NASCAR Panel: Las Vegas week

Published 9:47 am Friday, March 4, 2011

Is Kyle Busch the best NASCAR driver on the track right now to not win a championship?

Ken Mays: No doubt he is the best driver not to win a championship. I have said for the past two years on here that he is the very best driver in NASCAR. He just doesn’t have the mindset that Johnson has when it comes to driving smart. Busch wants to win at the finish line every time. Johnson has always seemed to know how to play toward winning the points and that doesn’t always consist of winning every race.

Jason Cannon: Kyle looks good in a truck or a Nationwide car but he seems to struggle when it comes to closing the deal in the Cup cars. He’s an awesome driver and he may be one of the two best drivers to not have a title with the other being Kevin Harvick.

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Mark Trest: It would be fair to say so. Obviously, not many others can jump into three different cars in the same weekend and win all 3 races. One has to wonder if he concentrates on just one series, just how successful he can be. Or is the info he gains by racing in all three series the secret to his success? He’s young and full of energy. I say let him run wild. If he keeps up his successs, he will win a Championship sooner or later.

Is Alan Gustafson the spark needed to get Jeff Gordon back to championship form?

Ken Mays: It might just be. It seems like the spark had gone for quite some time now. I think all the changes that this team and the rest of his teammates have gone toward Johnson not winning again this year to make NASCAR more appealing to the fans. I look for Gordon to be better than he has been in the last three years.

Jason Cannon: Yes. Without a doubt. He needed a kick in the pants and he got one. After a while, I think he got too comfortable and needed to be re-energized and I’ve said for years that Alan Gustafson is the best man to have on a pit box not named Chad Knaus.

Mark Trest: It appears so. In team sports, chemistry is everything. That has been missing the last few years with the 24 team. It’s too early to tell how things will play out the whole season, but it sure is looking like a good move right now.

Rate Rick Hendrick’s decision to “shake things up” at HMS with the offseason shakeup that hit every team except the 48.

Ken Mays: I think it is something that NASCAR said that they needed to do. I know this might just sound stupid to some people, but I think that NASCAR has finally told the owners that they have got to do something that would make the sport more interesting so they can save the sport and not lose what fan base they have.

Jason Cannon: I give it a 10/10. It shows that he’s not satisfied with having the stronger team on the track. He wants the best organization in the sport. It was a high risk, high reward call. Kudos to him for having the guts to make it.

Mark Trest: Simple math. The 48 has it going on, and the other three teams do not. Five Championships pretty much speak for themselves. The 5, 24 and 88 have been consistently inconsistent over the last five years. One having a good year one year, then falling off terribly the next. Meanwhile, the 48 has won not one, but five championships. Why mess with success of that magnitude? Nothing’s broken there.

After a phenomenal 2010, Jamie McMurray is off to a forgettable 2011. Do you think he was a one-year wonder or is it to early to tell?

Ken Mays: I think it’s too early to tell. It’s kind of like this year’s Daytona race. Nobody had ever heard of Trevor B. Now he is on The David Letterman Show and in every sporting news show there is. I think McMurray is a lot better racer than Trevor B is. See, I can’t even remember the boys name. I look to see McMurray’s luck to change a little soon.

Jason Cannon: I think it’s too early to tell for sure but McMurray was driving out of his mind last year. He’s never been that strong before but he’s really only got a few more weeks before he’s labeled a fluke.

Mark Trest: It’s early yet. Jamie has had more bad luck already in two races than I recall him having all of last year, so I look for him to rebound and work his way back into contention as the season progresses.

ho is your pick to win this weekend?

Ken Mays: I am going with Kyle Busch this week. He just seems to be a little more ready to win than the rest of the field I have seen thus far this year.

Jason Cannon: Happy homecoming for Kyle Busch.

Mark Trest: Jimmie Johnson is a west coast boy. Track close to home for him. Still doing the math…Johnson looks as strong as ever…48.