Kyle Busch wasn’t satisfied with the new rules package for Dover International Speedway; Team owner Bob Leavine seconds that
First off, Dover International Speedway saw a 76% increase in the number of green flag passes over the same race a year ago.
Martin Truex Jr started at the back of the field following an inspection issue ahead of the race. He then drove through the field to dominate stage three and take the race win by 10 seconds.
In the final stage, we saw a green flag pit cycle. That put gaps between the field and made the race slightly less entertaining, at least from a lead change perspective.
Kyle Busch knocked the package ahead of the race weekend. On Friday, he cited the speeds of the cars as ‘dangerous’.
He also noted that passing would be difficult with the increase in corner speeds. He wasn’t the only driver to take the stance.
The new rules package brought a significant downforce increase to the cars at Dover. This was in addition to the same horsepower numbers of the year prior.
In other words, the cars were on throttle a lot more through the corners. The corner speeds were way up while the speeds down the straights were about the same.
Kyle Busch finished 10th in Monday’s race. He has finished in the top-10 for all 11 races in 2019. That ties a record with Morgan Shepherd who originally set the stat in 1990.
But, after the race, Kyle Busch noted that he wasn’t pleased with the rules package.
Kyle Busch knocks the NASCAR rules package
Claire B Lang: What about the package?
“Oh, the package sucks. No question about it, it’s terrible,” Kyle Busch said after his 10th place run at Dover International Speedway.
“But, all I can do it bitch about it and it’ll fall on deaf ears. Then, we’ll come back here with the same thing in the Fall.”
Kyle Busch is rarely happy outside of a race victory. Even as he ties records from the 1990’s, he had more to accomplish.
“It would be nice to win more. It would be nice to run better, lead laps. This is a real bad weekend for us.”
“When you run better at least you’d have something to hang your hat on. But, you run like that and it’s terrible.”
NASCAR executive Steve O’Donnell responds to Kyle Busch
“He didn’t have the race he wanted. I’m not surprised with what he said,” Steve O’Donnell stated via ‘The Morning Drive’ on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“I think it’s unfortunate. He actually tied a record yesterday. The question I’m asking is about his comments post-race. And his teammate was able to win and pass every car in the field. But, he chose to make the comments he did.”
“If you look at the package, no matter what we’ve put out there. Drivers always say, ‘It’s hard to pass.’ Our comment back to that has always been, ‘These are the best drivers in the world and it’s going to be hard to pass.’ “
“These is one of our toughest tracks. Typically, we see some challenges in passing at Dover. In the last stage, we would have liked to see a little bit closer racing.”
“When we talk about this package, it wasn’t done in a vacuum. The entire industry said, ‘We want a consistent package for every race track.’ “
“All-in-all, I think the first two stages presented some good racing. How’s the overall season been? We’ve seen some really good racing, stats are up. Green flag passes for the lead are up 46%. That’s an important stat.”
Driver/Team feedback to NASCAR on the rules package
Kyle Busch made note of deaf ears. But, NASCAR has been very active in collecting feedback from a wide range of angles, drivers and team owners included.
After the race, it was more than just Kyle Busch that drove home the point.
“Let me second Kyle Busch statement, this package sucks. Has nothing to do with where he finished,” NASCAR team owner Bob Leavine stated after the race.
“Christopher, NASCAR officials do not think it appropriate that a team owner speak out criticizing their package on social media so I’m not making any more comments about it. They may be right.”
I’m actually on the board of the RTA and it is a great place for the team owners to voice their concerns and try to get a census of the most important issues to be discussed with NASCAR,” Bob Leavine continued.
How does NASCAR take those comments into consideration for the future?
“We certainly talk to everybody. It’s unfortunate, especially with a team owner on social media. I don’t think that’s the right way to do it, at all. But, that’s the choice that was made,” O’Donnell continued.
“We’re available, every race. We go out there and talk to every constituent we have. Jim France is at every race, it’s just phenomenal.”
“So, the ability to saw that you don’t have a chance to talk to us about your feedback is a bit questionable.”
NASCAR looking to please the race fans
“Our job is to balance, for the race fans, to put on the best race we can. We’ll take input, we’re not going to agree with everyone. I think what we’ve learned throughout the years is the driver’s job is to win. They could care less if they win by a half second or 20 seconds,” O’Donnell explained.
“So, our job is to balance all of that input and then make a decision on what we think will put on the best race. The most competitive race, allowing as many cars [with the chance] to win as possible. But, we still want the best cars and drivers to win.”
“Anytime you see, ‘It’s challenging to pass.’ That’s something we look at. And we said we would do that.”
“But, all-in-all, when you look at the body of work so far this year, it’s hard to say that the racing has not been better than last year. I go back to the facts and the facts prove that out,” O’Donnell concluded.
Dover Green Flag Passing Data
Dover – 6/6/19
1,588 (Most: Alex Bowman – 84)
Dover – 5/6/18
902 (Most: Clint Bowyer – 47)
Result: +686 (+76.05%)