Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lapped drivers are people too

Well well we are two weeks into the 2014 racing season and we already have people complaining. Imagine that. Last week fans complained that Danny Dietrich ruined JJ Grasso's chance of possibly winning the Icebreaker 30 at Lincoln because he was racing to hard with the leaders while he was a lapped car. Now Danny is not the first driver to do this and certainly not the first driver to endure the wrath of the fans for doing this. Let me explain....

Race fans have short memories at times and seem to forget what a driver did in the past when they feel that driver has been wronged. Hell drivers seem to suffer from the exact same type of memory loss. Danny had a few things to say a few years ago about how lapped cars where racing way to hard while he was leading a race, only for him to do the same thing last week. This week I watched Ryan Wilson race the leaders just as hard while guess who was on his way to victory, yep Danny Dietrich. Hell go back and look for the video of Stevie Smith costing I believe TJ Stutts a win at Williams Grove. Stutts tried to lap Stevie only to end up spinning in turn 2. I remember TJ being very upset about it at the time and can still recall Stevie's response to the whole incident. He was quoted as saying "I didn't come here to get lapped". Enough said. I personally agree with him and here's why.

Why should a driver who is still racing for position on the race track just pull over and die when the leader gets to them on the track? Is this NASCAR? There is no Lucky Dog Pass in sprint car racing. These guys and gals are racing full speed for 25 laps and always have a chance to pick up another post while the green flag is out. I'm sure if your leading the race your saying to yourself, Get the hell out of the way. If your that same driver fighting to stay on the lead lap, your saying to yourself, good luck slappy, your not getting by me without a fight.

 Say the leader is lapping 10th place on lets say lap 18 at Lincoln,  now the 10th place guy is running as hard as he can to stay on the lead lap and has been able to do so so far. Now all of a sudden there is a wreck in turn 2 and its a 4 car pileup involving 5th through 9th place. Now that guy who was almost lapped in 10th is now running 5th and has 7 laps to possibly gain a top 2 or 3 finish. And before you say it, The Hell it couldn't happen.

Now from the leaders perspective your 7 laps from the finish, you have a nice lead on 2nd and your trying like hell to lap the 10th place guy who is just giving you fits trying to stay on the lead lap. Instead of getting that caution, the 2nd place driver catches the leader and with 2 laps to go makes the winning pass.

Now what about the guy running a very close second with 5 to go? The leader has passed the 10th place driver and now is starting to get away because he is giving the 2nd place guy a fit trying to pass him. Instead of possibly making the pass and winning the race he ends up finishing 3rd because of the lapped car. I'm pretty sure he is pissed when he gets out of the car.

Now how will the fans feel about all of this? Depends!!! Which driver where you cheering for at the time? If your cheering for the leader and he looses the race your pissed. If your rooting for the guy getting lapped, you could not be happier. If your driver looses the win and finishes farther back because of that lapped car I'm sure your questioning his heritage.

My point is, look at things a little bit more objectively while watching our favorite sport and I'm pretty sure at some point your favorite driver has been the driver in all 3 situations, and you had 2 different opinions after the race. Root, Yell, Cheer, and Holler all you want, but please don't accuse 1 driver of doing something when chances are your favorite driver has done the exact same thing. Don't even get me started on the 358 feature last night.

Real quickly I've been lucky and been to 3 different races so far in 2014 and I have yet to not see a good race and more importantly been ENTERTAINED by every feature I have seen so far. So far I've seen 2 410 features, a 358 feature, 3 micro sprint features, a legends feature and a 358 late model feature and I have not seen a dud yet. Hope that trend continues for the rest of the season. Some of us seem to forget that we go to the races to have fun. Try and remember that when your calling so and so this and that.

As always I would love to hear your opinions on this. Hit me up on here, just don't be chicken and leave your real name. Tweet me at  @BillMcIntyreIII or shoot me an email at Until next time take it easy and I hope to see everyone next weekend at both Lincoln Saturday night but also at Williams Grove on Friday night for the opener on their historic 75th season.

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