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Monday, July 15, 2013

Ryan Newman took plenty of hits this week

Ryan Newman car
It was looking like a good points day for Ryan Newman Sunday at New Hampshire, with the potential to get closer to the cutoff for the Chase for the Championship, just eight races away. That is until Kurt Busch got into him and took him out. Valiant efforts by Newman's team to repair the car were futile, resulting in a 39th place finish, moving him from 16th in points down to a three-way tie for 18th. 

What could have been a top 10 finish and possibly contention for the win, was lost in one brief instant, so close to the end of the day. 

Newman and his team were careful to massage their strategy at the same time adjust on the chassis to get the car to handle. Finally, as they got the WIX #39 car into position for a good finish, it was over. 

If that wasn't disheartening enough, I read this morning the ridiculous remarks by Kyle Busch during a Satellite radio program.

Kyle Busch
"I really hate it that Kurt got tore up and I felt like he had the best car here today," Kyle said to ESPN of his brother, who led a race-high 102 laps. "He was definitely good. He could definitely roll the long runs for sure and I was proud of those guys, but man just stupidity.

"I mean Ryan Newman is the biggest stupid idiot out here. And he's a big ogre and he can do whatever he wants because he can probably kick anybody's butt, so no sense in getting into a fight with him. But glad he is out of a job," Busch said.

WHAT? 

I was pleased to read the responses much like my own--responses that indicate Busch has no idea what he is talking about, such as those in this story. Busch obviously opened his mouth before seeing the replay of the incident that clearly indicates it was Kurt Busch that, to borrow a Newman phrase, "ran out of talent."

Despite his disappointment, Newman was interviewed after the incident, where he managed to smile and be a gentleman about it. Newman knows how to take it like a man, which is something the Busch brothers could learn from him.

While I will admit that Kyle Busch has had some spectacular moments on the race track, they have been balanced by some real boneheaded moves as well. He has wrecked--purposely wrecked--more cars than anyone in recent times and has shot off his mouth about nearly everyone around him. He can't even get along with his own brother.

Had the wreck been Newman's fault, perhaps Busch would have had something to gripe about. But that wasn't the case. There is no excuse for his remark about being glad Newman is out of a job. How dare him say such a thing?

Indeed, this was not a good week for Newman, who just learned days before what he probably already knew, that he would not be driving a race car for Stewart-Haas Racing next year. Instead, Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas decided to fire Newman, his friend, in favor of a friend with funding--Kevin Harvick. It is all about the money--one of the things I really hate about NASCAR and one of the things that will probably drive me away altogether one day. Tony's decision to field Danica Patrick and Kevin Harvick next year was strictly about GoDaddy and Budweiser, Danica and Kevin's sponsors respectively. Atilla the Hun could have been the drivers and it wouldn't have mattered. Had Ryan had his own sponsor, the decision might have been different.

I'm not really concerned that Ryan will find a place to go next year. He is a good, competitive, intelligent race car driver and given good equipment, will drive into Victory Lane. 

Clearly, Stewart-Haas dropped the ball on the new Generation 6 car at the same time Stewart-Haas was making changes in personnel in order to accommodate Danica Patrick. 

So, while I am disheartened over the lost potential for Ryan Newman at New Hampshire and concerned about the remainder of his 2013 season, I'm sickened by Stewart's decision to oust Newman in 2014 and really angry at Kyle Busch's ill-thought remarks. Ryan Newman deserves better. Busch owes him an apology, thought I doubt that will ever happen. If he finds himself spinning one day, I doubt there will be many tears shed.

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