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I don’t think anyone will deny the fact that Kyle Bush is a force to be reckoned with now and for the foreseeable future in Nascar. Anyone who thinks he isn’t making an impact on the sport just isn’t paying attention. He is one of the most talented drivers to come along in quite a while and his future looks to be very bright as long as he doesn’t lose his focus and it doesn’t look like that is going to happen any time soon.
Well, it’s confession time (at least for me) here at Just A Fan’s View. I have to admit I can be extremely opinionated when it comes to drivers and racing. Even when I was racing locally, I wasn’t afraid to tell someone I didn’t like the way they raced and I am sure I stuck my foot in my mouth more than once when I did. (In fact, I still do sometimes). I’m sure they formed an opinion of me the same as I did them and for the most part, both of our opinions were probably wrong and reality was somewhere in the middle of our first impressions. In the end, no matter how rocky the start, over time we came to appreciate each others talents and, somehow, many of us became friends even though we could be fierce competitors on the track.
When Kyle Bush showed up on the scene, I saw him as a loose cannon with reasonable talent but little or no control. He seemed to always be sticking his nose in where it shouldn’t be during a race and definitely caused his share of accidents and hard feelings amongst his fellow competitors. I failed to see how such an apparent wild driving style could ever be taken seriously and ever be successful, especially in Nascar. (Looking back, I see how wrong that preliminary assessment appears to have been.)
In reality, the thing I failed to see (or maybe didn’t want to admit) was the raw talent that just needed some understanding and good solid coaching along with his gaining a little maturity. Now don’t misunderstand, he hasn’t lost any of the youthful, (some may call that immature), enthusiasm of a couple of years ago, but he has gained considerable patience and maturity on the track and towards accomplishing his goals in Nascar.
In the Nascar “Nation” you find people on both sides of the fence when it comes to Kyle, but hardly anyone sitting on the fence. Most either love him or hate him. Some admit to his talent and then always add a “BUT” to any comment or discussion they may have about him. They just can’t seem to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his competitive aggressiveness on the track and even, sometimes, in interviews after a race. Let’s face it, the kid ( I can say that because I’m an “old guy”) loves to drive race cars AND he loves to win. He also has an idea of who and what he is. One thing is for sure, he doesn’t lack confidence.
Over time, I’ve noticed how I’ve changed in my judgment of drivers in the Nascar series. I used to be much more supportive of just a few drivers and very critical of many others. There wasn’t a whole lot some of them could do that I thought was right. Now, I think I have come to a point where I have a much better understanding of the individual personalities of the drivers and, I know for a fact, I am more tolerant of many of them and their actions. In fact, I enjoy the differing personalities of all of them more than I ever have. (Hm-m, I guess that means I’m finally maturing, also, huh?)
Now don’t get me wrong, there are still some out there I just don’t much understand and, admittedly, they rub me the wrong way, (probably because of their youthful enthusiasm), but I do enjoy watching them drive and listening to them talk.
I think I have finally come to the understanding that Nascar wouldn’t be the same without any of them. To tell the truth, when I took the time to try and get to know them better rather than passing quick, and sometimes unwarranted, judgment on them, I found they weren’t at all like I thought they were. Many of them prove they are just everyday people that love to race, love what they do and appreciate the fans that cheer and boo them. I can understand and relate to that and I have come to appreciate all of them much more.
Although I’ve spent a lot of time talking about Kyle Bush today, there are many other drivers that have personalities that have brought life to the series in their own way. Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Bush and Dale Earnhardt Jr to mention some of them. I’m sure we could go right down the list and mention just about every one of the active drivers in the series today, but, why…I think you know what I’m talking about and you have your own thoughts on the subject.
My overall assessment of the race at Richmond from “Just A Fan’s View” is that is was fairly typical of the short track that it is with all the trimmings. There was beatin’ and bangin’, pushin’ and shovin’ and that “rubbin’ is racin’” thing that makes short track racing so interesting for the fans. In the end, the race was decided by the pit strategies for tires and the performance of the crews making the necessary changes to keep their driver in contention. After that, it was the car and driver that could run where nobody else wanted to.
Next on the schedule is Darlington this Saturday night…Are you ready to see if the track once called “Too Tough To Tame” still lives up to its name? I’m pretty darn sure it will and … I can’t wait…
See ya next time …
(all views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer)
© May 2009 – all rights reserved
Just A Fan’s View and Rusty Norman