Last night, defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch raced in the Vegas truck race and he did so in convincing fashion. He won all three stages and had the lead in 108 of the 134 laps. The truck series is usually for youngsters and up-and-coming drivers, but Busch, who cannot earn playoff points due to him competing in the Cup Series, still competes in the truck series.
The last seven starts Busch has had in the truck series were victories and Busch has extended his record of truck wins to 57. It does not seem fair to the other truck drivers that are trying to compete for playoff points and gain confidence with victories as Kyle Busch is, obviously, the superior driver. It is the NASCAR equivalent of a college football team playing an NFL team as the difference in skill is dramatic.
Busch has his own motorsports team that produces trucks and that helps to sponsor many of the trucks that race in the series. So it does help the truck series as a whole and it attracts more viewers that want to watch Busch race, but the problem is that the race becomes way too predictable and it seems nothing more than a formality. 22-year-old Sheldon Creed battled with Busch twice on restarts in the third stage for a few laps, but ended up losing both battles. A college team can hang in there for a little while against a professional, but the far superior team will win.
Cup driver Kevin Harvick saw fans’ complaints on Twitter about how unfair the truck race was and when presented an idea, Harvick responded with a challenge that would make the truck race more exciting: have other cup drivers race alongside Busch so there is competition.
While the problem remains, this alternative at least allows some fun competition between NASCAR’s elite and a more interesting race than the one we got last night.