Good guys, Classy Confession and a Whiny, Spoiled Brat

“They can build safer racecars, they can build safer walls, but they can’t get their heads out of their asses to keep them on the racetrack, and that’s disappointing.” ~ Ryan Newman


Who says good guys always finish last?  There is no nicer guy in the NASCAR garage then David Ragan.  You could feel the joy in the voices of the other drivers and crew chiefs who quickly congratulated Ragan on his victory at the Aaron’s 449.  His teammate David Gilliland finished second.  A thrilling green, white, and checkered flag after nearly a 4-hour rain delay ended with the surprising Ragan driving his Front Row Motorsports Ford to the victory.

This was Ragan’s second Sprint Cup win, both coming at restrictor plate tracks.  Ragan won the 2011 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.  Ragan’s victory was very popular among his peers.  Sprint Cup Point leader Jimmie Johnson when told of Ragan’s victory responded, “That’s awesome.”

Matt Kenseth, who seemed to have the best car most of the day also weighed in;  “Congratulations to David (Ragan) and David (Gilliland).  It’s always good to see underdogs win.”

Even Carl Edwards, who seemed frustrated by losing the race chimed in;  “As frustrated as I am I’m really happy for Ragan and Gilliland.  I see how hard teams have to work to be competitive at this level.  It truly could not happen to two better guys.”

As is typical of a restrictor plate race, “The Big One”, a crash on lap 43, involved 16 cars. Kyle Busch drove into Kasey Kahne near the front of the field causing cars to scramble everywhere.   To his credit, Kyle Busch quickly assumed responsibility for the crash calling to his Crew Chief on the radio, “I’m all right.  I caused it.….It’s hauler hurt.  I can’t drive it.”

An extremely long rain delay gave NASCAR its first chance to try out its new toy, the Air Titan.  NASCAR says that the new track drying system can dry tracks in a fraction of the time as the Jet Dryer system traditionally used.  Sunday, it appeared that the Air Titan saved the day.

Not all the drivers were happy that the race resumed.  Among the most ridiculous comments was made by an unhappy Ryan Newman.  Newman got caught up on the wreck on lap 183 and wasted no time going after NASCAR.  His first beef was over NASCAR’s seemingly inability to keep the cars from going airborne.  “They can build safer racecars, they can build safer walls, but they can’t get their heads out of their asses to keep them on the racetrack, and that’s disappointing.”

Then Newman showed the world what a spoiled rotten, whiney brat he is when he complained about the race restarting after a long delay and with darkness approaching.  Newman continued, “I wanted to get my point across. Y’all can figure out who ‘they’ is.  That’s no way to end a race.  Our car was much better than that.  That’s just poor judgment in restarting the race.  Poor judgment.”

So let me see if I get this straight.  Let’s take an average family of four who are lucky enough to attend one NASCAR race a year.  Tickets cost about $300.  Hotel room for two nights, $300.  Gas, $100.  Food and incidentals, $300 which totals to $1,000.  That’s a big expense for the average NASCAR fan and I’m sure those in attendance appreciated the effort by NASCAR in finishing the race.   I’ve been one of those paying customers who are asked to sit in the rain for hours hoping that there will be racing.  I’ve been on the lucky side as a fan when the track gets dry and they resume racing and I’ve been on the unlucky side as well, when the race was postponed.  When that happens you get back in your car and drive home as work calls the next day.   That’s money down the drain.  NASCAR, unlike Newman, realizes that without the paying customer there is no NASCAR.

On Sunday, the fans were asked to sit in the rain for close to four hours, and NASCAR did everything in their power to provide the fans with a complete race.   Newman calls that poor judgment?  Maybe the poor judgment label should be hung on Newman’s sponsor for sponsoring this brat’s career.   Certainly Newman showed poor judgment by opening his mouth!

NASCAR should be commended for their extraordinary efforts to provide the paying customers an opportunity to see the race run to its finish.   I’m pretty sure that if Newman finished in the lead he’d be singing a different song today.  In fact, other drivers were quick to defend NASCAR for running the end of the race.  Matt Kenseth who led 142 laps but finished 8th, and Carl Edwards who finished third, both said after the race that the conditions were fine.

So the weekend ended with a truly good guy, David Ragan winning the race and a former bad guy, Kyle Busch showing a bit of class by accepting responsibility for an accident, and a whiney, spoiled brat, crying about his lot in life.  Such is life on the NASCAR circuit.  On to Darlington, South Carolina where Jimmie Johnson looks to repeat last season’s victory at the track that’s too tough to tame.

My picks for Darlington:

  1. Greg Biffle
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Matt Kenseth

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