Every week is different in the sporting world, but any typical racing week often garners at least three or four episodes that deserve focus.
Still, some weeks have more impactful moments than others. This power pack series is meant to sort through a week or two to pinpoint topics worthy of attention.
FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of motorsports topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com.
National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) select topics for Week 25, 2011:
No. 1 Episode: Probation over for Busch and Harvick but emotions linger
Richard Childress has not apologized for punching Kyle Busch in the garage at Kansas Speedway, but he took responsibility for his actions and will pay the $150,000 fine personally.
“Hopefully Kyle and myself will both end up learning something from this,” Childress said.
Busch said he was unaware of any of Childress' pent up anger towards him.
“I’m not in people’s minds,” Busch said. “If you’re mad at me, you’ll have to tell me.”
Harvick feels that Busch has one coming and explained his take on grudges.
“You definitely can get over things through time, but, situations happen and things happen and conversations come up with guys that you don’t necessarily like,” Harvick said. “You just have got to let things go. But sometimes there are just people you can’t do that with.”
Busch appears to be eager to move on and shared his thoughts on probation.
“It didn’t matter being on it or being off of it,” Busch said. “I try to race the best I can each and every week, as hard as I can and as clean as I can. Sometimes you get into somebody or you get loose and you get into them and you spin them and they’re mad at you. It wasn’t intentional. There’s no malicious intent involved in it. It’s just a product of racing. Hopefully we can keep racing that way.”
Harvick seemed to agree with Busch that drivers have to race hard.
“You know obviously the probation ties your hands a little bit on certain things, but you have to go out and you still go out and you race as hard as you can and do the things that you need to do,” Harvick said. “And I’m going to just keep doing most of the same things that we’ve been doing and just keep racing hard.”
Perhaps the final word will be a bumping fender.
No. 2 Episode: Driver training for Bubba by Keselowski on Daytona track
NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski recently assisted Bubba The Love Sponge® in practice for his role as honorary pace car driver for the upcoming Coke Zero 400 on the new racing surface at Daytona International Speedway.
Bubba was impressed.
“I’ve always been a race enthusiast,” Bubba said. “I’m still pinching myself.”
Keselowski joked about Bubba in the pace car.
“We can’t wait to see him back here for the 400, especially if I qualify well and can spin him out,” Keselowski said. “I think there’s a long line of drivers that are hoping to qualify well just to spin out Bubba the Love Sponge on the first lap.”
“It’s a lot scarier to be a passenger than it is to be a driver,” Bubba said. “It’s a lot scarier to not be in control.”
Bubba The Love Sponge® will likely have a lot more to say about his July experience.
No. 3 Reality: Army Strong gives Newman Army experience
Ryan Newman treasures the moments his sponsor, the U.S. Army, has given him over many months like shooting high-powered weapons, driving a Stryker and free-falling in a vertical wind tunnel. Recently Newman visited the United States Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command in Warren, Mich., a state-of-the-art technology center.
"It was another incredible Army experience," Newman said. "Having the opportunity to get this close to some of the greatest technology in the world was not only inspiring, but makes you even more proud to be a representative on the racetrack for our Army Strong Soldiers."
Newman also places a high value on hospital visits.
Visits to the Walter Reed are special; they are bittersweet, but they are special,” Newman said. “Things like that have taught me much more about what the U.S. Army does and is and has been doing.
“You have to have a strong stomach and sometimes you have to have an even stronger brain, because they are going through some serious life changes in their life and the amazing thing is all those soldiers, at Walter Reed especially, they want to get back in battle.”
Newman has an important role to play for soldiers, but it appears he benefits as well.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained from official release materials provided by NASCAR.
Photo credit: Dwight Drum at Racetake.com