Friday, May 9, 2014

In the Real World: Five Questions for Kansas

(Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
There are times when a best effort isn’t enough.
Not every single person in life will appreciate the things you do. They won't pat you on the back and say, "Good job!" or "You did great!" when you accomplish something. You head home, sit on the couch, and wonder what you're doing wrong. Nothing is being done wrong. It's just life. I don't think we are aptly prepared for the harsh things that will be thrown at us. Our young lives are spent curled up in blankets as our parents check under out beds for monsters. We feel better after our boo-boos are kissed. Once our fears are refuted, nerves subside, and we are calm. Things don't work that way in the real world, and that's what stuns us. If I've learned anything in my 18 years, it's that giving up is never an option. I've been surrounded by strong, inspirational people, and they've walked through hell with a smile. They've accepted the fact that not everyone will see them for the warriors they are. There are times when a best effort isn't enough. Those time really suck. However, everything happens for a reason, and this is no exception; when things get rough and no one values you, those obstacles make you a better person. Racing is like that, personal battles are like that, life is like that. On that note, I switch over to NASCAR and Kansas Speedway, which is holding its first night race on Saturday evening. Leading up to that excitement, I discuss the GWC rule, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, and more in this week's Five Questions. What should (or shouldn’t) NASCAR change about the GWC rule? One of the many hot topics that rose out of the race at Talladega Superspeedway was the finish; though the wreck occurred before the white flag flew, the yellow wasn’t thrown until halfway into the last lap. Fans were outraged, and questions rose about the green-white-checkered policy; is it serving its purpose, and what needs to be fixed? Yes, it is serving its purpose, which is to insure a fair, newsworthy finish. Each car had a chance to improve their position, and it’s definitely a major talking point. Now, what needs to be fixed? Nothing. That’s right, nothing needs to be changed. These controversial things happen, and it’s not something worth preaching. If anyone is at fault, it’s the fans for expecting NASCAR to bend over backwards to please them. That is what needs to be changed, not the GWC rule. Who’s at fault, Patrick or Keselowski? In pure restrictor-plate fashion, Danica Patrick was competitive in the beginning of Sunday’s event, the first woman to lead at the track. While running in the bottom line, Keselowski was behind her, itching to slide into contention. He took things three-wide, and the rest wasn’t pretty; his left rear quarter-panel was hooked, and he flew onto the apron. Other cars were damaged when the No. 2 machine came back onto the racing surface. In the replay, it appeared that Keselowski came down on Patrick's front end, and his crew chief Paul Wolfe supported the claim. "We weren't clear to make that move," he told his driver. However, Patrick soon filled her radio with apologies, stating that the incident was her fault. So, who caused it? The answer: Talladega. The style of racing sets drivers up for these situations, and it isn't surprising this happened. I'm going to remain neutral and say it was a racing deal. Is Bowyer the silent threat? You finished third at a restrictor-plate track, you find out that you're going to be a father for the first time, and you sign an extension with your race team after a controversial 2013. Sounds great, right? Well, you must be Clint Bowyer, who's been one lucky son of a gun this week. Let's look at this stats: seven out of his 10 finishes have been top-20s, along with one top-five and three top-10s. Though this record doesn't seem like something to get that excited about, it actually is; there are other drivers, like Kasey Kahne, who are doing much worse. The contract extension is remarkable as well. Not many teams would re-sign a driver that cost them a sponsor and their other car a Chase slot. It doesn't seem that long ago that people were speculating about Bowyer's release. All these events are leading up to the race at Kansas, his home track and one where he excels. Can the driver of the No. 15 cap off a fantastic week with a win that will send him championship-bound? A month-long break? I know I talk about this all the time, but events from this week make it worth discussing. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is accelerating back into the spotlight after a month off. This Monday was also great for the series; Camping World announced that their role as title sponsor has been extended until 2022. With all these exciting factors, one thing still bugs the crap out of me: WHY IS THE SCHEDULE SO MESSED UP? The Trucks put on the best racing, and all the fans agree that it's a phenomenal series to watch on TV and in person. Why is there a break? The series needs to check itself and get with the times. They are missing out on a great opportunity to expand the action and the drivers who help provide it. I'll write about this every week if I have to, as long as the point somehow get across: FIX THE SCHEDULE AND RACE. Speaking of Keselowski, what the (bleep) was he thinking? Keselowski's spin with Patrick sent him and his team back six laps, yet the car remained fast in the draft.This put him up into the thick of things, and he ended up taking multiple people out and angering many. The driver posted a quote on his website's recap. “I was trying to get my lap back and those guys are trying to lead laps,” he said. “There (was) obviously a long way to go and I just had to get to the front and try to stay up there to try and get my lap back. I was racing really hard for that, but for some reason the car took off on me and I spun out. I don’t know why, but I feel bad that we tore up a bunch of cars." Well, now that we know what he was thinking, it's time to say this: I admire Keselowski's tenacity. He's never the one to give up, and that is admirable. Unfortunately, his efforts weren't enough, and they didn't withstand the fickle nature of the draft. Though many others don't understand, his perseverance isn't going unnoticed.

0 comments :

Post a Comment