Parks Pit Report: Overton’s 400

A beat up body, a damaged nose, a flat tire, and a few tire rubs. All part of what it took to win.

Sometimes there’s people that love this kind of racing no matter the result, and then there’s some that love this kind of racing but are upset at the result.

That’s how the conclusion to Sunday’s race went.  NO matter what, the finish at Chicagoland Speedway was one that can be described as epic.

It was one driver who had a pitiful car all afternoon that somehow was heading to victory, and another who was trying hard to get his first win of the season.  It came down to two corners, two passes, and one epic finish.

Kyle vs. Kyle, as in Kyle Busch vs. Kyle Larson, with the latter chasing down.  Last lap, Larson goes low, a different line than he was using, but was an advantage since Busch was caught up in traffic, and dove low for the lead.  Although he got the lead, he didn’t clear completely.  Busch went into the wall as he pushed up.

At that point, it’s fair game.

Final pair of corners, Busch gets into the back corner of Larson, doesn’t spin him completely out, but got him sideways.  At that point it was a race to the line of who could make it.  Busch got into the outside wall, scraping the side right across the sponsor panels, flattening a tire, but somehow held on enough to make it to the line.  Larson stayed on the gas, and saved his day finishing runner-up.  On an afternoon of major heat and humidity, the finish was worth it.

What wasn’t exactly worth it was Busch afterwards and some of his antics.  After a race like that, no matter who wins, you’d expect to be relieved and some respect between the drivers.  That was seen, but prior to that, Busch looked into the camera and made the “cry baby” motion, something you’d see from elementary-aged kids, not a man in his early 30’s with a wife and son.

Then afterwards basically calling out the fans, saying “If you didn’t like that kind of racing, go watch something else.”  Which when translated means if they didn’t like that racing and the fact he won, go watch something else.

This is a driver who earlier this year went into the crowd to high-five fans, and now he’s calling them out.  I can honestly say if the roles were reversed, he’d be angry that he didn’t win, and if the fans were really cheering and letting him have it, I seriously wouldn’t put it past him to flip off the grandstands and the camera.  He already did it to an official in 2011 and it upset NASCAR that they parked him on pit road for two laps.  His crew chief told him what NASCAR said to do, and when he said NASCAR penalized him for disrespecting an official, he in turn decided to say, “That’s freedom of speech.”

He was one lap away from having his scoring pulled when he served the penalty, but it just goes to show the kind of driver he is.  Sure he’s passionate, sure he’s aggressive, but when things don’t go his way, or even if they do, there’s a kid that suddenly comes out as if someone stole his lunch money.

Probably why he’s this generation’s Jeff Gordon, because he got booed a lot when he won all those races between 1995 and 1998.  Difference is, Gordon didn’t lose his cool when he did lose, he just moved on.  That’s something Busch needs to learn.  Of course, that’s just my opinion.  Like he’s going to listen to me.

STAGE 1:  Aric Almirola

STAGE 2:  Kevin Harvick

RESULTS:  1-Kyle Busch  2-Larson  3-Harvick  4-Truex Jr.  5-Bowyer  6-Jones  7-Hamlin  8-Logano  9-Keselowski  10-Bowman

NOTABLE FINISHES:  37-Dillon

CAUTIONS:  5 for 23 laps.  Lap 82-86 (Stage 1 Conclusion); 129-132 (Debris-T2); 162-167 (Stage 2 Conclusion); 178-181 (#11 Spin-T2); 209-212 (#72 Incident-T2).

LEAD CHANGES:  24 among 10 drivers.  P. Menard POLE, R. Blaney 1-16; C. Bowyer 17; R. Blaney 18; C. Bowyer 19-38; B. Keselowski 39-46; A. Dillon 47-59; A. Almirola 60-86; K. Harvick 87; A. Almirola 88-122; K. Harvick 123-128; A. Almirola 129; R. Newman 130-132; R. Blaney 133-134; A. Almirola 135-141; Kurt Busch 142-159; K. Harvick 160-162; K. Larson 163; K. Harvick 164-167; Kurt Busch 168-169; K. Larson 170-175; K. Harvick 176-177; B. Keselowski 178-185; K. Harvick 186-208; Kyle
Busch 209-267.

TIME OF RACE:  2 Hrs, 50 Mins, 52 Secs.

AVERAGE SPEED:  140.636 MPH

MARGIN OF VICTORY:  1.875 Seconds

POINTS (Earned/Behind Leader [Playoff Points]):  1. Kyle Busch, 736 [30]; 2. Harvick, -67 [27]; 3. Logano, -119 [7]; 4. Truex Jr, -142 [18]; 5. Keselowski, -144 [4]; 6. Bowyer, -157 [10]; 7. Kurt Busch, -176 [2]; 8. Hamlin, -199 [2]; 9. Larson, -212; 10. Blaney, -241 [4]; 11. Almirolan, -243 [1]; 19. Dillon, -422 [5].

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