Ah, Martinsville, now that's racing! More short tracks, please, NASCAR! And what a satisfying ending to both races. The triumph of both youth and experience, all wrapped up in one weekend.
Darrell "Bubba" Wallace. Jr, the first African-American to win a major NASCAR series race since Wendell Scott did so in 1963. Said Wendell's son, Franklin - "when the checkered flag dropped, I heard a big boom from heaven and my Daddy said, 'hell, yeah!'
If we remember, Wendell was treated pretty shabbily by NASCAR 50 years ago but we've evolved since then and the sport was genuinely thrilled for young Bubba.
And the grand old man of NASCAR, Jeff Gordon, whose invitation to the Chase party came late, arriving only at the last minute. Nevertheless, he donned his dancing duds and his party attitude and came determined to be on the floor when the band quits playing because that's what champions do.
Furthermore, Martinsville tweaked the point standings and left us with a tie at the top. (Leaving my own bias aside) what could be more exciting with three races left than our two top contenders clawing and scratching for every single point? Matt and Jimmie appear to be so evenly matched, unless one of them suffers bad luck, they look to still be in that position at Homestead.
To add to the deliciousness of Martinsville, there were the usual hard feelings and retaliations during the race and confrontations after. This one backended that one and that one doored this one and he cut me off and he blocked me. Kevin Harvick said the reason he was leaving RCR was the two arrogant grandkids coming up, Austen and Ty Dillon, who'd always been fed with a silver spoon. Ty called Kevin a punk and Grandpa agreed with him (naturally). Kevin later apologized but it's hard to imagine those allegations won't stick in everyone's craw for the rest of the year.
Greg Biffle read Jimmie the riot act after the race although it appeared from the videotape that it was Junior who was to blame for his torn off back bumper. Greg apologized later too but it seemed less than wholehearted.
Put a bunch of drivers, worn out after a long season, many of them disappointed, on a half-mile track like Martinsville and you have the makings of a pot that's ready to boil over. And boil over it does because its a relatively safe place to get your licks in, unlike bigger, faster tracks.
I don't know who owns what in NASCAR. I know the tracks are mostly divided up between NASCAR itself and Bruton Smith but I wish NASCAR would give up one of its larger two-trip tracks in favor of sending the Sprint Cup to Iowa. As far as I'm concerned, the more short tracks, the better.