Before and during today's nationwide series race at the Auto Club Speedway in California, there was a lot of talk about the cup series regulars running in the Nationwide series. Is it fair, does it take opportunities and possibly sponsor dollars away from the young drivers and smaller teams.
It seemed that many of the reporters were talking to the cup drivers about the issue instead of asking the nationwide series regulars how they feel about it. Of course, as is his usual way, Kyle Busch chose to take the question and make it all about himself.
When you are dealing with drivers like Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick, you become accustomed to the fact that they often seem to talk alot. Sometimes you just want them to shut up, other times, they can be quite entertaining.
It is obvious that the sport of NASCAR racing is often as much about the mental aspect as the actual on-track expertise. Many drivers have been known to play headgames with the other competitors. Some are better at flapping their gums than they are at backing it up but some, like Kyle and Kevin can put their money where their mouths are.
The drivers that impress me the most are those who walk quietly but find a way to speak loudly when inside the race car. NASCAR is lucky today to have so many incredible young drivers who seem more concerned with making a name on the track than making a name with the media.
The two most impressive drivers in the field today were Kyle Larson, the race winner and Chase Elliott who overcame being run into the wall hard to finish in 6th place. Each week, I have noticed how Kyle Larson is like a machine. It may even be that he does become part of the machine when he climbs inside his race car.
He does not make a lot of noise but he has been known to give the reporters something to talk about, Daytona 2013 comes to mind. Still he seems to like to let his results do the talking. It was no surprise that he won, it had been coming for some time. Once he figured out that the car might race better if the right side was not torn off, he started making his way to the front.
Chase Elliott pulled off something that many veteran drivers only wish they could do. He had a great car and ran inside the top 10 for most of the race. When another rookie, Dylan Kwasniewski ran him into the wall, it could have easily been the end of his day. Instead his team took the time to fix the car and Chase was able to come back and drive his way back into contention.
These two young men are making a mark for themselves and they are not doing it by telling everyone how great they are. They are doing it by driving. They make the future of the sport bright.