Race Weekend Central

Being Able to Be Bored to Sleep by a NASCAR Race is a Precious Thing

Was there a last lap pass for the lead? Maybe some side by side beating and banging for more than a moment? How about some good old fashioned retribution in the form of one bumper meeting another? No? Huh.

Sunday’s race at Kansas was, in fact, just an ordinary day at the track. Teams struggled to keep the rear end of the car behind the front, sometimes they had an issue with pit road, and on occasion suffered the crumpling of their front end due to no particular fault of their own. Restarts looked exciting for about half a lap.

Had this been any other Sunday, I might be here right now complaining about the bland version of NASCAR we were served this week. But it wasn’t just another day, at least not for me, and not for many people in the Northeast, where the impact of the Boston Marathon Bombings was felt most keenly. For the first time in a week, I woke up and didn’t run to turn on the TV. Instead I looked outside at the bright, spring sunshine, grinned and enjoyed a moment of anticipation.

Today would be good. It even had the potential for greatness, mostly because there was a lack of uncertainty and fear in my life. We got the bad guys. Maybe we didn’t have all the answers yet pertaining to the why and even if there might be another who. But the big worry of, “Where are the bombers?” was gone. We could relax and maybe smile.

We weren’t the only people in our favorite breakfast diner and the local home and garden show was fairly well packed. Our yard enjoyed a bit of grooming. The laundry got picked up, the dishwasher run and come 1:00pm, we parked our butts in front of the TV and sighed in complete contentment.

The familiar sights and sounds of Waltrips let loose filled the living room. I smiled at Mikey on pit road. Grumbled about Gordon’s crappy luck and continued frustration with his car. Wondered why they even brought Miss Patrick up. Shrugged off Kyle Busch’s familiar stomp through the garage after meeting his misfortune and giggled a little at Hamlin’s Twitter jab at Joey Logano. (I know Joey felt bad but he doesn’t have to keep falling in the points on my count :) #seeyasoon) And finally as the laps wound down, the rumble of the cars lured me into a nap.

As fans, we often whine about the lack of on-track excitement. We spend countless hours offering up ways to better our sport, tighten up the field in meaningful ways and how to expel personalities we don’t have a particular liking for.

You know what? Sometimes it’s worth taking a Sunday’s race at face value, for all its predictability and similarity to another day. Sometimes a race is the best thing to look toward when life has suddenly taken a very dramatic, evil and horrible turn.

I hope to never experience another week like the one we just suffered through. I still cannot wrap my head around all the suffering that will continue for those with life-altering wounds, or for the small children who had to hide in their homes while SWAT teams knocked on the door. I am forever wounded knowing such a thing could happen in my home city. I am also grateful for those who ran into danger to protect all of us and who brought an end to the manhunt as quickly as possible.

At the same time, I now know what it is to be thankful for the smallest of things. It is the freedom to spend a Sunday doing not much of anything, which includes napping while the Sprint Cup Series takes to a cookie cutter track and I and my neighbors remain safe and secure in our homes. And now that I think about it, that freedom is no small thing at all. #BostonStrong

If you want to help those who have been affected in the Boston Marathon Bombing, please consider a donation to The One Fund: https://onefundboston.org/

Kyle Larson Stat
Series: Rotax Seniors Karts
Track: Mooresville Motorplex
Car: No. 1
Finished: 5th

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