Saturday, May 28, 2011 | 9:33 p.m.
Ray Evernham once said: "When you're arguing, you’re not being productive.”
This is great advice for drivers and crews that allow their emotions get the best of them during a race. How can a team problem solve if they’re bickering while in the heat of battle?
I don't think anyone in the Cup Series understands this better than Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus. Time and time again, this duo has been able to communicate over the radio with purpose and a laser-like ability to focus on solving the immediate problems regarding the car's performance. Even when obstacles present themselves, Knaus and Johnson usually keep their emotions in check in order to concentrate on the goal of winning the race.
I've never worked on a pit crew, but I would bet this is one of the main reasons this Hendrick team has won an unprecedented five consecutive championships.
It’s beginning to sounds like Kurt Busch has noticed how this level of communication has benefited the No. 48 team. Earlier this week in Charlotte, Busch indicated that he was turning over a new leaf. The driver of the No. 22 car has decided that his profanity-laced tirades on the team radio are things of the past. Busch said he is ready to do something about his sarcasm, language and temper.
It's about time. Busch, who has recently become increasingly frustrated with his team's performance, realized that there needed to be a change. “It’s a matter of trying to be the most professional that you can be about it,” Busch said this week in Charlotte.
It's obvious that keeping calm on the radio is extremely difficult on those days when nothing is going right at the track. And that frustration only multiplies when a driver sees his chance of a possible win slip through his fingers. Keeping a cool head takes work, but the driver of the No. 22 car seems to realize that this is what he needs to do.
Don't be surprised if Busch's new attitude results in better performance for the No. 22 team.