Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: Don’t Be “Bossy” to Jimmie Johnson

I don’t know about you, but these marathon race days/weekends are making me crazy. Even though I don’t make it to every event, I’m still tethered to my laptop/television while keeping up to date with everything happening in the world of racing for responsibilities here at Frontstretch and elsewhere. While I enjoy watching the sport, it royally sucks to sit there waiting for word on when/if the race is getting delayed, moved, or called. I know it’s even worse for fans sitting in the grandstands trying to decide whether they should stay or go.

Once the racing finally got started, or restarted, the excitement of a Bristol night race made it worth waiting for.
Once the racing finally got started, or restarted, the excitement of a Bristol night race made it worth waiting for.

Thankfully, this weekend at Fontana looks like there will be no rain, no delays, and – minus the sporadic earthquake – a rather pleasant weekend weather-wise at the track. It will be nice not watching the sun go down and the lights come on, though I’ll admit I am really excited that we will get to watch two Bristol night races this year. The more often this phenomenon happens, the more I firmly believe thatNASCAR needs more nighttime races. Whether that’s Saturday night, Sunday night, or a weeknight like we occasionally see in the Truck Series (or the 2012 Daytona 500) it just feels like the racing has an extra “spark” to it when run at the right time.

I don’t know how NASCAR could schedule that in a way that makes sense or how to execute it correctly. But I do know that running the Daytona 500 at night and watching the Bristol night race this early in the season have also contributed largely to some buzz surrounding each race. It makes for a long day, but it sure is worth it once we get there.

Now, on to your questions:

“WAHOO JIMMY!!! (sic) A big wahoo for JJ weighing in on the “Bossy” issue! I agree with him that the Twitter responses show there’s still a need to help some men evolve. I say if you’re a “real man” you won’t feel a need to hold women back. He just amped up his image in my book, no more Mr. Vanilla!” CA99FAN

I guess I’m one of the few women who thinks the whole thing is stupid. I’m not saying that telling girls to speak out and be leaders is a bad thing, and I thought the responses on Twitter to Johnson were just stupid (calling him a Communist because of it? Really?)

However, I just don’t understand the point in banning the word “bossy” because it somehow surprises young women. Girls can be leaders without being bossy and they can also be bossy without being leaders. I was called bossy when I was younger and guess what? It’s because I was. Now, do I think that bossiness in young girls could be tailored into leadership roles because they aren’t afraid of speaking their mind? Yes. But calling girls bossy is not therein the problem. At least, not in my experiences.

I don’t mind that Johnson is participating in it, though. I understand the point of the campaign; I just think it’s wildly misguided and catered more towards a social media audience that will blindly follow any hashtag that tickles their fancy as long as it fits their political ideology. And, come on, don’t tell me that the people who reacted so viciously on Twitter at Johnson’s participation didn’t have a political undertone.

I don’t think calling women bossy is holding them back. Like I said, there is a difference between being bossy and being a leader. But if Johnson is afraid his girls will be suppressed because they tell people what to do, by all means, he can support it.

““With all the new technologies for child birth, why don’t the expecting parents pick a date for induced labor?”* Sue

Just because you pick a date to induce labor doesn’t mean the baby will listen and hang tight until then. I’m sure some drivers and their wives/girlfriends have made the decision to do it that way, but that doesn’t mean it always works out the way they planned. In fact, I’m sure there are many mothers out there who will tell you things rarely go as planned in that department.

Also, though I’m in no way a healthcare or childcare expert, I have heard that it is healthier for the baby when the mother goes into labor naturally. I remember seeing some commercials a few years ago encouraging mothers to wait until their baby is ready. Perhaps that weighs into their decision-making.

I don’t have any personal experience in this area as I have no children. But I do know that childbirth is not that cut-and-dry no matter how much technology has grown.

”Dear Summer, Who was that most energetic and enthusiastic man waving the starting flag??? Thank you!” Danny & Carolyn

That was Blake Leeper, a six-time Paralympic medalist who is also training to be the first American double-amputee to compete in the Olympic Games. I had never heard of him prior to last weekend, but everyone sure noticed that big grin on his face when he began waving the flag. It was a delayed start, mind you, but he seemed just as happy to be there as anyone.

I was glad to see someone who was actually excited to be there as opposed to some corporate schmug who looks like he’d rather be at his beach house. I’ve always thought that tracks and NASCAR should allow fans to have those experiences, though I understand there is a need for corporate dollars to keep the sport going.

With that said, it was really cool to see a celebrity who was excited to be there and truly enjoyed the experience. Now that I know his story, it makes me even happier.

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