Oh, please, People, give me a break.
From the time I was a newbie NASCAR fan (first race: Indianapolis, 2008), I learned most of what I knew from my NASCAR friends - first on the official NASCAR.com blog site and then, when NASCAR discontinued the blogs (to disputatious, I guess) on Facebook, the most frequent thing I heard was how people missed the Old NASCAR, how the sport had become too cautious, how the drivers had become too gentlemanly. Where was Dale Earnhardt, the Intimidator, when you needed him to jazz things up.
If I heard "rubbin' is racing", once back then, I heard it 5,000 times. "Wreckers or checkers." "Drive it like you stole it"."Don't bring anything back but the steering wheel. " Yeah, Baby!
But I heard so many complaints about the finish at Chicagoland that evidently a lot of fans thought the wrong guy won. More of us were rooting for the personable young kid than the sometimes surly and ungracious Rowdy. I doubt if there would have many complaints if Larson had won but as it was, Kyle B was accused of being dirty. It appears our perceptions are colored by our personal likes and dislikes.
So, we just watched a race in Chicagoland where we saw a perfect example of the checkers or wreckers mentality in action with the Kyle's charging down the home stretch going all out to win. Both are exciting drivers. Both are risk-takers. Both are "old school" in that way we always said we kived.
Don't get me wrong, I was screaming for Larson to hold off Busch. Yes, I'm sick of the Harvick/Truex/Busch show. I'm tired of having the Big Three shoved down my throat. But in a professional sport, you don't divide up the wins evenly to make everyone happy,.
And anyway, if you're a Larson fan, your driver was a class act. He didn't seem unhappy at the end, in fact, he seemed thrilled with their hard-fought duel. He gave a thumbs up to Busch and then shook his hand. He said he bet that was a fun finish for the fans to watch....and it was...no matter who had won.
So let's not be complete hypocrites, okay?
We're back at NBC and it was Dale Jr's first announcing gig. At first he seemed a little tentative but then he found his confidence and hit his strike. From then on he was funny and informative. I thought he did a great job. Go, Dale!