The Final Word – A funny thing happened on the way to Kyle’s Richmond celebration

Hey, what is a little bump and run between teammates, eh? Down to the final laps at Richmond, Kyle Busch had it won. Even Carl Edwards thought he had it. However, Rowdy became a bit conservative, or maybe his tires wore down. Just maybe, he thought he had a teammate behind him and could just cruise to the finish line. Obviously, Kyle forgot that this particular teammate has been known wander off his meds on rare occasions. Sometimes Cousin Carl can turn into a doll named Chucky. Just ask Matt Kenseth.

On the final lap, Edwards cut low and stuck. Coming off the final turn, he cut low again and when Busch did the same, out came the fender horn. Kyle got loose, Carl went by for the win. No doubt Carl just hated for that to happen. You could tell how sad he was in celebrating the victory. Sad, my ass. His second of the season was the 27th of his career, marking the first time in 120 races that a last-lap pass for the win took place at Richmond. Mind you, with two wins already to his credit, I think Kyle will be just fine, though I am not so sure his wife will be as forgiving.

Just being back was some kind of victory for Tony Stewart. After missing the first eight of the season mending, now we have to see if he can replicate the kind of campaign that led Busch to a championship a year ago. Stewart was 19th on Sunday, and to make the Chase he now has to win a race and make up the 101 points between himself and 30th place. He has 17 attempts to make it happen.

Edwards and Busch were not alone up front, at least they were not early on. Jimmie Johnson, who finished third, led early while the fourth place finishing Kevin Harvick was a factor for the most part. Denny Hamlin was the victim of a runaway tire in the pits that took him out of it, but he recovered to finish nicely in fifth. Kurt Busch was another we saw lots of, though he faded back to 10th by the time his brother got bumped.

Kasey Kahne did not have a great day, but he got into the mix late to finish third, which keeps him with a Chase place. Top Tens also went to the likes of Kenseth, Joey Logano, and Martin Truex Jr. As for Clint Bowyer, Stewart cannot get out of his ride fast enough to make room for him. Once again, his current ride remains not ready for prime time as he came home 33rd to sit 29th in points. He desperately needs a win, and I would not mind having my hair back. Some things are just too much to ask for.

However, asking for excitement next Sunday at Talladega is not one of them. It is almost a guarantee that fans will be riding by the seat of their pants in the grandstands and in their easy chairs at home, a lot like the drivers they will be cheering on. Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. add to his total of six career wins there, or might Brad Keselowski add another to his three previous wins? Who will make the race, Michael Waltrip or David Gilliland? Who will be involved in the Big One? The answers will come our way this Sunday from Talladega.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.

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