Admittedly, The Machine doesn’t know much about NASCAR, outside of Ricky Bobby and Dick Trickle (he he). Can anyone explain to us why its biggest race (the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl of NASCAR) is the first race of the year? What we do know about NASCAR—formed from us having attended one NASCAR race plus our innate ability to accurately stereotype people—is this:. (i) drinking is required, (ii) smoking is encouraged, and (iii) you can use the phrase “git-r-done” un-mockingly (“come on Kenseth, git-r-done on the outside!”). Also, 100% of the People of Wal-Mart are NASCAR fans.
But what we lack in general automotive knowledge (why aren’t the cars automatic, and where are the fucking doors?) we make up in understanding a good old pissing contest, and we got a good one brewing on the track.
Kevin Harvick (or #29 to the NASCAR fan) is a driver for Richard Childress Racing, but not for long. He’s leaving RCR at the end of the year to sign with rival Stewart-Haas Racing [wait, how can you still be under contract yet already have a deal to go to another team?]. He’s been with RCR for 13 years, so naturally there’s a lot of history between them, and both sides should try and end things on the right note. Or not.
It seems that the main problem Harvick has with RCR is that he’s being pushed out in favor of Ty and Austin Dillon, who just happen to be Richard Childress’ grandsons. This all came to a head on Saturday night, during a Truck Series race. [Note: is Truck Series NASCAR? How can some people race both cars and trucks in different series?]
Harvick was running second with 12 laps to go, and Ty – his teammate – was running third. Ty, trying to pass his “teammate”, hits him from behind causing an accident. The accident causes Harvick to finish 30th (Ty finished 22nd). But post-race things got really interesting…as in Jerry Springer interesting.
A pissed off Harvick went to seek out Ty, and, while he was in Dillon’s pit stall [whatever that is] Dillon’s crew member threw a hammer at his truck. This only added fuel to the fire. Said Harvick, “I don’t care what they throw at me. That’s exactly the reason I’m leaving RCR is because you’ve got those punk-ass kids coming up.” Wanting to make sure his get your ball out of my yard message was received, Harvick continued. “Exactly the reason why I’m leaving RCR because you’ve got those kids coming up and they’ve got no respect for what they do in this sport and they’ve had everything fed to them with a spoon.”
21-year-old Ty, confirming the disdain that the youth of today have for adults, said “I don’t care what Kevin Harvick said. I don’t think anybody does.” Harvick did later apologize, but the damage was already done.
The Machine’s take: this isn’t, excuse me, ain’t the NASCAR we’ve come to know and stereotype. We thought all NASCAR disputes were settled via a case of Old Milwaukie and a boot to the head…but reasonably explaining your emotions to the media and then apologizing for your comments??? That isn’t, sorry, ain’t NASCAR. Also, Ty and Austin? Those ain’t NASCAR names, sounds like they belong at the country club, not the racetrack. Rusty, Junior, Denny, Robbie. Those are NASCAR names. And, lost in all of this was the fact that the Dale Wallace Jr. (great NASCAR name, btw) won the race, becoming the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR race in over 50 years. What??? Commence mind being blown.
We feel bad for Harvick. It’s clear he’s being pushed out of RCR for “the future” and it’s clear the future is two spoiled, entitled rich kids, the antithesis of everything NASCAR. However, if Harvick wants to instill old-school NASCAR values into these young whipper snappers, he needs to do it the NASCAR way: crank up the country, put on your shit kickers, and git-r-done! The only way you’ll get through to the youth of today is by humbling them at their own game. We’re hoping Harvick spins out that sumbitch on the track next year. Rubbin’ is racin’!
Will this controversy get us to watch NASCAR? Probably not, but, as the most watched sport in America, they’re certainly not hurting for fans. The most watched sport in America? Damn, we really are (willfully) ignorant of the rest of the country…perhaps due to our (genuine) fear of the South. But we do know this: if you’re ever stuck in a conversation with NASCAR people, or made a wrong turn and ended up in Talladega or a Bass Pro Shop, just utter the following phrase: “Junior aint’ never gunna be like his daddy!” That should get you out of most jams.
Shake and bake.
Enjoy your teabag.