When I started talking with folks who didn’t catch the race on Sunday and told them that Busch had won again in Atlanta, they kind of got a little irritated.
They made a comment like, "Oh, not again" or "Why doesn’t he let someone else win?" Or even, "It’s no fun to even watch if we already know who is gonna win."
After hearing some more rants about how they don’t like seeing Kyle win all the time and about "not minding if he wasn’t just so cocky about it," I informed them that the Busch who won was Kurt, not Kyle.
They just look at me with their jaws dropped. They couldn’t believe it… "Kurt BUSCH?"
Yes, it’s Kurt who won on Sunday. The other Busch, the original cocky Busch who we all kind of forgot about because of how huge his little brother has become.
Let’s not just forget about Kurt too much now. He did win in Atlanta first and he carries that Series Championship Trophy from 2004 that lil’ Busch has still yet to do. He also has six more lifetime victories than lil’ Busch.
The move to Penske Racing to drive Rusty Wallace’s famed "Blue Deuce" after having so much success with the Roush team has been a rocky one. Just as they started to get comfortable with their car, then the Car of Tomorrow program was instituted.
Since then they never really got a grip on things with aerodynamics or the engine program, until this year at least. This year has been night and day from last season.
The cars aren’t just fast on the cookie cutter tracks, they are one of the fastest. And, it all came to fruition last week in Atlanta when Kurt came home with a dominating victory and paid out as high as 25-1 in some Las Vegas Sports Books.
Last season Kurt had a victory, but it was rain shortened. The only reason they were first was because of a gamble that it would rain. However, the win really didn’t feel like one because they know it was stolen.
Kurt’s crew knew they weren’t close to even being the 15th best car that day. In Atlanta last week, there was no doubt they were the best. And, they worked hard to put the best possible ride out for Kurt.
We have seen a major change with that Penske team ever since the California race and suggested at that time that it may be a good opportunity to buy Busch at 40-1 odds to win the 2009 title. We said that because of how improved the new Penske engine was in that race.
The team came to Vegas and ran well, then went to Atlanta and won. By winning in Atlanta on that type of track, Kurt is a great candidate to win it all because we now know that he’ll be just as good at Texas and Charlotte. You can forget about getting 40-1 though. He’s now 15-1 or less at Vegas books, which is still not bad.
As a Las Vegan, I was proud and happy for Kurt in victory lane, more than any of Kyle’s wins. If we remember a few years ago when Kurt was the one dominating, the public didn’t like him too much. They thought he was cocky, called him Shrub as a reference to being anti-Busch.
Now they use that term to describe Kyle. The NASCAR nation never really warmed to Kurt, but after struggling a few years, it’s as though the public is somehow okay with him because he took his lumps and paid his dues.
We don’t have any pro sports franchises in Vegas, and everyone kind of roots for their original home team because it is such a transient city. But, we do have our two top flight Cup drivers to root for and give us some city pride like any good baseball or football team does.
We’ll all be lifting a cold Miller Lite at our favorite PT’s Pub around the city in honor of Kurt’s achievement. Next up for Kurt will be Bristol in two weeks.
Is Kurt any good there? Yeah, he’s done pretty well there. We’ll discuss that next week.