Kyle Busch Doesn't Want NASCAR Sharing His Driving Data With Other Teams
The series is distributing telemetry and driver input to teams in hopes of leveling the playing field for the 2018 season.
Driver data and telemetry is being made available to all teams ahead of this year's NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series campaign. The decision to distribute this information has been a controversial call in the least, and as many drivers and teams have voiced, it's widely opposed by the sport's top competitors. Joe Gibbs Racing pilot Kyle Busch, one of motorsport's notoriously outspoken personalities, recently addressed the issue before this weekend's Clash at Daytona, telling the media that it gives an unfair advantage to rivals and newcomers by allowing them to see veterans' tricks of the trade.
Busch made the comparison to handing opponents his own playbook so that they can see what he's doing on-track in any given situation. This is a parallel that's been drawn before, but now that other crews are allowed access to this key info rather than just drivers from the same team, it provokes a harsh response from the likes of Busch and other top racers.
“I’ve spent 13 years in this sport to figure out how to drive a race car to make it go fast and then do the things that I do to make it go fast and win championships, and now you are going to hand all of that to a young driver on a piece of paper and they are going to figure it out as long as they know how to read it,” Busch argued. “Sure, they still have to do it but at least they know what I’m doing so if they study that enough they will know how to beat me, or I will know how to beat you.”
The move was made as part of a cost-cutting measure by NASCAR to reduce internal spending within the series. Formerly, teams couldn't freely gain access to data retrieved outside of their own specific organization. Now, however, much of the trouble has been taken out of analyzation with NASCAR putting it on the table for everyone to view.
“Us driving a race car is our way of figuring out how to make a race car go around the track fast,” Busch said. “It’s not how we are driving our car at particular moments, it’s how we set up our cars.
“We look at it as proprietary, but NASCAR doesn’t. It’s like an NFL team giving the opponent their playbook.”
While this move does give lower-funded teams and less-experienced drivers an advantage in theory, they still have to apply the practices on the oval. Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, agrees that this move isn't necessarily a plus for the sport but it isn't an all-out cheat for competitors to abuse.
“I get to look at Jimmie Johnson, and I got to look at Jeff Gordon and Chase Elliott at Martinsville, and I still suck at Martinsville,” Larson said. “… Everybody’s car is different, and everybody’s car reacts different. You can learn more oftentimes than not, but there are still those moments where if your car is not driving like theirs, you can’t do what they’re doing.”