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Inside Racing with Todd Lewis

New “Man in Black’… Danica did Nothing Wrong

Finally, there’s a villain in NASCAR. Tony Stewart just didn’t fit the role a few years back. He got off the occasional barb when he felt that he’d been wronged, but became more obsessed with fence climbing than anything else.

Now, in 2008, we have a dude who doesn’t mind wearing the black hat in Kyle Busch. The other key factor of the equation — he wins… a lot. Pit1_optKicked out of the Hendrick Country Club to make way for new charter member Dale Earnhardt Jr., the young Busch has accomplished much in only half a season. A place in the chase is a given, and if he wins it all, what better way to thumb your nose at the guy who fired you. By the way, he’s also using a little of the old Earnhardt, “Aw shucks, I didn’t mean to wreck him” approach. Joe Gibbs should be advised to get this guy a black paint scheme for his car ASAP.

NASCAR at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will not be the same without Humpy Wheeler. This guy knew how to promote a race, a series, driver, you name it. Whoever he does end up “consulting” for will be better for it.

A year without Paul Tracy driving IndyCars is like a year without sunshine.

Quick, who won the Indianapolis 500? No, she’s the one who stomped down pitlane to address Ryan Briscoe. Thoughts on the race: One, Danica was not the least bit out of line in trying to confront the guy who knocked her out of the battle. Two, she knew exactly what she was doing making the trek in front of the wall instead of behind it. Three, it is wrong to criticize her for attempting to discuss the issue. Four, the incident is great publicity for the series, but they must keep this from becoming the IndyCar version of WWE Divas. Five, TV ratings were up but still behind NASCAR. Six, I really feel for Sarah Fisher who put her soul into her entry after she got stiffed by sponsors and collected in an accident that wasn’t her fault — who can blame her for letting her emotions bubble to the surface? Seven, Marco Andretti still has some maturing to do. Answer to the question above: Scott Dixon won the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 and a record $2.9 million.

Sometimes you get what you deserve. The next time anyone complains about how things are being handled in Formula One, the first Pit2_optquestion asked should be how did you feel/vote/handle the Max Mosley situation? If you did anything other than call for/vote for/work toward his ouster your claim should
be ignored.

Sadly shoved to the back burner is a great drivers championship fight, ever improving competition from BMW along with a remarkable race at Monaco.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series has begun year two of competition. Much of the old guard returns for another stab at the championship. Alex Tagliani switches to stock cars full-time and teams with Andrew Ranger for Dave Jacombs Racing. It would be nice to see Pete Shepherd return to the series now that his time with Roush has come to an end.

As always, sponsorship is also a serious concern. It isn’t from a lack of effort by some of the teams, or series instability. As the economy in the US improves along with the series popularity and growth more money will become available. But don’t expect things to grow quickly, we’re talking years not months. NASCAR works on a very long term plan.

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