The car of tomorrow became the car of today in what turned into some of the most boring racing in the history of Bristol International Speedway. Twenty-one year old Kyle Busch left the aptly named “thunder valley” as the victor, but even he wasn’t pleased with the new car. His post-race comments left one to wonder if this new car has any future in NASCAR. Bristol is usually a place where fans flock in order to watch the most fast-paced of all racing. The passes are brilliant, the wrecks are plentiful, and the finishes are always exciting. On Sunday, much of that was missing and Bristol just was not the same.
Busch got to the front of the Food City 500 by navigating through heavy traffic and making a pass of Denny Hamlin with 20 laps to go. He used superior handling in the new car to make the easy pass, but still found the racing to be somewhat boring. The Food City 500 was the debut for the new car that is designed to enhance safety for the drivers, while keeping costs relatively low for all of the race teams.
Though there were 15 cautions during the 500 lap race, things were pretty mundane compared to previous races at Bristol. Only three of those 15 cautions were caused by multi-car pileups and none of those three could be described as a “bad” wreck. While NASCAR may have hit a home run with safety concerns, they seem to have sacrificed some of the brilliance and excitement that has driven the NASCAR product for more than 50 years.
The win kept the Bristol winning tradition within the Busch family, where it has been since older brother Kurt Busch started winning races there a few years ago. Little brother Kyle looks poised to supplant his older brother as the king of Bristol after finishing third in Saturday’s Busch race and winning the Nextel Cup version in dominating fashion. Kyle knows he has a ways to go before he catches up with Kurt’s Bristol dominance, but he looks well on his way.
In a strange twist, Greg Biffle’s car, which ran to a fifth place finish, was found to be too low in post-race inspections. NASCAR indicated that the car will be taken back to company headquarters in North Carolina for another look. Kyle Busch’s winning car, along with some others, were also seized following the race as NASCAR hopes to check out some of the new cars after each car of tomorrow race.