Wednesday, March 18, 2015

You Could Make A Movie About Stewart-Haas

Image result for nascar phoenix 2015     Image result for nascar phoenix 2015  

Stewart-Haas Racing is the Hollywood team with an all-star cast and the most compelling NASCAR story lines

First is Kevin Harvick, starring as the Winner. He consistently has the fastest car. He leads practices, qualifies for poles and wins races. Everyone expected him to cruise to victory in the Phoenix race and he did. The some-time bad luck that plagued the Four car last year is seemingly gone. The Golden Horseshoe that Kevin once attributed to Jimmie Johnson now rests safely in Kevin's, um, well..........

Then we have Kurt Busch as the misunderstood Bad Boy, arguably, the most controversial driver in Cup. He came back after three lost weeks thanks to his legal problems, with a vengeance, garnering a fifth place finish at Phoenix. The Outlaw, as he proudly calls himself, is a man out for redemption. (A part he's played before).

I always have to laugh at those comments about Danica only being in Cup because her sponsor loves her. Well, why is that any different than Kurt? Two major owners have kicked him to the curb for his lack of self-control. Fortunately for Kurt, Gene Haas, who is something of an outlaw himself, admires those qualities in his driver and is willing to support him in spite of all the headline-garnering baggage that might cause another owner to think twice.

And speaking of Danica, she's the Groundbreaking Pioneer, the only woman in NASCAR's top series, beloved of female fans and little girls with race car dreams but held in contempt by the hater crowd. They give all kinds of excuses for their antipathy - her willingness to trade on her sex appeal (though that never shows on the track), the feisty way she sticks up for herself and the best one, she taking a slot from some deserving young driver who can actually drive. Yeah, as if a third of NASCAR drivers don't have their seats because they inherited them or Daddy could afford to buy them or, like, Danica, they have a sponsor who is willing to front them the money to finance a team. Personally, I think most of the anti-Danica sentiment boils down to pure, plain sexism....and yes, women can be sexists too, in fact, they are some of the worst. The Danica-deniers all swear, dontcha know, that they would love some other worthy female like, well, name any of them, but let's see how they do if they ever have to prove it.

And lastly, Tony Stewart, playing the role of the beloved but struggling Old Man. Our hearts hurt for him as we root for him to succeed. Yes, he had a couple of bad years but during none of that did the three-time champion forget how to drive a racecar. He has all the resources that money can buy, the same ones that Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch have, so it is a conundrum why is Tony having the worst start to a season of his entire career.

In the Phoenix race, Kevin won, Kurt finished 5th, Danica finished 26th and Tony finished 39th and that's about the way its been going for him so far this year. His cars aren't fast and he always seems to be stuck back in the back. It is a mystery and I'm sure it is one that has him, well, scratching his head if probably far too mild, more like tearing out his hair.....or someone else's hair.

So, there they are - the Winner, the Outlaw, the Female and the Old Man. No wonder they are so often the focus of NASCAR attention.