Thursday, August 14, 2014

A "Boyz' Have at IT!" Pandemic?

Surely by now, Y'all are aware of the tragic accident that resulted in 20yr old Kevin Ward Jr's death last Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Upstate New York, where Tony 'SMOKE Stewart was moonlighting in a Sprint Car race.

Having not witnessed the crash, or having heard of I-T until the following evening when perusing my Newsline for The Blind newspaper service, nor  wishing to attempt hunting down the possible remaining Youtube videos on said incident, I feel a bit loathe to comment upon the matter, especially since all I can truly do is react a la the countless "Monday morning Armchair Quarterbacks,"  eh?

Being deeply engrossed in a timeless classic seafaring adventure written by Jack London,  I'd originally planned on skipping my usual Sunday night's faire 'O Speed Freaks, but upon hearing the devastating news, quickly turned on thy 'lil transistor radio, since duh Freaks are now available on a scratchy, distant FOX Everett, WA radio station - which the stat icky reception plus endless debate over 'SMOKE's involvement in said death led me to switch off some 20mins later 'N resume listening to my CD 'Audiobook rendition of the 1904 adventure classic The Sea-Wolf instead; but I digress...

Thus, having originally tuned-in some twenty-plus minutes late,  I was greeted by Crash Gladys's voice sounding like she was either inside a cavernous lava tube or 'Ol fashioned telephone booth, with distinct tininess - with the 'Statman alongside, as I was happy to hear her at least ask the obvious Questione to Stat'; Do you think "Boyz'  have at IT!" Had anything to do with this tragic occurrence?

As this WWF Wrasslin', Racin' is Rubbin' mentality has long been one of my major turn-offs towards NASCAR, which I  affectionately denote as 'RASSCAR...

Not to mention the numerous altercations upon Pitlane, the Garages and else wear, having led me to give Clint Bowyer; Y'all know the Dude who's arms gotz really tired when trying to artificially insert his Mikey 'Aw Shucks! Waltrip team-mate into last year's chase many nicknames, most presently being  'Fisticuffs.

From the sublime of Robby "DirtMann" Gourdoun' (Gordon) being the original helmet tosser, or tossing his headrest on-track to cause a yellow-flag, 'SMOKE's numerous on 'N off-track altercations, leading to his numerous ubiquitous seeking of "Anger management" seminars, to Kevin Harvick's mock intimidations, escalating to using  his racecar as a weapon - a maneuver which was most obscenely performed by Kyle Busch's ramming of a fellow Camping World PickemUp Trucks race competitor! To the wackiness of Nelson Piquet Jnr's Hi Karate escapade, it seems overly evident that NASCAR has taken its Wild West Cowboy approach simply too far!

Yet, presumably NO Motorsports series is immune from this callous, wantonness behavior, as why does 'Ol 'SuperTex's image immediately spring to mind when thinking about said attitude that appears to be way too rampant  in NASCAR the past several years, or perhaps forever?

Since although I immediately think of A.J. Foyt giving the "Flying Dutchman" (Arie Luyendyk) a "shiner" when stealing his winner's trophy,  or beating the crap outta an offending laptop upon his racecar running dry. Or poundin' thee SHIT outta an offending  Pop-off valve's manifold with a Craftsman ratchet, nonetheless, all of these colourful episodes happened relatively out of harm's way...

Yet, part of what solidified my worship of 'lil Al (Unser Jr.) as then one of my favourite (CART) IndyCar racing drivers - was when he stepped out onto Mother Speedway's tarmac and gave 'EMMO (Emerson Fittipaldi) a double thumbs-up salute upon having crashed when going wheel-to-wheel with the Brazilian for the eventual drinking of milk in victory lane at Indianapolis, albeit Unser Jr. did so somewhat protected by the safety vehicle...

Hence, as history surely denotes, this verb 'O bravado has been timeless in all forms of life including the world of motorsports, as  surely the Gladiator style of Beating 'N Banging is a huge part of 'RASSCAR's allure with modern day fans, as it's taken as part of the sport's tradition, a la Racin' is Rubbin', Halleluiah!

Thus, can individual racing tracks prevent drivers from disembarking from their stricken race vehicle and STUPIDLY walking upon the  track's asphalt as other vehicles scream by at high rates of speed in a perilous situation?

Was Tony Stewart trying to send an upstart  competitor a message? Or what about the other competitor who managed to narrowly avoid hitting Ward Jr. on-track... Or did his black racing attire along with the supposedly dimly lit racetrack contribute to this horrific accident?

As why does the accidental death of Armando Teran,, who was struck by an errant safety vehicle going the wrong way down Indy's Pitlane during the ugliness of the 1973 Indy 500 spring to mind when thinking of this incident? Regardless of its being of a totally different nature, nevertheless resulting in another unwarranted death.

As motor racing's evolved over the decades, with such safety innovations as the HANS device and SAFER barrier to name just a few, isn't it high time that racing's sanctioning bodies worldwide instituted some basic rules banning this dangerous and needless death defying form of bravery...

As I'm not arguing for insensitive neutering of individualism, etc, especially since I appreciate nothing better than an "F-BOMBS R-US!" That slips thru the nebulous PC media filters, or a driver gesticulating wildly the "Your Number 1 salute!" Or heavens forbid,  a driver speaking his mind, etc.

It's just that it seems to me that the Wild West Gunslinger mentality was overcome by law 'N order so to speak, and it's high time to end this useless form of Machismo which can ultimately lead to a competitor's unnecessary death!