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Bristol After Thoughts from Just A Fans View

This will be short and to the point because there is really no reason to drag it out, although I do have a few questions about Bristol Motor Speedway and Kyle Bush. As expected, Kyle was the one to beat on Sunday afternoon, (at least at the end of the race), and he completed another sweep at the high-banked short track in Thunder Valley.

As many seasoned fans and veterans will tell you, there are times that a driver and his team hit on something at Bristol and it makes them hard to beat. It is obvious that Kyle loves the track and he is not the least bit intimidated by it. It seems more often than not, he can do no wrong and it is beginning to be a habit.

Let’s not forget, Kyle Bush isn’t the first one to win a lot at Bristol. In their day, Rusty Wallace and Darryl Waltrip also won a lot of races at the fast short track and more recently, so have Kurt Bush and Jeff Gordon (just to mention two.) I do believe once a team hits on that confidence level of performance at a particular track, they are hard to beat for an extended period of time. That’s not to say they will win every time they go there, but it does mean they will be the one (or one of the ones) everyone considers the team to beat every time they show up to race there, no matter which series it is.

Why it happens is a mystery to some, but it is this fan’s opinion that once they hit on that special confidence about a track, no matter what happens to them, they are confident they can handle what ever situation may be thrown at them. For some reason, unknown to the teams that haven’t performed well at a particular track (like Bristol or others), it is easier for them to overcome adversity that tries to test their dominance at that particular track.

What is so different about Kyle Bush this year and why re so many talking about him in a different way. If you check back to last years articles here at “Just A Fan’s View”, I mentioned how I noticed Kyle Bush was maturing and changing. He has continued that “maturing process” into this year and it has been interesting to watch. As a fan, I have a theory about all of this and some of what I noticed is evident in others, also.

So, what are these magical “things” I’ve noticed all about? (Well… I am so glad someone finally asked me about that.)

There appears to be something about becoming a team owner that changes how drivers, especially high strung drivers, (uh, I mean, some would call them “highly competitive” drivers), look at their job when they have to answer directly to their sponsors. Just look at the obvious changes in Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and yes, Kyle Bush, too. There has been noticeable change in all three and much of that process started to become really obvious after they became team owners. (Well actually, in Tony Stewart’s case, I noticed a big change in his attitude when he bought Eldora Speedway and started his influence over it.)

In all three of these cases, a noticeable change in their maturity level became more obvious AFTER this change in their lives. Have I gathered statistics and can I prove it? Nope, but I do think from observing them closely in the times afterwards, it was a definite turning point in their maturity level. Is it coincidental? Maybe, but in any case, they have changed and, it is my personal opinion, becoming an owner of a team made a large difference. I am glad to see it and would also like to say I don’t see where it has made them any less competitive, but possibly even more so and even more likeable than they were when they were younger and, (if I may say it without offending them), less mature. (Oh, and by the way, I don’t think Kyle getting married in January hurt anything either. He is more confident, more in control of his emotions and generally, less out-of-control than in previous years.)

So what has this got to do with Kyle Bush winning Sunday afternoon at Bristol and sweeping the weekend again? Not a whole lot but it is my observation as a fan and made over a period of time and watching how these guys have changed in particular. Does that mean they have all of the sudden become perfect? No, but it definitely means they are even more of a force to be reckoned with at every race track and for those hard-to-come-by Sprint Cup Championships.

While we’re talking about marriage (and having kids) having an effect on drivers in the Cup series, has anyone noticed a change in Carl Edwards’ performance this year? I know you’re probably thinking, “So, big deal! It’s just a coincidence.” Well… you may be right, but what a coincidence…

See ya next time…

All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer

© March 25, 2011 – all rights reserved

Rusty Norman and Nascarfansview.com

All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions

By Rusty Norman

Amateur writer, NASCAR Fan, musician and former local Stock Car racer.