[media-credit id=22 align=”alignright” width=”255″][/media-credit]Have you ever noticed that what goes on in NASCAR has a lot of similarities to regular life? When I was a boy, sometimes my daddy would come up behind me and gave me a sharp tap. It made me go faster, something like bump drafting did out on the track at Daytona. Today, the bump has become more of a massage, including the use of lubricants, and it involves a lot of sliding around. No question, it sure is different, it raises things to a certain level of excitement, and I like it. At least, I do when it comes to discussing the racing applications.
The reason is simple. There is no way in God’s creation that you or I could pull it off. Saturday night, we saw Brad Keselowski send Trevor Bayne to the promised land when he got too far inside and spun his partner. I could have done the same thing at 30 mph. Driving up to 190, with only the car you are pushing in your sights, with only him and a spotter keeping you from disaster, takes a lot of skill and guts. There is very little room for error. Do it right, and the pair of you can go from the back to the front in a hurry. Do it wrong, and one of you ends up sitting with Trevor Bayne…or Carl Edwards. As they thunder to the line, we have two partners who may or may not stick it out together to the end racing against two or three other teams who are wondering the same thing. It is different, it might be what Dale Earnhardt Jr calls “weird racing”, it might even make you feel a tad uncomfortable, but you can’t say it is not pretty exciting.
Thanks to a push from Matt Kenseth, David Ragan and UPS finally got to stick it to Denny Hamlin and Federal Express, who finished 13th. It marked the first Cup win for the 25-year old, lifting him into the Top 20, and even placed Ragan in the final wild card spot for the Chase with nine to go. All-in-all, a rather successful day. Not so for Ryan Newman (23rd) and Mark Martin (33rd), a pair of boys who have been sliding as of late and have yet to find some solid ground to rebound with.
Maybe that will come on Saturday as the boys make their first Cup visit to the 11-year old facility in Sparta, Kentucky. It is about 3-hours away from the hometown of the Waltrip brothers, with Michael making a return to the track in a car with his Hall of Fame brother’s mug on the hood. As you can tell, there are a lot things in life that can make you feel uncomfortable than just lubricated bumpers being massaged by the guy behind. Enjoy the week!