAC wins, breaking the single-season record set by racing legend A.J. Foyt who won 19 races during the 1961 season.
In addition, Yeley became only the second driver in USAC history to win the “Triple Crown” by capturing the Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown championships in a single season, joining JGR teammate Tony Stewart as the only other driver to accomplish that feat (1995).
The car control required to pull that off is phenomenal. Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne - all open wheel grads - could not duplicate the feat.
Joe Gibbs Racing should continue to make changes to the #18 Interstate Batteries team. There are more problems there than one supremely talented, young driver can fix alone. Gibbs tried that when Yeley replaced 2000 Nextel Cup Champion Bobby Labonte.
Picture credit: AP