The Frontstretch: Is NASCAR Suffering From A Diva Complex? by Summer Bedgood -- Monday April 8, 2013

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Is NASCAR Suffering From A Diva Complex?

Summer Bedgood · Monday April 8, 2013

 

Sometimes NASCAR drivers are just impossible to understand. One minute they’re burning rubber on track, making three wide passes and proving why they’re in NASCAR in the first place. The next, they’re bitching on pit road about another driver racing them too hard with 10 laps to go. They go from zero to hero, shining to whining, in a matter of moments, and it’s disheartening.

Take the post-race … er … “scuffle” on pit road between Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers last Sunday at Martinsville (though it’s hardly a scuffle when they use their cars). I’ve watched the replay of the last few laps and, frankly, I just don’t get it. With just a few laps left, Vickers, Harvick, and Danica Patrick (!) were battling for right around the 12th position. Vickers blamed Patrick for blocking (which she was), and Harvick got upset with the way Vickers was blocking him (which he was). Nobody did anything wrong, but they were racing. It was Martinsville. It happens.

Then, post-race, Harvick flat turned him. Just … right around. Right there. Hooked his right rear and sent Vickers around. Just like that. Then, on pit road, Harvick basically rode the side of Vickers’ car all the way down.

It would have been funny to watch if it wasn’t so … strange. After all, they were just racing, weren’t they?

Now, before I go further, let me explain something, because somehow this got lost on everyone the last time I tried to make this point. I’m not complaining. I’m not saying I don’t like drivers showing emotion. I’m not even denying that part of me enjoys watching drivers lose their heads over nothing. Don’t we all?

But, still, I don’t get it. These guys are professional, top of the line, best of the best drivers in the United States and arguably in the world. Most of them have fought tooth and nail to get to where they are, and they’ve raced at many different racetracks and won several types of races on various levels. It’s a wonder they don’t just feel lucky to be there.

One thing is for sure, for all of them: they love to race. It appears, though, that they don’t love to be raced. There have been several incidents already this year with examples of that. Stewart and Logano. Logano and Hamlin. And, apparently, Vickers and Harvick.

Let’s rewind just a tad from Martinsville and go back to this whole “blocking” … what? Controversy? Debate? Whatever you want to call it, it was annoying. What were labeled as “convincing” arguments from drivers who are against blocking (and who, ironically, are some of the worst blockers), were basically just veiled arguments for “why you should let me drive right by you no matter what lap it is.” It was honestly pathetic to listen to, and I was trying not to rip my hair out as they spoke. How can championship winning or championship caliber drivers seriously sit there and talk about how other drivers should race them?

It’s what I call the “diva complex.” Come back to Martinsville, if you will. We all essentially predicted some sort of brawl, dust-up, or some sort of confrontation. We wanted it, and it wasn’t a matter of “if”, it was a matter of “when”. But why did we expect it ? Or, more importantly, how?

Honestly, we probably expected the divers to be racing too hard and someone completely overreacting to it. That seems to be the norm with incidents like that and it has been since racing of any form has been in existence. But doesn’t it seem wrong when it’s not just some undeserved bump from another driver or something similar?

In other words, again at tracks like Martinsville, it seems to me that there are so many double standards flying around NASCAR that it sometimes becomes difficult to take them seriously. How can I, when they get out of the car and start complaining about how hard the others were racing with five laps to go? It’s one thing for things to be heat of the moment, but there are many repeat offenders in the garage area and I still struggle to understand it.

If NASCAR drivers are the best of the best, it seems it’s way too difficult for them to acknowledge that there are others out there too. It’s fun to watch, no doubt, but it’s also under-the-skin aggravating. Heck, if they don’t like it, I’ll drive!

In other words, keep up the amazing driving. But lower the egos a little, will ya?

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Tommy T.
04/08/2013 12:03 PM
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Some drivers don’t adhere to the I-95 rule that says slower traffic should keep to the right. Apparently some drivers believe it is okay to act like they are racing to maintain there position…or something. It is incumbent on the aggrieved driver to teach these violators a lesson on proper and safe traffic management.

grumpiestoldman
04/08/2013 12:21 PM
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Big egos lead to much hypocrisy.

Dyno Dave
04/08/2013 01:35 PM
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Last time I checked there isn’t a I-95 rule in stock car racing. If you can’t get around clean, then you just must not be fast enough. Either quit whining or go ahead and knock ‘em outta the way if you really must. But be prepared to suffer the same fate when the roles are reversed…

Alan Sorensen
04/08/2013 02:01 PM
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I’m with you guys. Race and quit whining about “breaking a nail”, or let some one else into your ride…

Steve
04/08/2013 03:34 PM
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These guys are just simply spoiled. They race on these huge 1 1/2-2 mile tracks where you can go 10 wide without touching and its a pretty easy day for these guys most every week. Put them in a bull ring and they become a bunch of whiners. What would happen if they had to race on short tracks every week. (I’m still dreaming for that day again)

Also, these guys coming up take every bump personally. Its racing, contact is going to be made. Deal with it. But they sure don’t have a problem punting someone to get a win.

Bottom line is, with the exception of a few drivers, the rest of them are soft, been handed the best equipment most of their driving lives. When they have to actually work inside the car, they whine. Some of them just need to man up. Your getting paid well to drive a race car. I’m sure any Nascar fan would love to take your place if you can’t handle it.

Joe..
04/08/2013 03:51 PM
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Summer, agreed.

GinaV24
04/08/2013 06:38 PM
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Steve, man, you said it all!

Summer,yes, there are a lot of divas out there on the track, too. Makes for a lot of nonsense but not much racing.

Johnboy60
04/08/2013 10:22 PM
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Amen Steve!!

k
04/09/2013 03:40 AM
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Your observation Summer would have more merit if you kept true to the dynamics of racing and no bias reporting had you voiced your displeasure a week or two earlier..ie the Logano controversy fueled by two whiners and big bullies in two different races. We did not see you step down from your bully pulpit and defend the blameless Logano. Tooth and nail in describing an “earner” I hope you are refering to Danica that has “earned” her way thru sponser dollars, not like your “favorite” driver Logano who has been “earning” his living since he was a very young. I am amazed, although one shouldn’t be with todays “experts”..LOL. Funny how it suits you when it suits you Summer…come on. We have been calling your boys “Divas” for years..