Welcome to the party, Kevin Harvick!
Hard to believe it lasted THAT long, but Harvick’s win Sunday at Michigan – in the perfect Busch Light Apple car, by the way – was his first since Sept. 19, 2020.
That’s 65 races, folks.
And for someone as intense as Kevin Harvick – just a week ago he vowed to wreck five drivers – that’s a really, reaaaaaaaaallllllly long time.
“Everybody who doubted us doesn’t know us,” Harvick said after beating a … dejected … Bubba Wallace by nearly three seconds (more on Bubba in a minute).
“There at the end we pitted and didn’t go a lap down and then the caution came out and got control of the race. Once I got clear track that baby was hunting.”
We’re less than 200 words in this week and we’ve already managed to work in Trump, Busch Light and hunting. We’re off to a hot start!
Harvick wins and the 2022 NASCAR season is historic
Harvick’s win was the 59th of his Cup career and his fourth victory at Michigan in the past five races.
Think he knows that joint?
More importantly, the win also puts him into the playoffs and make guys like Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. really start to sweat.
And by that I mean it’s probably time to start panicking.
“It’s a shame that another car won … we didn’t need the 4 car to win,” said Blaney, who now sits just 19 points above Truex and the playoff cutline.
By the way, the folks in the research department tell me this is the first time there have been 15 different winners through the first 23 races in a season.
Don’t look now, but we’re one more new winner away from pure chaos. Of course, we root for that around here.
Did Bubba Wallace “fail” his team at Michigan?
All right, let’s talk Bubba.
He started on the pole, was one of the fastest cars all weekend, and finished second. The only way Bubba’s making the playoffs is by winning, so it’s understandable that he was frustrated after the race.
But come on … is it really necessary to be that dramatic after every close call?
“Sorry I f—ing failed y’all. Absolute f—ing failure,” Bubba radioed to his team after finishing second.
“I failed everybody,” he added during an emotional post-race interview where he appeared to be fighting back tears. “It sucks. I wanna win so bad, and this was the best opportunity.”
"I failed everybody."
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) August 7, 2022
Bubba was mad at himself for not choosing the top on the final restart and then for not clearing Kyle Larson sooner.
He needed to win and, frankly, this was maybe going to be his best shot until Daytona at the end of the month.
But sometimes it all just feels like a little much, doesn’t it? There’s fire and passion, and then there’s the weekly post-race picture of Wallace bent over his car.
There has to be some middle ground somewhere in there, right?
A second-place finish, but you know he wanted one more spot. pic.twitter.com/18l5i4foPp
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 7, 2022
Bubba has a pair of top-three finishes over the past four races and has been the best Toyota lately. It’s OK to be upset, but let’s be honest – sometimes it’s a bit much.
Don’t take my word for it, though.
“There were a lot of positives from this weekend, but I’m a person that looks more at the negatives and I need to change that,” he said.
Kyle Busch involved in huge Michigan wreck: ‘Can’t catch a break’
OK, now to our favorite portion of the week … the radio darling!
Erik Jones, you’re becoming a regular around these parts.
“We got ran the f–k over,” a cheery Jones said after getting … pinched … by Chase Briscoe. Jones, by the way, finished eighth and is another one of the drivers who needs to win to get in.
Can’t talk about angry drivers without mentioning Kyle Busch, who has finished 20th or worse in six of the past eight races. Rowdy was involved in a huge wreck early at Michigan and finished 36th.
Replay: Kyle Busch, Austin Cindric, Aric Almirola and others involved in a big crash during Stage 1 in Michigan.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) August 7, 2022
The incident wasn’t Busch’s fault, but his car – along with Austin Cindric’s – was absolutely destroyed.
Rowdy, on a scale of 1-10, where’s the frustration level?
“One out of 10, infinity.”
Kyle Busch car … pic.twitter.com/odnnpUtKxI
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 7, 2022
Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping Kurt Busch with concussion
On our way out, I’ll leave you with a video of Kurt Busch at a soccer game.
Yep. You read it right.
Why? Well, because Busch has missed three straight races with a concussion and he’s trying anything and everything to get back!
Doctors said to get in loud, noisy places, without physical activity. Miss you race fans. You @NASCAR fans have these guys a lap down, well… everybody is on the lead lap, that way I make it outta here alive. 😉 Go @CharlotteFC! pic.twitter.com/FAHZMF7LYE
— Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) August 4, 2022
Busch, by the way, is working with the same doctors Dale Earnhardt Jr. did back when he dealt with his concussion issues.
For those who need a refresher, Junior missed the second half of 2016 with a concussion and then returned for one final season the following year.
Busch, 44, is hopeful to be back for Richmond this week, and there’s no real reason to worry just yet.
But you don’t often see a driver miss this much time nowadays, and if Junior’s doctors are involved there’s obviously something going on.
It’s certainly a story worth monitoring going forward.
In the meantime, let’s do some short-track racin’ at Richmond!