Where did we go?

I took a moment and reflected on myself and racing fans the day of Dario Franchiti’s horrific accident.  It came to me how similar this incident was to NASCAR’s horrific accident in the Nationwide Series in Daytona when we all held our breath and prayed for the fans that were hurt.  Thankfully Kyle Larson was not injured.  When I went on twitter, I was amazed at the tweets with prayers and how NASCAR fans found that common ground and became one united family, tweeting #NascarStrong and more.  No one cared who your favorite driver was, we were all going to unite and support each other, we were a family.

Then I looked at how we did the same thing the day Dario was in the accident even though it wasn’t a NASCAR event we became one again. Our prayers were of healing, our thoughts of the family and fans that were injured and how it was like Daytona all over again and then it hit me where did all that go? Why did it take such a horrific crash to bring us back together? How did we go from Daytona to caring so much about each other to just literally being full of hate because of some fans favorite drivers?

I have seen fans bullied because they like Kyle Busch or Jimmie Johnson and I don’t understand why the hate?  What gives us the audacity to hate those drivers that put their lives on the line for the glory,some for the money perhaps, some for the love of the racing, and mostly for us the fans. Some of these drivers paid the ultimate price like Dale Earnhardt Sr., Neil Bonnett, and Dan Wheldon.  Some drivers paid indirectly like Dick Trickle, Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki, yet here we are wishing drivers to crash? What type of fan wishes any driver harm? Why? I have my driver and I have those I do not care for, but to wish them to crash? I have seen some saying Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart got what they deserved?

My point is after Daytona I was proud to be a racing fan. I was proud that we were united and the hate was gone. I was proud of the sport and who I was as a fan then I realized I wasn’t proud anymore not even of myself, I too got caught up in the tornado of what fans can be and you know what? I didn’t like what I saw until Franchiti’s crash. That reminded me of the fan I want to be. I want to be proud again. What kind of fan do you want to be? I know I hope not to get lost in that tornado again.

These are just my feelings, like them or not, agree with them or not, read it or not, it doesn’t change the truth. Look in the mirror when you are saying hateful things about drivers that did nothing to you personally, ask yourself is this the kind of fan you want to be?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

Michelle Lippold
Michelle Lippold
I've grown up watching racing of some sort from midgets to Stock Cars since I was a child. I run the FB page Everything NASCAR but really want to explore my love of writing and racing together. I love both things so I decided to try combining them.


  1. Michelle – you hit the nail on the head – some of the replies say they do not hate, they dislike. What does the dictionary say?

    [heyt] Show IPA verb, hat·ed, hat·ing, noun

    verb (used with object)
    1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.

    2. to be unwilling; dislike: I hate to do it.

    verb (used without object)
    3. to feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility.

    4. intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility.

    5. the object of extreme aversion or hostility.
    Copied from Dictionary.com

    It is a very sad state of affairs when tragedy brings unity, crosses bias feelings and has people praying for the victims and or families. The feeling does not last very long before people go right back to their old selves. We (NASCAR fans) are no different from other sport fans who are waiting for the hockey fight or the clearing of the benches at a baseball game. we have our favorite drivers or teams and hate (dislike intensely, a strong aversion against or hostility toward) all others. We live in a country where everyone has the freedom of speech. What we do not have the freedom to do is take away the freedom of others. THANK YOU MICHELLE FOR YOUR ARTICLE – I HOPE TO SEE MORE FROM YOU IN THE FUTURE.

  2. Michelle, I have never used the word hate for any driver. I have some I like a lot more then others but the word hate is childish and cruel. I was a fan of Dale Sr and sat watching the race at home. I did not go that year, not sure why. My young son went with friends. A month earlier I had just got my Dale Sr SS Monte I still have. My son called me and asked if we were watching and he should have known we were and I was crying…Dale always told them if I wreck and its bad, don’t bring out the blue termic. My son said you could hear a pin drop and he heard a man behind him making a comment that he hope the wrecked killed the and in words I will not repeat. My son was underage but he yelled back at the man and several others did also. I could not believe anyone would wish a driver to be dead. I can’t stand the word hate let alone wish death on a driver. I have met several and know many personally from the old Nashville Fairgrounds when I was young and they use to have NASCAR racing their. My love of racing began when I was young. I loved your article very much. I wish everyone felt the same way. It takes 43 drivers to make a Sprint Cup Race each weekend…have a good day Michelle

    • Forgot to say Dario lived almost in my back door until his wife asked for a divorce. Upset a lot of people in my hometown area when he had that horrific wreck. Also, I was a huge fan of Kulwicki before Dale and was at Bristol when they drove his rigs off the track backwards the weekend he was killed flying in to race…sad, oh so sad

  3. I do not think we “hate” any drivers, but dislike or not feel any joy when a certain driver comes away victorious. I feel that way about Keselowski, Logano, and Vickers, but should any of them knock on my door I would love to welcome them in (and no doubt change my mind in regards to them). It is enjoyable to have heros and villans, even if what makes them that in our minds is based on very little. For example, to many Dale Earnhardt was a character we saw on the track or on television, but one who became so very human when reality tragically forced its way upon us.


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