I know it’s only been a couple weeks since my last random thoughts edition, but there are so many little NASCAR stories this week, you’re getting another one.
My apologies in advance.
I’ll admit it, I’m a Bubba Wallace fan.
I first watched him race as a teenager in the now-defunct UARA-Stars Late Model Series back when they ran at Rockingham. I then got another chance to see him up close in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He had a successful run in that series before sponsorship woes forced him out of that ride; but fortunately, he fell up, landing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with Roush Fenway Racing. After a couple of years there, the sponsorship woes caught up with him again, forcing his No. 6 team to shut down in May.
He filled in for the injured Aric Almirola in the No. 43 Ford for Richard Petty and had a couple of good runs. That ride ran out when Almirola was cleared to return last month. Last week, he found himself back in the trucks with MDM Motorsports, a relatively underfunded team with a limited number of starts in the NCWTS. Wallace held off Busch and hotshot KBM driver Christopher Bell for his first truck win since 2014.
All that to lead me to say this: he deserves a ride and I hope he finds one in the Cup series next year.
Chevrolet is rolling out a new race car for the 2018 Cup season: the Camaro. I dig it. It’s a sports car. It’s the kind of car the go-fast, turn-left people drive. In NASCAR’s swoon, I’d say this is a good move.
There is a new NASCAR-related movie (or movie with NASCAR stuff in it) coming out Friday. It has some big-name actors in it like Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig — and is directed by Steven Soderberg. Drivers Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Joey Logano also make appearances. I hope this one doesn’t stink
Kevin Harvick made some pretty strange comments about Dale Earnhardt Jr. this past week. He said Junior’s lack of success has been damaging to NASCAR. Uh, OK. In a massive downturn for the sport, Earnhardt has been the sports only transcendent star. Sure, it would have been better for him to win more, but you can’t say the sport doesn’t have a higher profile because of him, so on the totality, Junior has been a plus.
If I’m one of Kyle Larson’s crew guys, I kinda hope he doesn’t win for a few weeks so I can recover from the beatings team owner Chip Ganassi laid down in victory lane after the driver’s win last week at Michigan.
Speaking of which, that was one of the most impressive late-race moves I have ever seen. Martin Truex Jr. had been dominant all race and Kyle Larson did the Kyle Larson thing and pulled off an incredible pass to grab the win.
Brad Keselowski made some comments about the Toyota teams sandbagging in Michigan qualifying. After seeing the way they ran in the race, I can’t disagree. But, Brad, sandbagging has always been a part of the game.
My non-racing thought of the week: Get well soon, Ric Flair.
Andy Cagle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.