Welcome to the latest Happy Hour mailbag! You know how these work: You write us with your best rant/ joke/one-liner at email@example.com (note new address) or on Twitter at @jaybusbee, we respond to your messages, everyone goes away with a smile on their face.
We're down to the final race of the season, but we're not closing up shop here next week. Plans are to do all the usual business: Power Rankings, Happy Hour, live chat, et cetera; we'll just have to work a little harder to create some topics, won't we? Maybe we'll do Power Rankings of the best tracks or tailgate food, things like that. We're always open to suggestions.
For now, though, your letters, and no doubt whatsoever about the subject du jour:
I don't like what Kyle Busch did, but other drivers have been wrecking guys for no reason and nothing ever happens to them. How about Harvick wrecking Logano twice, for no reason. And then Biffle wrecks and taunts Logano for no reason. No punishments. Vickers can be dirty, as well as others. Most seriously though, is that no one mentions that David Reutimann wrecked Kyle last year during the chase, under yellow, and took Kyle out of the championship. There were no penalties assessed to Reutimann that I recall.
Yep, the whole Vickers-vs.-Kyle Busch conundrum filled our mailbags this week. You can check out our response to the whole issue of a double standard in the video above, but it basically shakes out like this, in my mind: NASCAR had a great opportunity to prove that intentional wrecking won't be tolerated, and it failed to do so. And that's going to make it that much tougher to park a "problem" driver in the future; we've already seen that different drivers often warrant very different penalties. So, what of Mr. Vickers?
Brian Vickers is an idiot and keeps on his one-man wrecking crew and NASCAR plays "Three Blind Mice"? I agree with Kyle Petty, Vickers will be able to watch the races on TV next year because he doesn't have a ride, and there is no fool going to hire him!
— Becky Flynn
Fort Worth, TX
Well, he's a decent enough driver so he'll always have the possibility of a ride somewhere, but he keeps taking himself out of chances with top-flight teams. Retaliation is one thing, but own it and run with it and then when it's done, it's done. That garage boxing ring is looking better and better.
Also, did somebody say "Three Blind Mice"? A nice shiny article all your own to anyone who can mix this with some NASCAR highlights:
In the wake of M&M's pulling its sponsorship of Kyle Busch for the rest of 2011, this old Dale Earnhardt quote popped into my head: "Need to tie some kerosene rags around those ankles so the ants don't eat your candy ass." Obviously M&M / Mars is not a good marketing match for a true racer. This is racing, not tennis. They should go back to sponsoring David Giililand if they are so "uncompromising in values" that they would sacrifice victory.
— George Zhen
Ah, but M&M's got the dual bump of lots of publicity and a chance to trumpet values in public. Plus, with Kyle out of the Cup hunt, there wasn't much chance that he'd get a whole lot of play regardless of which sponsor was on his car. That's win-win in sponsorspeak right there. And hey, speaking of wins ...
Seems the biggest issue with the Chase scoring is drivers getting 3 bonus points per regular season win as part of their playoff total but not having that extend into the Chase, whereas if it was in place then Smoke would be 9 ahead of Cousin Carl, which sounds about right. NASCAR needs to address that for next season, wouldn't you think?
JJ? You wouldn't be a certain soon-to-be-former champion, would you? Regardless, I agree completely. If there's going to be a premium placed on wins in the season, do it in the Chase too. Another three points would be adequate. I have no problem with either driver winning the Cup, since I think that consistency counts every bit as much as a hot streak, but Smoke has gone off the charts here with wins, and I do think that kind of astonishing performance does warrant more points love.
But the math does make it a simple equation for Homestead: win and the Cup is yours. Unless, of course, they tie ...
From what I can see it is possible for Edwards and Stewart to end up tied at the end of the final race next week. What will NASCAR do if that happens?
Oklahoma City, OK
Cage fight with pool cues and garbage can lids. Or, barring that, they'd go with a tiebreaker, which is most wins. Stewart wins that battle 4-1. So, in effect, Edwards' lead is two points, not three.
Answer a question for me please? I thought that one of the requirements to hold a NASCAR license was to have a valid drivers license in your state of residence. How is it that Kyle was allowed to race after his North Carolina license was suspended?
Nope, not so. All you have to do is be licensed by NASCAR; there's no corresponding state driver's license requirement. Though how awesome would it have been to have a trooper pull up behind him and pull him over at Charlotte Motor Speedway? You would've heard the cheers all the way to Vegas.
Where are all the "I bet Hendrick regrets replacing Kyle Busch with Dale Earnhardt Jr." whiners now? Hahahaha.
— Brad Scott
Oh, Brad. Not a good idea to go with a pro-Junior, anti-Kyle taunt until your guy gets that little 0-for-120something mark off his record. (Still, you gotta wonder...what would Rick Hendrick have done in such a situation? Had Kyle cleaning the toilets at Rick Hendrick Chevy dealerships across the South, I'm guessing.)
And finally, we bring you this, the last word on Kyle Busch:
He's still a [censored] [censored]!!! [Censored] Toyota driving [censored]!!! Toyota has no business in NASCAR!!!!!
-Ken M. Sannes
[Censored] yeah! NASCAR: where we never let a grudge die!
And on that note, we're out. Thanks to all our writers this week. You want in? Fire up the computer and hit us with whatever's on your mind, NASCAR-wise, at firstname.lastname@example.org, find us on Facebook right here, or hit us up on Twitter at @jaybusbee. Make sure to tell us where you're from. We'll make you famous!