The fire started off Monday night with Kyle Larson’s last lap move to win the Whelen All American Series race at The Battle At The Beach and was fueled on Tuesday night with Steve Park’s last lap move on Mike Stefanik in the Whelen Modified race. A few extra coals were tossed on the blaze in a wild finish to the K&N Pro Series event. Fans, NASCAR drivers, and media members are ready to throw Kyle Larson out to dry for his last lap “bump and run”. Mike Stefanik was about to blow a gasket over Steve Park move around him. Have people forgot that this is SHORT TRACK racing? From the media and fan outrage you would think that Jimmy Johnson had turned Dale Jr. on the last lap of the Daytona 500 and sent him flipping into the stands! Its easy to loose sight in all the fuss that this was a 1/4 mile flat oval. If you put that many cars and that many hungry drivers on a track like that what do you expect to happen?
If you missed the races and don’t have a clue what I am talking about you can see all three of them in full length by CLICKING HERE.
For almost every driver that climbs into a stock car their dream is to race at Daytona. A select few get to live that dream, but of those only the elite ever make it to victory lane and get to take home a trophy from Daytona. Of those elite, only a few of those trophies come from Speedweeks. The UNOH Battle At The Beach was a chance for three short track racers to take home one of those special trophies. Not to mention a chance at a lot of cash. So what did you expect them to do? Take a chance at the spotlight? The glory? The money? The trophy? Or finish second and let a once in a lifetime chance pass them by? Now granted in Kyle Larson’s position he will have other chances at a Daytona trophy, in fact he has another one this weekend. But look at Steve Park, a guy who once had it all, he is no stranger to how quickly your rug can be jerked out from under you. Look at all the people involved in the crazy K&N Pro Series finish. All of those guys aren’t promised much more than the next few races, they are paving their own path to glory. NASCAR is about winning races, as a sponsor or team owner I’d much rather have a driver who went for it all and won the race than one that was content to ride in second or third. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying everyone should drive dirty and wreck people at will, but when the money is on the line at the end, all bets are off.
Also lets not loose site that this was an ALL STAR race. No points. Similar to the Sprint Unlimited or the all star race in May. Everyone is there to win, nothing else. This fact seems to get lost when people are busy tossing the winners under the buses and out into traffic.
I’ll leave you with this video. Its a compilation of NASCAR last lap finishes. Let it be a reminder to those up on their high horse than when the money is on the line, most everyone will do whatever ti takes to get to victory lane.