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The Danica Double, Busch causes trouble, and other NASCAR random thoughts USAToday Twitter

The season is getting closer (yes!), which means the off-track action is heating up. That leads to this week’s Random Thoughts

Kyle Busch doesn’t like NASCAR’s young driver marketing push

Kyle Busch started a bit of a kerfuffle when he said he thinks NASCAR’s focus on young drivers is “stupid.” A chorus of drivers — including Bubba Wallace and Keven Harvick — were critical of the remarks, while brother Kurt defended them and NASCAR said he has a point, to  a degree (not that the focus is stupid, but that Kyle Busch didn’t have the same advantages when he was coming through the ranks.) But in this whole thing, Clint Bowyer had the best response — it’s fine as long as NASCAR is careful. And it is. everything in life is a balance, and it’s no different here. Pushing the future of the sport is fine, and long as NASCAR balances it with Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., and yes, Kyle Busch.

Danica Patrick gets her ride, but …

The Danica Double is going to  happen now that Danica Patrick has her Daytona 500 ride and by all accounts the Indy 500 ride is close. But man, it would have been nice for her to get a top-tier ride. Who knows, maybe the car at Premium Motorsports will surprise us, but as our own Cole Frederick pointed out, Premium has never won a Cup Series race, so the chances of Patrick evening finishing at the front of the pack are pretty slim. So here’s my hope — finish the race and go out on a high note and let the Daytona fans shower you with the admiration you deserve.

NASCAR’s data sharing plan has drivers up in arms

And I can see why. NASCAR has confirmed that, starting this season, teams have to share data with each other. The move is designed to make the teams more competitive with other, and the data reportedly includes information that’s publicly available anyway — steering, braking, throttle and RPM. I suppose the base information is OK, especially since all teams can see it anyway. But I’m not in favor of sharing anything more than that because now you’re interfering with competitive data. the NFL wouldn’t ask teams to share its play calling or defensive schemes in an effort to make games more competitive, and NASCAR shouldn’t go any further with this.

Quick hits.

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick say they won’t race themselves any differently now that they’ve broken up. Why is this even a question? They’re professionals.
  • RIP Bill Egleston, who died running a modified race in California following a terrible accident on the track.
  • David Gilliland Racing is merging with Crosley Sports Group to create  DGR-Crosley. Good move, Hopefully this makes them stronger.
  • The overtime line is gone. Let’s all rejoice!
  • Rick Hendrick dropped $925K on the first retail 2019 Corvette ZR1 to come off the line. I think I’ll wait until the dealer gets them.
  • The phenomenally talented Todd Gilliland can’t race in the truck series for Kyle Busch Motorsports until he turns 18 in May. Good move. Safety first.
  • Chevrolet is very unhappy with its truck series performance, but I have a feeling the new Camaro is going to turn things around for them.
  • Brad Keselowski thinks Brian France should be at the track every week. It’s a great idea, and that’s where France should be, but don’t hold your breath.  He hasn’t done it in the past and most likely won’t start now.
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