Sometimes the news is good like it was at Talladega last week. Entertaining races and I loved the Cup guys manning the microphones for the Xfinity race. They were laid back, funny, and in the case of Darrell Wallace, Jr., pretty darn articulate.
Talladega was sweet. That was the kind of action that captured my attention as a kid, watching Wide World of Sports. As Jim McKay so iconically put it all those years ago, “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition.” That was Sunday at Talladega.
While most of the Daytona 500 headlines will focus on Austin Dillon’s win in the iconic No. 3, runner-up Darrell Wallace Jr. quietly captured the hearts of NASCAR fans everywhere as his emotions overwhelmed him after the race.
Unstable. Set to go off with the least provocation. No, I’m not talking about CNN or late night talk show hosts, most celebrities, or more than a few politicians. What I am referring to is the Daytona 500.
Many in the NASCAR community agree with the comments made by Trump, Childress, and Petty, that whoever refuses to stand for the anthem should be fired. It has made a volatile situation, first started in the NFL, worse. Many others in the NASCAR community also believe that these comments did more harm than good for the sport's image, an image it has tried to shed and has only marginally succeeded.
For a race that has been around since 1958, it is a damn shame that it does not carry the proper branding to link it over the decades to the time it was claimed by the likes of Speedy Thompson, Cotton Owens, and Joe Weatherly. Let us properly honor it and refer to this Saturday night’s contest in Richmond, Virginia as the Federated Auto Parts Capital City 400.
History and tradition. Often NASCAR sells it out for a corporate buck, but the Southern 500 was a race to win long before they went round and round at Daytona, Talladega, or all those generic races on cookie cutter 1.5-mile tracks across the country. It was the race a driver wanted to win. That legacy continued in Darlington, South Carolina on Sunday night at the track too tough to tame, the famed Lady in Black.
Bristol is where the legends win. Darrell Waltrip won a dozen times there. Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt, and Rusty Wallace each had nine. Then there is Kyle Busch, who’s victory on Saturday night pushed him to six, one more than his brother Kurt and David Pearson. Each one in the Hall of Fame, or will be. No exceptions.
Did his lack of success over recent years stunt NASCAR's growth? Maybe, it was his continued presence that kept it from sliding further down the tubes. In fact, the champion has only taken the Most Popular Driver award six times in the season they won the championship. The last was Bill Elliott nearly 30 years ago. So much for Harvick's theory.