Commentary

OBSERVATIONS: United Rentals 100 at Martinsville Speedway

By: Ashley McCubbin

For the longest time, there was a saying – what would you do for a Klondike bar? On Saturday, it turned into how far will you go for a chance at the Championship 4?

Desperate times cause people to make moves that perhaps they would not make otherwise, pushing over an envelope. It’s fine, and understandable. That’s short track racing, right? The hard racing coming to the line, battling three-wide and giving each other a lane was all about that. The fact that Stewart Friesen got into the wall, bounced off it as a byproduct of him, Todd Gilliland, and Zane Smith all wanting the same piece of a real estate is part of the game in racing tight quarters. It’s why fans flock to their local tracks to see similar battles.

However, when you cross the line and do not show respect, that’s where in lies the problem. Unfortunately, it’s been an issue in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series all season long. Anybody remember what happened at Knoxville? What about the trade of comments? It was put under the microscope in watching Austin Wayne Self hook John Hunter Nemechek going into turn three, over a simple bump the previous turn.

The argument you hear from drivers like Smith is “I’m racing for my job,” or “I’m doing whatever I can to prove myself,” You may have gotten the job done, impressed with your talent, and shown you can drive. But have you really earned an opportunity? Team owners aren’t going to want to hire a driver that is wrecking equipment on a weekly basis, or finding themselves at the wrong end of feuds.

The respect argument can go many ways, as each person will have their own code in how much is too much. Rubbin’ is racing for some with a bump and run all fair game, but deliberately wrecking someone is over the line. However, to someone else, they may want contact at all despite bumpers in play.

Though when over half of the garage expresses concern post-race, it makes you ask questions.

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