Check out these
recent events: NASCAR’s Jimmy
Spencer punching Kurt Busch in Michigan; Kevin Harvick side-swiping
Ricky Rudd’s car after the race. You’d have thought Vince McMahon has
taken over the radio helmets, telling the drivers where he’s stashed
the folding chairs, and secretly hoping he can start an Extreme NASCAR
couldn’t do worse than the XFL, except, because of all the
labels, there’d no room on the back of the driver’s jump suit to write
“HE HATE ME.” The cheerleaders would have to wear tool belts and
if they swivel too much they’d have to keep a flying wrench from
decking a member of the pit crew. Other than that, it could work.
there were an ENC you can be sure there would be no Winston Cup
rule 12-4-A warning against “actions detrimental to stock car racing.”
It’d be like telling rednecks they couldn’t drink beer. “Hey, Neal. Did
ya hear? Ain’t gonna be no fightin’ anymore down at Greenboro. Well, I
might as well just stay home and kick my dog.”
is you expect an after-the-race skirmish once in a while.
There’s been a long history of punches thrown. And why not a little
road rage? Everyone’s going the same direction. You’re flashing your
left turn signal but they won’t let you pass. You practically sitting
on the horn and they’re creeping along at 150 or so. The guy in the
next car has got the gaudiest stickers you’ve ever seen… a total
embarrassment. If you can get away from him, it couldn’t be too soon.
Your pit crew’s wanting you pick up some milk on the way in and you’re
telling them the traffic is murder. It’s no wonder.
point back to the 1979 famous Daytona 500 Cale Yarborough vs.
the Allison Brothers as the fight that ignited NASCAR. It was the
“Thrilla in Manilla” of after race brawls lasting all of 30 seconds. It
also occurred during CBS’s first live broadcast of the Daytona.
the first time NASCAR racers went to fisticuffs. The 1950s
incidents all seemed to involve 6’5 250 pound Tiny Lund. The first one
was 1957 Lund vs. the Petty Family where the Petty’s Lee, Richard and
Maurice took their turns trying to pound Lund with Lee’s wife,
Elizabeth, swinging her pocketbook.
NASCAR drivers have been boxers, either amateur or pro, so it’s
not unusual to expect punches to be thrown. And, sport wise, the
activities are similar. You’re feeling out the other competitor. You’re
in a peeking from behind your arms position. You’re looking for
openings to make your move and when you got them on the ropes you don’t
let up. And, every so often, you have to report to your support team
for water and repairs.
thing missing would be the pre-race smack down. This would have
Vince McMahon’s touch. Michael Waltrip would be snarling “Rusty Wallace
drives like he’s in a bass boat. My grand mother drives better than he
does… and she’s in a wheel chair.”
grunts back “Yeah, and she was wheeling
pretty good in my motel room last night.”
hope it doesn’t come to that.