Sunday, June 20th is Father’s Day 2010, and this day marks a special opportunity to honor our own fathers and other inspirational dads in our lives who have helped us to become the people we are today.
Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and throughout the years NASCAR has witnessed some incredible displays of love between a father and a son in this high energy sport, and this weekend will be no different.
NASCAR has always been portrayed as a tough guy sport, where the drivers have skins made of Kevlar while forgetting that within the outer skin are some of the biggest hearts in sports today.
How far would a father go to protect his own child, and I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is the old cliché, “I would kill if anyone tried to hurt them.”
Now most of us know that we wouldn’t actually go to that extreme, but it would be close enough to stand in the gap and do anything it took to make sure their safety wasn’t compromised.
The same could be said for a son who would go to great lengths to not only allow anyone to bad mouth his father.
Most sons would stand in the gap of someone who was trying to come between that special relationship.
It takes years of trusting one another in order to build a bond, so that when it’s time to give advice it will be completely understood.
Advice is something that can’t be forced upon a person, and when the person who is trying to give the advice has never walked in those shoes, how can he expect to be taken seriously?
During Friday's news conference for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan Speedway on Sunday, Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick continued his lecture about Tom Logano’s involvement with his son Joey and for whatever reason felt he needed to give the younger Logano advice about his father.
It’s became more and more obvious Harvick’s issues were pointed at the father and son relationship that Tom and Joey Logano have, and he took it a step further by reminding the media at Michigan about past confrontations where he tried giving Logano the same advice as this past weekend.
How can a person who has no children, possibly try and give advice to someone who does?
"His father has no place in this," Harvick said.
Harvick also added that, "He needs to step back and act like the rest of the dads and be happy that his kid is here. This isn't Little League baseball anymore. He just needs to stay away and act like a 50-year-old man or however old he is."
Taking pot shots at Tom’s age, or trying to tell a father they have no right being at the track was not the best way to handle this situation, and that alone is reason enough for neither one of the Logano’s to ever give Harvick the respect he thinks is owed to him.
Harvick has made it clear his problem is that Tom Logano is always there, and why shouldn’t he since, after all, his son does race in the same series, and unless NASCAR says otherwise Tom has every right to be there.
Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby, NASCAR President Mike Helton and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton already made the decision, and what Harvick fails to realize is it is not his place to tell any driver which of their family members can or cannot attend a race.
"You can't deny the fact of a passionate parent," Darby said. "You have to appreciate that. But there also has to be a line in the sand as to how far that passion can go.”
Darby also added that, "Mr. Logano, he did what he could do to restrain himself," Darby said. "At the last, he wound up interfering with the television broadcasters and that's not the right thing to do.”
Keeping control of our own emotions is hard enough, and for those of us who have children, we know it’s even harder because of the love we have for them.
Mark Martin summoned it up the best when asked about the confrontation between the two drivers, "I loved seeing Tom Logano's reaction and I'm a dad...anybody who would criticize that, a lot of them aren't dads," Martin said.
Martin also added that, "I have a son that competed, not only in racing, but in hockey, too. Heck, I stood up one day, yelled at him, hit him with his stick when he was playing hockey and a kid's dad was standing next to me and I didn't care.”
This comment didn’t sit too well with Harvick, and he quickly fired back at Martin saying that, “Him and Logano are buddies, so he’s on whoever’s side is most convenient this week.”
The issue had nothing to do with whose side Martin was on, and just because Harvick chooses to tell his family to stay away does not give him the right to tell other drivers the same thing.
"I like to leave my family at home because I think this is my job," Harvick said. "Obviously, they come and watch and are part of it and DeLana [Harvick's wife] is part of it on a weekly basis, but, my mom and my dad, sister and all of them, they don't even like coming to the race track."
This right here tells the whole story of why Harvick is so hell bent on trying to give advice to Joey about his father, and it’s all because he chooses to tell his own family to stay away.
Who in their right mind would listen to another driver, when they say things such as, “Alright, Joey? The best thing you can do is get your dad under control.”
Joey is old enough to make his own decision from who he will or will not take advice from and there is no set standard when a father has to let his son make his own decisions.
Tom’s actions may have been wrong, and even if he did overstep his boundaries, you can’t blame them for acting as a father and son should.