Race Weekend Central

Fan’s View: Friday Night Fights… Off the NASCAR Track

It really didn’t get much better than this. Kyle Busch in his Nationwide No. 18 was hanging tight with the latest bad boy of the sport, Brad Keselowski, on a Friday night. Lights streaked across the hoods — side-by-side and nose to tail they were putting on a show. And then the predictable happened. It had to happen. After all, those are two young hotheads who can’t see themselves anywhere other than victory lane.

Brad bumped Kyle — he just didn’t manage to wreck him. This may have ticked off the younger Busch brother, resulting in an obvious retaliatory strike against the No. 22, turning the Penske ride into a spin on the high banks of Bristol. Game over.

Maybe, but the night’s conversation had just began. Both I and my husband hopped off the couch, pointing at the TV and yelling assorted profanities… until we realized our comments did not mirror each other’s. I thought the entire altercation was awesome — two young guns letting it all hang out. He wanted Kyle placed in the corner with a dunce hat. And so the evening ensued.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. It won’t be the last. It’s part of the fun of belonging to a NASCAR family. We do our best to maintain a calm balance, but when we start squabbling over whether we should put the No. 48 car on a shelf or the No. 24, things can get a bit dicey. I fought for years over the Jimmie Johnson flag for the RV. He eggs the crowd on when Kyle climbs from his car and asks the crowd to boo louder.

And we should all know that who we cheer and jeer for doesn’t stop when we walk out our front doors. Visiting with the rest of the family on Sunday afternoon has all the potential for an all out brawl, if the wrong things are said. It was a sticky thing when Junior declared his new allegiance with the Hendrick boys. I spent half a season circling known Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans, deciding if I could welcome the then ‘Red Army’ onto my side of the street — even after I sent my Mom a No. 88 bear for Christmas.

At work, it’s been a love/hate relationship with one particular co-worker. He’s always liked Smoke. I spent a few too many years griping about the angry man in orange to sit quietly while Mike talked about another victory for his man. We’ve come to something of a truce, although I have to admit I’ve come to accept the angrier side of Tony as he’s grown over the years.

I guess I can make myself something of a target, as well. A new rule was put in place this year, after several employees were told to tell Mrs. Grady how much they love Danica Patrick… the name is no longer permitted to be spoken in my earshot.

What do we learn from all this? Only that if you’re a NASCAR nut, your allegiances to your drivers are strong, and equally so, your dislikes. And if you wish to maintain civil conversations over the supper table, it’s best to know what number your guests cheer for before you serve up a little tidbit like, “Kyle Busch is the most awesome driver ever!”

As to the status of the Busch/Keselowski discussion in my home? Well, this is my column. Brad poked a hornet’s nest thinking he could sneak by. Did he honestly believe Kyle would just let him go? Ha! Does it make Busch a nice person? No. It just makes him a hell of a driver.

That still won’t change my husband’s opinion… Kyle Busch sucks.

And life goes on.

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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