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Random Lugnuts: Daytona, Trump, and Two Wheel NASCAR

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing What is Random Lugnuts?  It's random bits of stock car racing commentary written on an irregular basis by an irregular racing fan.  The name is a reference to the lugnuts that go flying off a car during a pit stop:  you never know where they are going to go, what they're going to do when they get there, they can be annoying, they're often useless after a race, and every once in a while someone gets hit and they don't know exactly where it came from.
Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page. Topics:  Random Lugnuts

Random Lugnuts: Daytona, Trump, and Two Wheel NASCAR

Bill Crittenden
February 28, 2016

The Daytona 500

My immediate reaction at the time was:

"So Denny Hamlin starts the last lap in 4th place, then gets a bit of drafting help to pull up alongside second...I think he was blocking Harvick's line for his teammate but then decided to roll with it when Kenseth went to block him and nearly lost his car...then Hamlin and Truex trade paint to the line where 500 miles comes down to inches.

F1 and the NRHA are tech shows, which is great if you're into that sort of thing. To each their own, right? But on a good day NASCAR is the best actual racing there is by far more than inches."

Now that things have calmed down I'd like to add that when NASCAR tries to make every finish that good, that's when they overreach and make things goofy. Those finishes are special because they don't happen every week. My suggestion to NASCAR: don't force moments like that, just let them come to you.

2016 Might Really Suck, Though

My optimistic high for the new season came crashing down when Mark Martin reminded us that a Donald Trump presidency is a distinct possibility for this country and that sometimes your sports heroes turn out to be really shitty people when you get to peek inside their world away from the press conferences.

So he says "Vote for who you want. Shame on you. #freeworld" to someone for daring to express her disappointment via free speech? Not to get too off course, but this is the same sort of "free speech is for me but criticism of me is persecution" I've come to expect from right wing keyboard warriors operating out of their mom's basement, and somehow I expected the elder statesman of NASCAR to be above that sort of childish worldview.

I guess not.

For a sport whose fans openly embrace the twisted worldviews that prompt people to think that flying the Confederate flag is acceptable in this day and age (and country), I've got a bad feeling that NASCAR's fans and drivers are going to take the sport ten steps backward in minority outreach.

Random Thought: Two Wheel NASCAR

As I've written in countless of my "Random Lugnuts" stock car Racing articles, NASCAR's success isn't about the cars or the speed: there are faster forms of racing and some spectacular cars on televised auctions.

It's about the people, the close racing (how 'bout that Daytona 500 finish?), and the aesthetic that comes from racing older-style cars in small American towns.

It's far more popular than Formula 1 here, and if MotoGP is Formula 1 on two wheels, then that explains why it hasn't taken off here, either.

So what if we went in a different direction and saw the creation of a "NASCAR on 2 wheels" type of racing?

Instead of high-tech Yamahas and Ducatis zipping around exotic locales worldwide, we could have cruiser bikes made by Harley-Davidson and Indian roaring around tracks like Road America or Daytona's road course at the climax of Bike Week.

Instead of flashy colors and energy drinks and some brands we don't ever see here in the States, we could see black & chrome bikes, with drivers' black leathers bearing the logos of Coca-Cola or Home Depot.

Sure, the racing would be slower, and the bikes low tech, but the personalities it would attract would be of a type that would appeal to the kind of person who loves motorcycles but isn't interested in high-tech sport bikes.

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