So it was a bad week to be a Busch brother. Saturday in the first Xfinity Series race of the season Kyle Busch crashed late in the race and suffered a broken right leg and a broken left foot. He was transferred from Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, to a Charlotte-area hospital for treatment. Matt Crafton filled in for Busch in the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) car for the Daytona 500 on Sunday and finished 19th. There has been no timetable set for Busch’s return. For now veteran David Ragan will take over the #18 ride for Busch and JGR development driver Erik Jones will replace Busch in the # 54 Xfinity Series car this weekend, with a replacement for future races in that series still to be determined. Ragan has two career Cup wins in 291 career starts. He spent his first five seasons at Roush Fenway Racing. He has driven for the underfunded Front Row Motorsports since 2012. Jones, a JGR development driver who competes in the Camping World Truck Series for Busch and also was scheduled to compete in several Xfinity races for JGR this year, has four wins in 18 career truck starts and a career best of sixth in four Xfinity starts. Toyota sponsors Jones’ truck and thinks highly of the driver, who doesn’t turn 19 until May. Busch hired Jones to drive his truck part-time two years ago after Jones held off Busch to win the late-model showcase Snowball Derby in December 2012. Jones competed in both the truck and Xfinity races at Daytona, finishing second in the trucks and 18th in the Xfinity race after being involved in the same accident in which Busch suffered his injury.
In the case of Kyle’s brother Kurt Busch he was suspended indefinitely Friday after a Delaware judge said the 2004 champion almost surely choked and beat his former girlfriend, Patty Driscoll, last fall at Dover International Speedway. A three-judge panel denied his first appeal Saturday. He had one final chance to plead his case to Moss, who is in his first year as NASCAR’S final appeals officer. Then a final appeals officer upheld NASCAR’s suspension Saturday night. Gulfstream President Bryan Moss made the decision, ending Busch’s already-slim hopes of racing Sunday in the season opener. Busch represented himself in the first appeals hearing at NASCAR headquarters, located across the street from Daytona International Speedway. Jim Cassidy, senior vice president of racing operations, represented NASCAR. The panelists were former NASCAR executive Paul Brooks, former driver Lyn St. James and Kevin Whitaker, operator of Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. Regan Smith filled in for Busch in the Stewart/Haas Racing (SHR) owned #41 at the Daytona 500 finishing 16th. It’s unclear what SHR will do beyond Daytona. Busch’s car is funded out-of-pocket by team co-owner Gene Haas, who hand-picked the former champion to drive a car adorned with Haas’ machine tools building company. He wanted Busch because he believed Busch could get the car to victory lane. Haas has not commented since the Friday suspension, and he may not be willing to pay for the car if Busch is not behind the wheel. Smith drove co-owner Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car last season at Watkins Glen after Stewart hit and killed a fellow driver who got out of his car in a short-track race. Smith, who has one Cup victory, also filled in two races in 2012 while Dale Earnhardt Jr. recovered from a concussion.
It’s almost time for the baseball regular season to get rolling and your fantasy drafts have to be just around the corner. We’re looking for some players to fill out our 20 team standard snake style league. It’s a free league that we run through Yahoo. All we ask is that you play the entire season. If you’re interested in signing up you can use this link to do so. Hope to see you in the league.
I play in three fantasy baseball leagues. There’s the league above that I invited you into then there’s a 20 team auction league that I play in and finally there’s a 14 or sometimes 15 team money league where Mr. Fantasy and I co-manage a team. This money league draft is March 8th which is very, very early for us this season. Mr. Fantasy and I are picking 8th and we’re starting to look at who might be available when it gets to us. For some reason outfielders don’t get any respect in this league, but Mike Trout should be long gone by the time our pick comes up. There is a chance that players like Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins might be sitting there when the pick gets to us. I’d like to think that we’d grab one of these two players very quickly and move along to the 2nd round. Now if the draft flows in a regular type of order there’s a chance that we’re looking at a player like Carlos Gómez of the Milwaukee Brewers; who by the way Mr. Fantasy loves. We might be looking at José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles or Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. Would you take one of those players or would you look at a pitcher like Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners or Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox. There is a chance we could actually land two of these players if the draft falls right and we make the correct 1st round pick. The early part of this draft doesn’t concern me all that much; it’s the later rounds. With a draft this early there are quite a few questions still out about players and if you miss your season is done early and no one wants to have that type of season. Last year Mr. Fantasy and I where able to select Tom Koehler of the Miami Marlins. Now it’s not a flashy pick, but it’s the kind of pick late in a draft tat can get your team into the playoffs. Koehler made 32 starts posting a 10-10 record with a 3.81 ERA. He struck out 153 batters while walking 71. Now it’s not a Cy Young winning season, but Koehler is the kind of guy you need to fill in when a starter goes down or if he just has a great match up. What I’m wondering for Mr. Fantasy and I this season is who is this seasons Tom Koehler?
Just so everyone knows we don’t let Schaumburg Stu play in the fantasy baseball leagues because he draft all Chicago Cubs players. Of course this season that might not be the worst strategy.
You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime