The time has arrived and we are just a few days from the first event of the season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This event will not give us any insight on who gets the first points of the season, but it will give the opportunity to see some of the Sprint Cup stars on the track. The Bud Shootout comes at us on Saturday night from the Daytona International Speedway.
Before I give my pick to win the Bud Shootout, there are two articles per say that have been run over the last week or so that I would like to comment on. First, let’s talk Kurt Busch. After the end of the season last year, Kurt Busch had a run in at Homestead. In the end, Busch was released from Penske Racing and has not, in theory, moved on to green pastures.
Busch has landed at Phoenix Racing. The word on the street in the articles I have read and seen is that Busch has no chance of really doing a whole lot of anything this season with Phoenix. I am not so sure. Busch is an incredible driver and a Sprint Cup champion. Busch could turn heads and pull of a win or two this season. He could have the right mind set to get things done on the track. Not going to say he will be in the Chase, but could run well.
What makes me mad is that many bloggers and columnists have blasted Kurt before we have even seen him on the track practicing the car yet. Yes, I know, he may have practiced at Preseason Thunder, but that does not really count. Before we anoint any winner or losers on any teams this season, let’s get some action going on the track first.
Next item I want to go prior to giving my guess for the winner of the Bud Shootout, is politics in racing. First, I understand that race teams make it to the track by sponsorship dollars. Without sponsors we would not get to see our favorite drivers circle the track in competition.
What I do not like is the fact that we have to see politics mixed into the sponsorship. Everyone has the right to spend their money and purchase a sponsorship on a race car if NASCAR will approve it. I am just saying I do not like it mixed in with my entertainment. When I am watching a race, I want to be removed from the real world and enjoy seeing Budweiser, Chevy, Ford, Tax Slayer, Monster, Amp, DuPont, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and the list goes on of companies sponsoring race cars. I do not want to see that I need to support Israel or some candidate running for office on a 200 MPH billboard.
I am now off the soap box. Saturday night, I cannot wait for the first event of the season. My prediction is that Tony Stewart picks up where he left off at Homestead and gets the checked flag.