NASCAR & Auto Racing

Thank you, Bubba. You might have just breathed some life back into NASCAR

Richard Petty won seven Daytona 500 races. Which one is the most memorable?

Richard Petty won an amazing seven Daytona 500 races -- in 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979 and 1981. On Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, the NASCAR Hall of Fame member took a moment to reminisce. Petty is the only seven-time winner of the Daytona 500. Am
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Richard Petty won an amazing seven Daytona 500 races -- in 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979 and 1981. On Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, the NASCAR Hall of Fame member took a moment to reminisce. Petty is the only seven-time winner of the Daytona 500. Am

I had just about forgotten that NASCAR existed.

But thanks to Bubba Wallace, for the first time this season my interest was piqued.

Unfortunately for stock-car racing, it had nothing to do with the sport itself. Instead, it had to do with person vendetta.

Wallace, who was upset with Kyle Busch for running him “the [expletive] over” earlier in Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen, retaliated by spinning the oft-hated driver by spinning him during a caution.

He didn’t stop there, however. He later went on a expletive-filled tirade about the incident.

Now this is fun. Talk about “Have at it, boys!”

Such instances remind me of the racing 15-20 years ago when I was an avid fan. There were personalities, there were fights, there were rules and points systems that made sense.

Nowadays, I’m not really sure what I’m looking at when I turn on a race, and that’s the exact reason I rarely ever do anymore. Often, I’ll go to Google or ESPN to find out who won that week’s race, but that’s the usually the extent to my interest.

Let’s face it: Racing is having trouble these days. Interest is declining and the stardom is not what it once was. There’s no Earnhardts nor Jeff Gordon nor Tony Stewart in race cars, and even Jimmie Johnson is rarely heard from.

Some of today’s biggest names are quite annoying, frankly. That starts with Busch and then goes down the line to Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. Therefore, seeing Wallace give Busch a taste of his own medicine was a breath of fresh air.

Not only did it happen to a guy with a bad reputation, but it provided a story line that led me to read a whole article about it. Wow.

I liken it to Tiger Woods winning the Masters earlier this year. It was something that brought some casual fans back, surely. But similarly to NASCAR, golf has its own problems.

I attempted to read an article about how the FedEx Cup playoffs are set up these days and felt like I was reading a convoluted lawsuit. But you know how it is these days: Those in charge believe change is always the answer, even if it’s not for the better.

I won’t go on a whole rant about MLB’s idiotic one-game playoff again, but it’s about the only thing that trumps the changes to NASCAR and golf as a bigger turnoff from the sport.

NASCAR continues to run over potholes with each passing year, but I’ll be tempting to tune back in just to see what happens next with Wallace and Busch.

Let’s face it: Sports are better with personalities taking center stage. And unfortunately, those like auto racing and golf often need them to survive.

Especially when the higher-ups keep making bone-headed changes to their formats.

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