Another day when the attention span is shorter than the line at the Blood Sausage Food Truck . . .
Would Kurt Busch be racing this weekend if it wasn’t for Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Junior’s well-chronicled battle(s) with concussions helped solidify NASCAR’s modern protocol for monitoring such things, and Kurt’s sidelining is a high-profile example of how this thing is supposed to work . . .
Kurt is missing his third straight race Sunday due to ongoing symptoms following a wall-crunching crash during Pocono qualifying two weeks ago . . . Head-long crashes are the scariest, but it was Kurt’s rear quarter-panel that slammed into the wall — or, we should say, the SAFER Barrier, the “soft wall” technology that has saved more racers than anything this side of the HANS Device . . .
Was it always this way? Not even close. Not many years ago, Kurt wouldn’t have missed any seat time. Wish I had a dime for every racer over the decades who raced (and raced, and raced . . .) while compromised in a way that would have him sidelined today . . .
Speaking this past week about other things, Kyle Busch was eventually asked about his older brother’s condition and the strength of modern technology inside the cockpit. These days, we’re actually stunned a bit when something bad comes from an accident . . .
“For sure, you’re right,” Kyle said. “The safety advancements have come a long, long way. I feel like a lot of us drivers, if you watch the way we drive at the end of these races, we take that for granted.
“And you just never know the incidents in which you’ll get hurt in a race car. I’ve been there and I’ve done that. You know, these young kids, I guess they haven’t hit hard enough yet.”
Missed an exit?
Speaking of compromised drivers, the Florida Highway Patrol arrested a 58-year-old woman who was driving her golf cart on Interstate 95 this past week. You heard me: Golf cart, I-95. Worse yet, she also was slapped with disorderly intoxication charges . . . As a public service announcement, let’s remind everyone you can’t legally drink and drive a golf cart — however, a loophole remains for anyone who just triple-bogeyed the ninth to make the turn in 52 . . .
Officers’ big clue came when they found an open bottle of Jack Daniel’s in the cart, and right about here, we should also point out the placement of that apostrophe in Jack Daniel’s. It shouldn’t be before the S, grammarians likely grouse. Turns out, it’s well-placed, because the old distiller’s name was actually Jack Daniel . . .
RIP to Buddy Arrington, the former NASCAR independent who did a lot with a little. Arrington, who passed this past week at 84, had the second most Cup Series starts (560) without a win. All told, he turned 147,999 laps and led just 14 of them. The man looked at more rear bumpers than an I-4 commuter . . .
J.D. McDuffie, in case you’re wondering. He had the most starts without winning — 653 of ’em. J.D. was 52 when he died after a hard crash at Watkins Glen in 1991. Ten years later, the modern NASCAR safety revolution was triggered and resulted in advancements that has saved many but unfortunately came too late for J.D. and too many others . . .
What’s with Cling Wrap?
You know a term you never hear anymore: Second World countries. We’re shamed a lot about our perceived “First World problems,” and we’re often told of bad things in Third World nations, but who these days makes up the Second World? I’ve got some nominations but I’ll sit on them . . . Well, the LIV golfers have included Augusta National in its lawsuit against the golf establishment. There’s more firepower in that membership than you’d find in NATO, so good luck with that one . . . You might already know this, but Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley is a graduate of Stetson’s College of Law, which is located near St. Pete . . .
Still on golf for a moment: Former Mainland High golfer Logan Reese might be the youngest coach in college athletics. The 2017 Buc grad graduated from Emmanuel College (Franklin Springs, Ga.) last year, then stayed around as an assistant golf coach and assistant sports information director. He was promoted to head golf coach this summer . . . If only Cling Wrap worked as well on bowls as it does on all of my thumbs. That stuff is evil. Boa constrictors flinch in its presence . . .
Good to see Tony Boselli become the first Jacksonville Jaguar to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Injury cut short the offensive tackle’s dynamic career, and it raises the old question. What’s better, a too-short but amazing run (Sandy Koufax, Gale Sayers, etc.) or a very long career of good-to-great? Jim Kaat’s recent Baseball Hall of Fame induction falls into the latter category, and frankly, now that he’s enshrined, Tommy John should move up in line . . .
Hate to go out on a limb, but you know what we don’t need around here? Another car wash. My goodness, in terms of multiplying, they’re the new storage facilities.
— Reach Ken Willis at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: NASCAR’s Kurt Busch still parked, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a role