Friday, August 23, 2013

Everything Happens for a Reason: Five Questions for Bristol

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I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason. Lucky breaks aren’t so lucky after all, and an accident has a whole other meaning. In my eyes, there is a universal balance beam we are all tiptoeing on. Gravity pulls us down when we’re too flimsy, and we regain our footing due to our personal strength.

That right there is the definition of life.

There’s this country song I listen to from time to time, and the singer talks about all the chances he didn’t take and lessons he didn’t know back when he was younger. In the end, he realizes that the things that didn’t happen set him up for the life he now has with his wife and his child. Everything that did (or didn’t) come through led to something greater.

This all ties into something I feel people lack: faith. I’m not talking about faith in a religious sense, either.

We never believe in ourselves enough, what our minds and bodies can do. When an obstacle ruins our perfect vision, our first instinct is to get upset and fester. What we should do is shake it off and reroute our mindsets. There is a specific reason for that twist, and that’s because you can deal with it. You don’t think you can, but you’re wrong.

The trials and tribulations of our lives are meant to test not your ability - but your faith. I think that’s a great thing. I also think it’s necessary.

Because everything happens for a reason, whether we realize it or not.

This week in Five Questions, I tackle the points leader, the redeeming value of a fantastic finish, and the impact of Tony Stewart’s leg. We’re headed to Bristol Motor Speedway, baby, and it’s going to be wicked.

How will points leader Jimmie Johnson fare in Thunder Valley? After troubles at Michigan International Speedway, Johnson’s concentration is slipping, and it may continue on at Bristol. The strong suit of the No. 48 team is mental acuity, and the crash in final practice led to a shaken brain setup. Also, the engine that blew during the race was meant for the first race of The Chase. That should make them nervous. So, with all those outside factors, the team is most likely off their game, and that makes them vulnerable. Vulnerable is the one thing you don’t want to be in racing.

Will Kyle Busch complete The Sweep? Wednesday night was the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, officially beginning the ROWDY weekend (get it?) with a win by Busch. This threw everyone into a flashback, thinking about when he won all three races at the track. With new life and fire, is it possible for him to repeat that impressive tale? Heck yeah it is. The only thing that stands in his way are those who want it more, and being more passionate than Busch? It isn’t a common feat.

Does a crazily heated finish make up for an ‘Eh’ race? On his way to that win, Busch had to hold off a charging Timothy Peters, setting us up to witness an incredible finish. That got me thinking: everyone remembers the endings because they’re pivotal … but does an energetic finish overshadow a ho-hum race? I’m not saying the Trucks race was bad, but it started turning gears in my head. A book, for example, is usually known for its climax, and then its ultimate resolution. But does the underlying storyline and twists and turns force you to forget the terrible writing style and editing? That’s something that might eat at me for a while.

Who goes all out for that vital win? I mentioned someone wanting a win more than Kyle Busch, and there are a few candidates on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series side. Those who are in need of a win are on that list, as is one unhappy camper. Drivers like Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Clint Bowyer need a win to strengthen their Chase berths, while Kasey Kahne is angry at the youngest Busch and can retaliate this weekend. A win would sweeten his chance at the top 10, too. With The Chase looming, it’s time to go.

What impact does Tony Stewart and his injury have on NASCAR? As I said before, everything happens for a reason, and Stewart’s injury is no exception. Not only did it bring attention - yet again - to the dangerous side of the sport, but it brought out how much NASCAR benefits from the driver. It’s difficult to watch a race without him when he’s been in every one you’ve seen. That has forced us to change courses. We can’t pick him for our fantasy lineup, and it makes a world without him competing seem more realistic. I think the whole situation grounded us - and Stewart. For him, his faith is tested; it’s difficult to remain positive when you’re suddenly out for the rest of the season. Although this is a terrible incident, something can definitely be learned from all of this.

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