Race Weekend Central

For NASCAR, How Much Havin’ at It Is Too Much?

Who would have ever thought that we’d be talking about Brad Keselowski winning a fuel-mileage race on Sunday, a couple days after Richard Childress allegedly opened a can of whoop-up on one Kyle Busch?

Keselowski, known for rough-and-tumble racing on the track, finessed his way to victory in the STP 400, topping Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a battle of fuel strategy rather than on-track action. Childress, known for his charm and stature within the NASCAR community, was involved in an altercation with Busch in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage following Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

What’s next? Kevin Harvick opening up a charm school?

Reports of Childress putting Busch in a headlock and delivering three punches exploded into the blogosphere, and it was on. Kyle Busch, as you know, is on probation for the bizarre ending at Darlington last month and his part in the post-race throwdown with Harvick.

NASCAR said Busch did nothing to violate his probation when he slid up beside Joey Coulter after the checkered in the Truck race and left a visible reminder that he considered something the youngster had done on the track at issue.

After that, Childress did the romp and stomp, and NASCAR stopped short of suspending the venerable owner for the weekend. NASCAR President Mike Helton, who I imagine would like to stop seeing RCR personnel in the trailer on such a regular basis, said RC’s punishment will be announced soon.

Like, today or Tuesday.

Helton had to walk a pretty fine line with the penalties, restricting Childress’s movement at the track on Sunday (read: he couldn’t be on pit road). Given the vitriol that Busch has taken from NASCAR fans since Darlington, it was bound to happen sooner or later between KBM and RCR/KHI. I just didn’t figure it would be RC doing the deed.

This will end soon, because Childress won’t let it cost his teams money or points, but the lingering discontent remains. Busch can be arrogant and he is nearly universally disliked by segments of the NASCAR fanbase, but this seems a touch much, don’t you think?

I’m all for a little emotion and a little in-your-face and some by-God excitement in NASCAR, but is this really what we’re after? A couple of guys wrestling around the Truck garage for something that happened a month ago and was arguably more the RCR driver’s fault than the one who ended up getting ambushed by the team owner?

Thank you, no.

Meanwhile, on the racetrack, Keselowski played the fuel-mileage game to perfection and led the final nine laps, easily holding off Earnhardt Jr.

One of these days, Earnhardt Jr. is going to figure out how to win a fuel-mileage race, because he’s certainly getting a lot of practice in them. Last weekend at Charlotte, Earnhardt ran dry on the backstretch coming to the checkered and finished seventh at CMS.

Denny Hamlin came home third, on the same schedule as Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon ran fourth. Points leader Carl Edwards was fifth while Jimmie Johnson rallied for seventh. Edwards has 40 points on Five-Time heading to Pocono.

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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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