Author Topic: GREGORY COLUMN: 5 Things from Talladega  (Read 75 times)


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GREGORY COLUMN: 5 Things from Talladega
« on: May 10, 2017, 08:24:29 PM »
GREGORY COLUMN: 5 Things from Talladega
Allen Gregory | Bristol Herald Courier  | The Associated Press

The big picture was all good from Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. To the delight of the fans, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. executed a final-lap pass of Kyle Busch and then held off a horde of challengers to win for the first time in 158 career starts and break a 101-race winless streak for Roush Fenway Racing. Stenhouse dedicated the victory, along with his earnings from Saturday’s pole position, to his late friend Bryan Clauson, who died in early August from injuries sustained in a crash at the Kansas Midget Nationals.

One week after the Xfinity and Cup races in Richmond drew a combined total of around 40,000 fans, the seats were full in Talladega Sunday.

While there were some lulls in Sunday’s event, the restrictor-plate suspense from Talladega remains irresistible. In addition to breathtaking speeds, the Talladega melodrama includes dangerous bump-drafting, complex side-drafting, risky blocking maneuvers and the inevitable big crash. Talladega is an anomaly on the Cup schedule, but it rarely fails to disappoint.

During a rough time for the sport when drivers should be reaching out to fans instead of alienating them, the antics of Busch have gotten old. Instead of accepting his misfortune after crashes or losses, Busch continually rips the track, other drivers or his crew.

The number one rule for all journalists is to never cheer or clap while covering an event. Thomas Bowles, who was working for at the time, was fired in 2011 for violating that cardinal rule when he cheered from the media center as Trevor Bayne pulled off his surprise victory in the Daytona 500. But there was yelling, cheering and clapping from a member (yes, Darrell Waltrip again) of the Fox broadcast crew during the final laps of Sunday’s race.