From a NASCAR Fan’s View
There’s a reason they call it the All-Star race and there’s a reason why it is so special. This year’s All-Star race is at a place NASCAR hasn’t visited in twenty-seven years. That place is North Wilkesboro Speedway, BUT, wait a minute… that’s stuff we all already know. The All-Star race is special because it is a different race than a usual NASCAR race. Even though the drivers have already shown themselves to be extremely aggressive since the Next Gen car has proven to be able to handle some bumping and rubbing, there is something about the All-Star race that seems to bring out even more aggression.
Gee… do you think it has anything at all to do with that million-dollar prize and that prize being a winner take all type thing? Yeah, that’s about as obvious a statement as any of us could make. (Even the commercial leading up to this weekend’s race makes the statement, “What would you do for a million dollars?”) From this fan’s view, it looks like they will do just about anything if the opportunity arrives and they can win the money. To be honest, no one can really blame them. (After all, it is a million dollars.)
This brings me to a situation that has been more prevalent since they’ve gotten more familiar with the Next Gen car and especially this season. Of course, to me there is a difference between being aggressive and overly aggressive.
You see, I agree with the fact that “rubbin’ is racing’” but I don’t agree with turning someone being the only way to pass. I’ve heard all the statements recently about how so many say they are happy to see the aggression back in the sport. They also say it’s what the fans come to see. Heck, they even say they’re glad to see some of the emotion that leads to blows. I do understand the emotions and I do understand how it sometimes gets out of control, (Hey, I used to race and I’ve felt those emotions and dealt with all the adrenaline that comes with good hard racing.)
I know there’s been a lot of talk about Ross Chastain and how many drivers are upset with him because of his aggressive driving but there are others. I realize it is a fine line between what many find acceptable and unacceptable and I agree with much of what people express about acceptable and unacceptable aggressive driving. Let me give a quick comparison from another race and another driver.
A few weeks ago, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin were going for the win at Kansas. Without going into a long explanation of the end of the race, just let me say why I thought what happened was unfortunate to say the least. In the final laps, Denny was closing in on Kyle and they had several laps of good, hard, side-by-side and bumper-to-bumper racing. Once again, without going into a lot of detail, it came down to the final lap going down the back straight.
After a hard-fought battle between the two, and this is my opinion, Denny took a cheap shot at Kyle and turned him into the wall. He said he was overly aggressive and accidentally got into his left rear and turned him into the wall. Even though Kyle took it better than this fan, what disappointed me was that for several laps the two had battled for the victory and it was still either ones race when Denny decided to turn him into the wall. He said it was an accident but, I believe it was intentional. After all was said and done, he turned Kyle to pass him and it could have still been Denny’s race if they would have battled the same as they had all the way to the checker. The fans in the stands and I were both disappointed. Not that Denny won but the way he won.
So, judging from what we’ve already seen in the heat races – even with the rain tires – tonight’s race should prove to be very interesting. It could be won by anyone of the competitors and it could be a race where one driver dominates the field. I’m really hoping it isn’t a follow the leader type race and I hope it isn’t just a “bumper-car fest.” I do believe the drivers will do just about anything if it means being able to take home a million dollars. I just hope they race for the win and not just bulldoze their way through…
Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 21, 2023 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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