Kevin Harvick may have won last Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, but three other drivers stood out in Kyle Petty’s eyes.
On today’s episode of NASCAR AMERICA, Petty and host Rick Allen discussed the strong performances of Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second), Jimmie Johnson (third), and Tony Stewart (ninth) at the treacherous South Carolina oval.
Earnhardt netted his third runner-up result of the year, while Johnson ran as far back as 31st on Saturday before earning his third-place showing. And Stewart now has his fourth Top-10 in his last five races.
Kurt Busch, on the other hand, seemed set for a Top-10 finish until he was hit from behind by Clint Bowyer on the first of two Green-White-Checkered attempts needed to settle the Bojangles’ Southern 500.
After slamming into the inside retaining wall, Busch climbed out of his car and stared down Bowyer as he went by under the caution. Busch then took to Twitter and vented.
As his previous feud with Brad Keselowski has seemingly died down, has another begun for the Outlaw? Perhaps it’s best that NASCAR has this coming weekend off for Easter.
Remember to watch NASCAR AMERICA tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. Also, check out past clips from the show on the NASCAR AMERICA archive page.
Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.
“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”
Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.
The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.
Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.
Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.
Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.
Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.
Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”