At the conclusion of this week’s Nascar race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, a fight ensued in the pit area.
Now first understand that a championship is at stake, not this week but in two weeks but under the new points & elimination playoff situation (known as “The Chase”), one mistake can cost you dearly.
So with this race with about 10 laps to go, Jeff Gordon (#24), is cruising along in first place with a growing lead, all he needs to do is finish first and a championship is within his sights.
But Clint Bowyer (#15), spins out and creates a caution (yellow flag), thus the field resets and Gordon’s lead is gone as now the race becomes a shootout (aka “Green White Checker”), and its open to several other racers in the top of the field. These players include teammate Jimmie Johnson (#48), Brad Keselowski (#2), & Kevin Harvick (#4), and with the exception of Johnson, the other drivers also have a stake a a chance to propel themselves closer to a championship.
So as the restart begins (waving of the green flag), the traffic begins and there is contact between Gordon & Keselowski and the friction causes Gordon’s left rear tire to go flat and he spins out. Not only that but he went to the pits (to get the tire fixed), too early and basically not only loses the race but his championship chances are diminished.
Once again the yellow flag flies and the field is reset again, now its a three man race between Johnson, Keselowski & Harvick and with the green flag in the air again those three go at it but its all Johnson to the finish (checkered flag), and he goes to celebrate.
But uncharacteristically Gordon goes to Keslowski’s pit stall and parked car and comes after him yelling and although being pushed back by the crew of Keselowski (and the crew of neighboring pit stall Paul Menard (27), Gordon gets through and Harvick comes to Keselowski’s blingside and pushes him into the melee and all heck breaks loose.
After the bum rush was cleared up, a busted lipped Gordon tells ESPN that Keselowski is a dipsh-t and when they get to Keselowski, he also looks like he took a fist to the face (or two), and can only say that he races “100%”.
Now if you remember the past few seasons NASCAR has told the drivers to “Boys have at it” meaning more aggressive driving and tactics like the old days, which often lead to fights like this.
Many people state that the day NASCAR went national was the 1979 Daytona 500 when there was a fight after the race that just like this, did not include the winner (Richard Petty), but two guys who made contact (Cale Yarborough & Donnie Allison) near the end of the race and costs each other the victory.
But most people remember that fight (the race was the first on national television), and that’s what people remember about that race.
I mean look, I’m writing about this conflict more than the race, its what drives people in the sport (even more than crashes), and if you drive hard and make lots of contact especially in races with so much on the line, emotions will run high and there is so much pressure on these drivers to succeed.
The next race is next weekend in Phoenix but first we need to see if on Tuesday what punishment NASCAR will deal out for the parties involved but everyone knows this is what makes the races exciting aka “Boys Have At It” and no doubt they did.