A monkey could win in that racecar. Those were the words of Clint Bowyer back in July of 2008 about Joe Gibbs Racing and how good they were and how the competition didn’t have a chance to win races.
[media-credit name=”Brad Keppel” align=”alignright” width=”291″][/media-credit]The domination of JGR in the Nationwide Series, led mostly by Kyle Busch, has been one of the biggest story lines the last few years. Busch has won a drivers championship and become the winningest driver in series history. To date, he’s won eight races in 2011.
And everyone knows that Busch doesn’t like losing, there’s nothing else left to say or write about it. Friday night in Charlotte Busch lost to Carl Edwards, who also won for the eighth time, and the JGR driver suddenly sounded a lot like Bowyer did a few years ago.
“Really good on long runs, slow on short runs,” said Busch. “Didn’t have enough under the hood to keep up. Got out motored on that last restart, finished second. Got out motored. I didn’t have enough under the hood. Unfortunately, the Toyota’s don’t have enough horsepower.”
End of statement, end of story as Busch didn’t offer anymore about his race. The statement made anti-Busch fans giggle. As it did to Edwards when he heard about it in his post race interview.
“I sit in these racecars every week, twice a week and been doing it for a long time and we do not have a horsepower advantage,” Edwards said. “Those are political statements that people make to try and get us back to where we were for years, at a disadvantage.”
While Edwards believes there is one manufacturer that is better than them on the NNS and NSCS side, the engines are has close as they’ve been he said.
Team owner Jack Roush took it a step forward and said that the Ford camp has just caught up and is running where they should be after getting their new FR9 engine. What it has done is give JGR and the rest of the field better competition through his team.
“We’ve all got the same parameters,” said Roush. “The Ford was disadvantage in those things for years until we got the FR9 going last year. So, he certainly doesn’t have the advantage or the Toyota’s don’t have the advantage that they had over the Fords before.”
Roush went on to say that it would be a ‘travesty’ with all the money they’re spending on the 2013 version of the car to have had built an engine they don’t need. Further saying that if Toyota got a new engine then every other manufacturer would have to get one, Chevy, Ford and Dodge.
According to Roush, there’s no need for a new engine because they all have the same parameters. The difference is how much carburetor jets and ignition timing a team puts to it.
The engine doesn’t appear to be the problem, who Busch loses to is. With each and every one of Busch’s wins, mention of being at an advantage or having been lucky to win with his equipment, doesn’t make an appearance. Yet, when Busch is staring at the rear bumper of Edwards’ No. 60, that becomes the big story and Busch makes it clear that he thinks the Fords are better.
A common theme it has become. Busch and Edwards have been the classic of rivals – see Bristol 2008 – and have had the classic of late race showdowns. See any race they’ve entered together. Losing to such rival isn’t easy to take, especially when battling for a championship.
Following Edwards win on Friday he closed the owner championship to three points with three races left in the season. The No. 18 for JGR currently leads.
Perhaps little solace to Busch is that Edwards in his Ford did not dominate the race. That would have been Brad Keselowski in his Dodge, who had it not been for a flat right rear tire, might have run away and won the race. It would have saved Busch the frustration of another Edwards win.
Instead Busch was left with his side of the story, Edwards and Rough theirs and even Keselowski’s. He wrote on his Twitter page Friday night, “As much as I hate to say it. The HP advantage Ford has wasn’t the reason why The 18 lost. Carl just executed on the last restart.”