Saturday, August 21, 2010

When It Comes to "Have At It Boys," Consistency Isn't Necessarily a Virtue

Lots of folks cried "foul" Saturday night when Kyle Busch admitted to hitting Brad Keselowski intentionally.

But for once, it wasn't just Busch they were mad it - it was the fact that Busch got away with an admitted intentional hit.  While Carl Edwards, in the Atlanta Spring race, did not.

Busch and Keselowski tangled Saturday while battling for the lead during the Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. It started when Keselowski nudged Busch out of his way and went to the front.  Then Busch simply bumped Keselowski back, spinning him  into the wall.

After winning the race, Busch eagerly fessed up and described the incident as nothing more than a case of tit-for-tat.

"He decided he'd just run in the back of me and put me in the fence, Busch said. "That's Brad Keselowski.  And I went down in the next corner and dumped him.  He does it to everybody else, why can't I do it to him?" 

NASCAR agreed.  Neither Busch nor Keselowski were called to the hauler.  And neither received any penalty or warning for the behavior on the track.

And that's as it should be.

The Saturday's incident is a world away from what happened at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March between Keselowski and Carl Edwards.

At Atlanta, Edwards - who was running several laps down at the time - ran hard into Keselowski at speeds of almost 200 mph on a straightaway.  The No. 22 car went airborne.  A shaken Keselowski emerged from a car that almost went into the stands. And Edwards was put on probation.

Edwards wasn't racing for position. He admitted to hitting Keselowski on purpose.  And the hit was especially vicious.

On the other hand, during Saturday night's race, Busch and Keselowski were just giving  fans a taste of Bristol at its best.  They were both racing for the lead.  They weren't going fast enough to fly into the stands.  And Busch's hit wasn't so much malicious as payback and sending a message.

To penalize Busch for that hit would be ridiculous. That kind of old-school hard racing is good for the sport and what fans love about Thunder Valley.

It was bump-and-run, have at it boys, and don't dish it if you can't take it.

And NASCAR was right to let it slide. 

1 comment:

  1. You are so so wrong on this one. The fact that Nascar DID NOT call Busch into the trailor and chew him a new one, makes the sport hard for me to watch anymore. Busch claims 3 wins that weekend, but one of those has an * beside it for me. Nascar let Dale Sr. get by with this kind of stuff all the time. That is why a lot of us did not like the man. Seems they just want to attract a certain type of fan...the bumper car fan...instead of the real race fan. I think I will take a break from Nascar for awhile.