(Photo: NKP)

3 Burning Questions & An Open Letter to You, a Keyboard Warrior

Hey, random social media person.

You’ve been pretty busy this week, haven’t you? There’s been so many news stories that you’ve decided that you must comment on, even though, in many cases, you have neither the grammar nor the critical thinking skills to actually say anything on the topic.

Just stop. Stop. Because nobody important cares.

When NASCAR had its moment of silence for George Floyd aired live on Fox immediately prior to the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, you logged into Facebook and had a meltdown in NASCAR’s comment sections. Like an insensitive baby.

Then you kept watching the race. I know you did, because almost 4 million people continued to watch a boring race for four hours and 500 miles. It was a race begging to be tuned out of, and one that you probably thought was, after the so-called controversies at the start of the race. But it wasn’t, because few actually care.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Richard Petty Motorsports would be running a Black Lives Matter paint scheme the next night. “I’m done with NASCAR, this is the last straw.”

The next day, you saw the news about NASCAR removing the section of its rulebook requiring drivers and personnel to stand during the national anthem. Complained about that. Then an hour later, NASCAR announced no more confederate flags will be allowed at its facilities. “Oh, man, they’re killing the sport, no more for me”.

What will be it for you? When will you be done with the sport? If you’re done, stop watching. Because if you cannot open your mind to another person’s perspectives on life, and if it’s such a concern for you that you need to inform the world the sport is dying with every news story in the comments, NASCAR has made it very clear it does not care. Nothing you can say will change things. This is almost all because you cannot accept that you may be wrong about something. You talk and type a lot, yet you don’t seem to actually listen and read.

You are the minority. Feels bad, doesn’t it?

Really? Over this?

And not only all of that, but the Confederate flag? Really? That’s the latest thing to quit the sport over? Possibly the final hill to die on? That you can’t fly or display the flag (on private property, mind) of people who relied so much on slave labor for their economy they chose to turn on our country and fight the worst war in America’s history over it? A flag that both offends people and is just a complete embarrassment because it’s 2020 and this is still a thing?

Hear that? That’s the sound of keyboards clicking in the comments about how, “That’s not the real ‘federate flag, that’s a ‘federate ARMY flag,” like that’s going to change a single thing.

People have this weird thing with the Confederate flag where they talk about the heritage of it and how proud they are of their ancestors for fighting in the war. OK, cool. Whatever. Fly it on a flagpole on your property. If not allowing it at a NASCAR race because people feel uncomfortable with it around is such a deal breaker, again, don’t come. The flag means something different to a lot of people, a source of hate and a source of embarrassment. Stop talking about spending no more time or money on NASCAR, start doing just that.

Nobody is saying, “let’s wash away history.” The names of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis will be known and studied forever in the pages of history. But just because these were important figures does not mean they deserve to be honored with statues or their flags being flown. It actually goes against the wishes of Lee to be memorialized like this for his deeds.

Ray Ciccarelli quit the sport because of this. OK. Who cares? Go home. This is a man whose life highlight will be Ice Cube saying the same thing about him on Twitter. What has Ciccarelli ever done in NASCAR again? All Maryland drivers sans the Hill family both on and off the track (including myself) are hot garbage.

Dale Earnhardt actually listened to somebody who told him they were uncomfortable with a rebel flag bumper sticker. His son hates it. Maybe the Earnhardt family and its opinions mean more then Ciccarelli and the original Trump truck guy, who is so scared of Twitter backlash he keeps his account locked. Yeah, all these people had absolutely no problems with Trump cars and trucks over the years, but now they’re mad about politics in NASCAR.

If anybody needs a flag to fly on their RV line, just pick up the stars and stripes. Or an Earnhardt No. 3. Or this. Maybe this. Wait, this. There are so many more options for people to show that they are proud of their country, the sport or of their way of life.

The only argument people have for the flag that I haven’t touched on yet is “muh tradition,” which I’m sure is an argument people had against civil rights in the first place. Just because something was done in the past for a long time doesn’t make it cool to do. It’s important to remember it, but don’t honor something that would be condemned today.

NASCAR cannot change its past. It will always have to live with Johnny Reb, the mistreatment of Wendell Scott and the general lack of diversity the sanctioning body had in its first 72 years. But NASCAR can change its future, and while banning the that ultimately represents this country’s original sin is a first step that took way too long to be taken, it most definitely is a first step.

Who could win a sizzler at Homestead-Miami Speedway?

Ever since NASCAR announced a makeup date at Homestead for mid-June, there has been a lot of anticipation and a lot of fear for this weekend.

Florida? In the summer? Only one night race? This sounds like a hot mess of a weekend. Thankfully, it looks to be a cloudy weekend, so while it’s going to be hot and muggy, at least for drivers and crews, there will not be the unforgiving sun shining on them.

The NASCAR Cup Series is the main event of a packed weekend of racing. Homestead has been the best mile-and-a-half racetrack for years now, and it’s going to be extremely interesting to see how different this track is going to be when it’s hot and slick.

It’s really a mixed bag as to who in Cup could do well on Sunday. The best overall driver at Homestead, Kyle Larson, is MIA. And a lot of the drivers who have done well at Homestead in the past were racing for a championship; how much of that is because it’s Homestead, and how much was because it was for a championship?

Probably the only decent pick this week is Kevin Harvick, due to winning at Homestead in the past and being just so consistent this season. And even then, like everybody else in the field, Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers have never come to Homestead in near-90-degree heat.

What about the Xfinity Series doubleheader?

Homestead will also host two Xfinity races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Both will have significant importance.

Saturday’s race will be the only scheduled appearance for Dale Earnhardt Jr. this year in NASCAR. Earnhardt has never won at Homestead before in either Cup or NXS competition. On Sunday, the second race of the Dash 4 Cash series will be held.

The four drivers eligible for $100,000 this time around are AJ Allmendinger, Justin Haley, Daniel Hemric and last week’s big money winner, Noah Gragson. All four drivers are in Chevrolets, with Allmendinger and Haley driving for Kaulig Racing and Hemric and Gragson driving for JR Motorsports.

Of these four, Gragson is the favorite to win another $100,000, but don’t count out Allmendinger. With the veteran not running for a championship and coming off his Atlanta win with a lot of momentum, he may just play the spoiler again this weekend.

As far as both races, keep an eye on the No. 98 Ford of Chase Briscoe. Briscoe comes from the same dirt racing background as Larson, which seemed to really help Larson do well at this track in all series throughout the years. Expect more of the same out of Briscoe this weekend.

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Michael has watched NASCAR for 15 years and began covering the sport five years ago. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and a proud member of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA).

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10 comments

  1. Avatar

    Well said

    • Avatar

      I can’ t wait until the closed sign is hung in the gates at Daytona.
      Bubba Wallace really? This is a person that is so immature that he flips off fellow competitors. If you want a spokesman, find someone who has actually accomplished something.

  2. Avatar

    “…if you cannot open your mind to another person’s perspectives on life”

    And how much are you opening your mind to those who this does matter to? Couldn’t you be accused of the same thing?

    I do not care about the flag but I do care about the censorship and taking the rights of others who have a differing opinion. It seems to me that if everyone started listing things others do that they do not agree with or makes them uncomfortable, no one would be able to leave the house.

    If someone does really care here is what you should do. Start a “Go Fund Me” account to have people contribute to hire a pilot to fly around the race track every week with the flag in toe.

    For anyone that feels

    • Avatar

      You said it Bill. The premise of this perennial clown is that what he says must be correct, and anybody who disagrees with him is fundamentally wrong, so what they think is irrelevant. We have seen people abandon NASCAR over politics and this and that for 20 years. It doesn’t matter a whole lot when one fan does, which was NASCAR’s attitude for all that time. What does matter is when several thousand others join him. What is known without a doubt is that not a single person who doesn’t already follow NASCAR will start now because of this, but many will stop.

      NASCAR and the owners seem to be under the belief that they can survive with DOW selling cellophane bags to General Mills and AXALTA selling paint to Cessna, but this B2B environment they exist in can only go so far. After we are gone, their fancy hospitality parties are over, and so is their television deal. And so is this bloviating cow’s floundering career writing for this D-List website.

  3. Avatar

    First, I don’t do social media. Nor do I watch I racing. You, in your pathetic little man world, don’t understand how to get through to NASCAR. I just began purchasing stock in official sponsors of NASCAR. From there, I will get my shareholder information and will attend the annual shareholder meeting. From there, I will try to speak. I’ll get to NASCAR that way.
    I realize this is far over your insignificant head. But you get their opinion. I have 20 friends that are doing the same thing.
    I’ve been a fan since the early 1960s. I will still attend races and could care less what people feel. I don’t care about flags, symbols, or what some ignoramus twit tweets, and that includes the shills they have employed on SIRIUS.
    The sport will be sold and some of the tracks are headed to developers. It will bring much less than $1 billion, and is on its way out.
    Evolution and natural selection along with survival of the fittest also effects businesses. This one is over.

  4. Avatar

    I don’t disagree with everything you said. However I do detect a very bad know it all attitude. Correct yourself, jerk.

    • Avatar

      Yep I picked up on that smug, eat shit if you don’t like it, overall vibe of article too. Which is the only reason I couldn’t resist responding.

  5. Avatar

    Funny. For a sport that is dying a slow death due to a lack of fans, Nascar and its media shills pandering to these people and creating articles like this pissing off half the fan base (or maybe more) is probably not the best way to go. If you are happy with people leaving the sport, then be careful what you wish for. Nascar has already been reduced back to a niche sport because of its leadership. Nascar could very well become an afterthought considering they are apparently oblivious to the demographics of their core fan base. So good luck in your crusade. I would certainly put aside some time to brush up that resume at some point too.

    • Avatar

      Michael Finley. Your tone in this article seems condescending to me. Interesting that you don’t think we “keyboard warriors” have the academic credentials or grammar skill to comment on your post. Apparently your credentials, has watched NASCAR for 15 years, trumps my 25 years as a crew member and car owner. Maybe you will be the first Fighting Seagull to win a Pulitzer but it won’t be for work like this drivel.

  6. Avatar

    Thanks to the new “wokeness” of nascar they will attract 10’s of people of color and perhaps another 35-50 millennial’s who will soon realize that the cars make a lot of noise and you cannot buy craft beer at the concession stand.