The One That Changed Everything

March 28, 2022 | Blog

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I used to despise road course racing in NASCAR.

Growing up, I never really gave much thought to road courses. Of course back then there were only two on the schedule – Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Honestly I thought they were fun to watch. It was something different than the traditional ovals we saw week in and week in out the Cup Series.

Flash forward to around… I don’t know, 2007. Suddenly, for some unexplainable reason, I found myself loathing road course racing. For years I would watch road course racing and just not be entertained. And then when I started going to Watkins Glen when I worked for the Motor Racing Network, I was still uninterested in the race itself (although I must say the Finger Lakes in August is an amazing time and place to be.)

And then… 2012 happened.

One of the greatest last lap battles for the win, not just on a road course but in all of NASCAR history, happened and my views on road course racing changed forever.

I encourage you to take a gander at this clip if you don’t remember the epic fight between Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and eventual winner Marcos Ambrose.

I bring this up because yesterday was the first of six times in 2022 the NASCAR Cup Series races on a road course, the first being the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Again, we were treated to a tremendous finish between Ross Chastain, AJ Allmendinger and Alex Bowman (among others.)

I must say I don’t want to do this every week, but road courses now, especially with the new car, are special and I have thoroughly enjoyed them the last few years. There’s room for them on the schedule and now that we’re doing it more frequently I think the drivers and teams have put more effort into road racing and are truly putting on something amazing to see on the track.

Feels Like the First Time…

And congratulations to Ross Chastain on his first career win on Sunday at COTA. I tweeted Sunday night that I have an extensive die cast car collection but only two are autographed: Richard Petty is one. Ross Chastain is the other.

Now granted when I got this truck I didn’t care if the driver had signed it or not. I cared about the fact that my South Carolina Gamecocks (who when this truck ran at Martinsville in the spring of 2017 were on a streak in both men’s and women’s basketball that saw both teams go to their respective final fours) were represented on the truck. Being at the track that weekend and seeing this thing fly around the place was special.

COTA Race Results | Season Standings

But back to Ross, I applaud his efforts on Sunday. I’ve been critical in the past of his on-track antics but I’m honestly very proud of what he and Trackhouse Racing have accomplished in this short 2022 campaign together.

One win, four top-fives and four top-10 finishes through the first six races for Chastain, along with a pair of top-fives and three top-10s for teammate Daniel Suarez has this bunch looking good. Chastain is in the playoffs with the win and I suspect Suarez isn’t far away from breaking into Victory Lane himself.

And Now For A Word From Our Sponsors…

Today marks the start of a new journey for me and my family. A few weeks ago, I was unexpectedly let go from my previous job. I don’t really want to talk about why but let’s say it wasn’t a pretty ending to a promising job path. But today I’m proud to say is my first day as the Website Marketing & Analytics Specialist at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. I’m nervously excited but I’m ready to get started.

So let’s get after it, y’all. Happy Monday.

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