This is a new feature of Amy’s Bad Groove….a guest column by Misty! Misty is a great writer, my best friend, and someone who supports badgroove from behind the scenes. I hope she writes more of them for us and I think you will see why once you read her first post!—Amy
I admit it…I have a competitive streak a country mile wide. Some say it is due to my astrological sign (Fierce Leo- ROAR!), but I simply don’t get all the people who don’t feel the same desire, no need to win. The need not only to win, but to decimate your opponent, whether in a debate, a feverish game of Monopoly, a rousing episode of Jeopardy or on the track. I not only want to win, I want to crush my opponent so there can be no doubt who the King or Queen of the Jungle is (there is that Leo again, ROAR!). Whatever it is that gives me this irrepressible desire to obliterate, it also draws me to NASCAR. The competition, yes, but more importantly the individual competition where at the end of the day there is a single victor proving dominance.
Of course my competitve nature also raises my stress level to scary levels and transforms me into a sailor many Sunday afternoons when my driver isn’t winning. It took me a long time to accept that my guy isn’t going to win every weekend and big picture points is as important as the individual races. I am particularly disconcerted when certain drivers are ahead of my guy: certain drivers being drivers that my friends or co-workers root for. It is like it is a personal competition between me and them and having their driver finish ahead of mine, is a personal defeat. If I am at a race, and the guy in front of me is wearing a Bobby Labonte shirt, then my mission becomes to finish ahead of Labonte or whoever this poor sucker in front of me is supporting, all so that at the end of the race I can smugly think to myself “ha- I win!” I can bask in my silent victory celebration in my own mind! Crazy? Probably. Competitive and cut-throat? Without a doubt!
All of this digression to set the stage for the horror I felt this weekend at Bristol when I heard Mark Martin ask his spotter to ask Kurt Busch’s spotter if Kurt would “let” Mark lead a lap to get his five bonus points, so that they could both stop racing so hard. Well… all I can say is- never before have I said this and I never thought I would, but Kudos to the Blue Deuce for NOt accepting Mr. Martin’s offer. From my perspective on my couch, it did not appear that Kurt was in any danger of losing the lead or running his tires off, so why on earth would he agree to such a deal. That flies in the face of the competitive nature of the sport and is sheer madness in my opinion! First of all, where is the competition in such an “arrangement”?! Secondly, how much of a schmuck would Kurt look like come this summer if Mark bests him for a spot in the Chase by a few points? Points that Kurt more or less would have given him in such a deal.
Racing is about competition and dominance not sharing and taking turns- this isn’t kindergarten guys! If you can race for the lead great- do it, if you can’t, perhaps you can steal those five bonus points with a strategy move- stay out a little longer next caution – but don’t ask to be given the points! As one of my new favorite t-shirts says, Go! Race! Win! ROAR!