Just a scant couple of weeks ago in this column, I basically did the journalistic equivalent of ripping Brad Keselowski a new one. Today, I find myself in the position of public defender for the aforementioned “defendant,” who shall henceforth be referred to as BK. Others involved in this investigation, namely Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and NASCAR, shall henceforth be referred to as JG, KH and, well, NASCAR respectively.
First of all, I like to state for the record that NASCAR itself is solely to blame for providing the environment for such extracurricular activities we all witnessed Sunday evening at Texas Motor Speedway. It is, after all, exactly what it wanted when it set this whole cockamamie elimination crap up. The powers that be should be happy and not act at all surprised about any melee that should occur, let alone stand by and later chastise all those involved as NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition was quick to do yesterday in a statement to the media.
“You shouldn’t punch somebody,” Robin Pemberton said. “Everybody gets together, and when you’re holding onto each other and grabbing and this, that and the other, that’s one thing. When punches are landed, that’s a different scenario.”
Well, NASCAR, what did you think was going to happen? The boys were going to break out in a big pillow fight? That’s like going to the dog track nightly to place your wagers, all the while telling your family and friends that dog racing is cruel and an exploitation of the animals. Hey, you wanted this mess and it’s far too late to act all surprised about it now!
Oddly enough, when it comes down to BK’s actions on the track, NASCAR and I are in complete agreement, a statement that I have said maybe three times in 10 years of writing.
“I think it was hard racing, and this is a contact sport,” Pemberton said. “You look at what drivers are trying to do. We had a couple shots at a green-white-checkered finish, and everybody was going for it. Nobody was leaving anything behind.”
Exactly as it should be! BK’s attempt to pass in the middle was good, hard racing. Look at the tape. There was a hole – not for very long, but a hole nonetheless. Of course, JG had a totally different story, and I wonder if it has changed now that he has had time to watch it all, especially from the blimp view.
“We went down into turn 1 and I just wanted to get on the outside of the (No.) 48 and out of nowhere, I just got slammed by the (No.) 2 and it cut my left-rear tire,” JG said. “He’s just a dips–t.”
Now, I can understand JG being very upset in the heat of the moment. It was, after all, his perception of how it all played out. But you and I, the outsiders watching it all unfold, know better (or at least you should, otherwise you are completely obtuse!)
Viewing the evidence reveals clearly that, while BK did go for a hole that was minute, he actually made it in there and it was JG that came back down on him. The video is irrefutable.
So, what does KH have to do with all this fighting?
KH, a guy I usually like, is the biggest a-hole in this whole hole incident.
Again, viewing the video evidence clearly shows KH coming up behind an unsuspecting BK and pushing him toward JG, who up to that point had been restrained far enough away from BK to not be able to get a paw on him. KH’s shove, of course, landed BK in the clutches of JG and the melee ensued. Meanwhile, KH himself slipped off into the crowd and enjoyed the show with the rest of us.
But wait, what’s this voice I hear? We have a confession as well!
“I mean, if you are going to run into people all the time you are going to have to fight your own fight, so I helped him get into it,” said KH post-race.
Mighty valiant of you, KH!
My verdict on all this brawling is simply the following: NASCAR wanted this kind of excitement and now they have it. So… the powers that be need to shut the hell up and don’t get all self-righteous when its boys get into a scuffle that it basically created.
As for JG and BK, neither one should be penalized in any way, shape, or form. Let them work it out among themselves.
If anyone is to be penalized in this whole incidence, it should be KH. Up until he shoves BK, for no reason other than his own self-amusement apparently, it was only a shouting match between two restrained individuals. I can’t sit here and say it never would have come to blows between BK and JG but various videos clearly show KH’s shove of BK in the back made it a certainty.
So sayeth me!
Stay off the wall (and watch your back around KH!),