The phrase “cooler heads prevail” typically doesn’t go hand in hand with NASCAR drivers. If an altercation happens on the track particularly at the end of a race there is a confrontation afterward at times resulting in a brawl.Sunday’s melee in Las Vegas had nearly everything. Kyle Busch spun out into pit road, giving fans a last-lap crash. Busch promptly strolled out of his car, walked straight up to Joey Logano and took a swing. Then Busch was trampled to the ground by Logano’s crew, resulting in a bloodied forehead as he walked back to the garage.”There wasn’t much talking, there was a lot of swinging,” Logano said. “I don’t know. I was racing hard there at the end with our Pennzoil Ford. Kyle and I usually race really well together. We usually never have any issues, and he tried to pin me down into the corner underneath Brad and we about crashed on entry, and then I was still trying to gather it up by the center and I was gonna spin out, so I’m trying to chase it up and he was there. “It obviously wasn’t anything intentional, but obviously he thinks that, so, I don’t know, we’ll get by.”The only thing Sunday’s affair lacked? Common sense.Instead of going to see video of the accident, Busch resorted directly to fisticuffs. Instead of discussing it with his crew, Logano or the No. 22 crew, Busch went looking for a fight. Even after having time to get a better grasp on what actually happened, Busch essentially threatened Logano.”I got dumped. Flat out just drove straight into the corner and wrecked me,” Busch said. “That’s how Joey races. He’s gonna get it.”So what actually transpired? Logano made contact with Busch after his car got loose coming around Turn 3 into Turn 4 to drop him into the 22nd position. It didn’t appear intentional in the least bit, as Logano would later point out, but it did hurt Busch and Logano still finished fourth.Need further proof that the whole incident was unnecessary? How about Denny Hamlin, Busch’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, blatantly sidestepping the confrontation even as Busch walked directly past him with a bloody forehead.But it clearly fits into what NASCAR wants to see from its “Boys will be boys” philosophy as neither Busch nor Logano’s crew were dealt penalties. With Busch opening this door this season, expect to see more nonsensical retaliation in the future — especially off the track.Elliott, Larson fumes away from 1-2 startChase Elliott led the Daytona 500 five times for 39 total laps, including starting from the pole. Kyle Larson held the lead for 16 laps, including the 199th of 200 in the Great American Race. Both drivers ran out of gas in the final laps, however, with Elliott ultimately finishing 14th and Larson in 12th.Had Elliot won that race, it would have been the first of his career. Had Larson won, it would have been his second. It’s an all-too-common occurrence for the two young drivers, who have come up just short on multiple occasions.But those close finishes are stacking up for both drivers, who are less than three points out of first place in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings. Larson has two straight second-place results while Elliott finished fifth in Atlanta and third in Las Vegas.”I think we finished second in the first stage, third in the second stage and then finished second here in the race,” Larson said. “So super happy with how our season has gotten started. Way better than where I’ve ever started a season. I’m really happy about that, proud of our team. “You know, the stages were really exciting, or the ends of them, because of the way the cautions fell and different pit strategies and stuff, people staying out, made it exciting taking off.”Toyota and Ford may have experienced championship talent, but it’s clear right now that Chevrolet has some of the brightest stars in its stable.The restarts will come. The luck will come. The wins will come. What’s clearly already there for both of these drivers is talent. That’s undeniable.Truex carrying Toyota at start of seasonWith his success over the previous two seasons, it was easy to predict that Martin Truex Jr. would be one of the top drivers this year. But if you go back three years ago, there appeared to be zero chance a single-car team from Denver would make a dent in the sport.Today, Truex is the lead driver in the Toyota stable with Furniture Row Racing having the only win for the manufacturer. That marked Truex’s sixth win in the last three years — tripling his previous nine seasons combined.It’s not just the wins that are stacking up for Truex. The No. 78 car has two top-10 results and an average finish of 7.3 through the first three races. There may only be one Toyota in the top 10 in the Monster Cup standings at this point, but Truex is more than capable of carrying the manufacturer this season.
CHAPEL HILL — Mack Hollins can’t exactly be called a secret weapon since he led the North Carolina football team in both receiving yards and touchdowns last season. His mid-game addition, however, will give the […]
CHAPEL HILL — Roy Williams had just about finished his press conference at the Smith Center on Friday when there was an audible commotion out in the hallway. Before anyone could ask what it was, […]