This weekend, we will get to witness a spectacle only promoting genius Humpy Wheeler could dream up, and did back in around 1985. It's lived it's life under various names, as the Winston, the All Star race, and now the Sprint Showdown. There will be a qualifying race for drivers who have not won in the last two years, or are not past Champions, or who are not previous winners of the race within the last 10 years. Fans will also be able to vote in a driver as well. It's a race like no other in Nascar, and being held in most of the team's backyard at Lowes Motor Speedway, in Concord, NC, There will be family and friends for all the drivers and crew members at the track.
The name "Showdown" is very appropriate, as this will be a non points race, and will basically be run much like a short track feature at your local track. There will not be much conservation of equipment, and you can bet that there will be some wrecked cars and some bruised feelings by the end of the race. Some things never change, and you can count on this weekend to provide some of Nascar's finest racing all out, with nothing to lose.
Reactions to the last two races are still being reported, and some have expressed outrage that Kyle Busch possibly flipped the bird to a crew member for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Saturday at Darlington after the driver introductions. I've also read that Kyle flipped off booing fans as well. I just have to say that I'm not really surprised if Kyle did any of these things. Kyle Busch does not draw any emotion from me anymore but sorrow. I hate to see a young man become so cynical and so adoring of hatred, that I really just wish he would go away somewhere and grow up. Kyle's attitude is going to hurt people one day. I just hope he doesn't end up getting anyone killed.
Kyle does seem to have figured out the best way to drive the new car though. Kyle admitted that he bounced the car off the wall at Darlington at least 5 or 6 times, and some of those were violent impacts. At Darlington, it appeared that if you drive a Toyota hard off into the corners and smack the wall to the point that the right side of the car is as flat as a basketball court, you can win races. Kyle's done it 3 times this season alone with the new car. Supposing that Kyle's car control skills are all they are made out to be, I'm assuming that Kyle is 'adjusting' his car by hitting the wall hard. A driver with his skills couldn't be doing that by accident, could he?
The haters of Kyle Busch are alive and well, and so are the haters of many other drivers. This is actually a healthy thing to be happening in the sport right now. Hate isn't good, but it happens, just because of human nature, and I think most of us have at least one driver we love to hate at times. Even though I never want to see a driver get physically hurt, I don't mind seeing some them looking a little down in the mouth sometimes.
I think one of the things that we, as fans, need to remember is that fans probably take the hard losses worse than the drivers do. The drivers have been doing this kind of things for years, and they all expect someone to wreck them on the last lap, or to bump them when the time looks right. We as fans sometimes seem to expect clean racing, but in reality, there is not really anything like clean racing anywhere. Drivers drive to win. Crew chiefs and crew members do what they have to do to get their driver that extra second on the track. When it comes right down to it, there's not much new under the sun as far as stock car auto racing.
Racers will keep on racing, heroes will keep on being heroes, and jerks will keep being jerks. Except when jerks become heroes. That happens too, from time to time.