Over the years in NASCAR the short tracks, the so-called bullrings, of Bristol, Martinsville, and Richmond, have had a reputation of bringing out the bad boy in both the drivers and the other crew members of a race team. Even though the racing at these three race tracks have been action filled, and are fan pleasing, nevertheless, the racing at these tracks have resulted in a lot of crumple sheet metal over the decades.
Additionally, the beating and banging that is the byproduct of bullring racing has caused some egos to get bruised, some tempers to be lost, and a few faces to know the feeling of "the knuckle sandwich"! It has been known forever that there are two things you can say about NASCAR bullring racing; either someone is in your way, or you are in someone's way, period! Therein lies the basic reason why I have always maintained that there should be a sign at the pit gate that reads " all crew members check your tempers, your egos, and above all your weapons here before you unload your race car"!
Having said all that about short track racing, there is a new twist added this year with the elimination style playoff racing called the 2014 Chase for The Sprint Cup Championship. We have now seen that there is sufficient pressure on the driver, and the race team, to move to each succeeding round that it is replicating the atmosphere of short track racing at Bristol, Martinsville, and Richmond, throughout the 10 races of The Chase.
Two weeks ago at Charlotte exemplifies what I am talking about. Blazingly Bad Brad Keselowski, in his desperation to try to secure a win and move on the Eliminator Round, blocked Matt Kenseth on one of the restarts, by doing so ran he Kenseth high and deep into turn one, putting the no. 20 Toyota of Kenseth up against the fence, and damaging the right side of his race car.
The fuse was starting to ignite!
Apparently, Brad K got others agitated as the race progressed, as well. The culmination of bruised egos and lost tempers erupted on the cool down lap at Charlotte. It was there that Keselowski attempted, and twice failed, to spin Denny Hamlin. Keselowski then went on to hit Kenseth on pit lane, obviously expressing some displeasure towards Kenseth. In Brad K's overt expression of unhappiness, there was collateral damage inflicted upon Tony Stewart's car, much to Smoke's chagrin.
The discontentment was about to explode!
Stewart reacted and retaliated when he calmly selected reverse and gassed her up, ramming the front end of Keselowski's Ford, shortening B.K.'s wheelbase significantly! From that point the 2012 Sprint Cup, Keselowski, headed for the garage and did a few burnouts inside of his competitor's garage! Not cool! The word was there was pieces and parts being slung everywhere in those garage stalls!
The results did not make NASCAR happy! Fines and probation was handed out the following Tuesday by NASCAR.
To combat the possibility of collateral damage hurting innocent bystanders or other race teams, I have come up with a good way to harness those bruised egos, lost tempers, and hostile feelings into a something that will be very entertaining for all!
At all short tracks, and for every race tracks that is in the The Chase, this is my solution to tearing up equipment. Once the race is over, and while the Victory Lane celebration is going on, track employees could bring out and assemble the boxing ring at the start/finish line. Again once the Victory Lane celebration concludes, open up the ring for any driver and crew member to call out any other driver or crew member to the ring.
With the boxing ring set up on the start/finish line it gives the race fan and the TV viewer a two-fer, an exciting race and the ability to watch their favorite driver, or their the driver that they dislike the most, extract a little revenge! The ring would only be open for one hour only! At the end of that hour the ring would be disassembled and stowed away.
If the offended driver does not oblige himself of the ring after the race, and latter extracts his revenge on the track in the following weeks, then NASCAR would have the option to levy penalties and fines as necessary!
I mean after all, fisticuffs and racing have always gone hand-in-hand, right? The TV rating would most likely soar!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!
Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR