Nascar reaches peak stupidity as trackside punch up breaks out
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Professional athletes act like children after last-lap clash
As a Nascar fan myself, I'll admit that it is an acquired taste. The racing spectacle compared to touring cars and open wheelers is different to say the least, particularly on ovals.
But Nascar, across all the categories it encompasses, claws back brownie points in the amount of passion that spills onto the grid. Drivers come with earnest-flavoured baggage and colourful vocabularies — something you can't downplay in an era where driver charisma is in short supply. The cost of this is that sometimes these passions spill over, and result in some utterly stupid things taking place; like what happened at this morning's Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Entering the final lap, Cole Custer held the lead over a fast approaching John Hunter Nemecheck. John Hunter, the sun of Joe Nemecheck, spent the last lap reeling in Custer — and by the final sequence of corners he was right on his rival's tailgate.
Now what normally happens in this scenario in say the Supercars Championship or in Formula 1 is that the aggressor has to find a hole in their rival's performance. Or they have to intimidate them into making an unforced error. However, this is the Truck Series, and Nemecheck decided to just tip Custer out of the way instead.
Not quite satisfied, Nemecheck then crowds Custer off the track and into the wall as the pair crossed the line in unison. Nemecheck was awarded the win despite flag marshals resisting the desire to give him the chequered flag for any post-race celebrations — celebrations cut short after a steaming Custer went all in and tackled Nemecheck to the ground under the start-finish line.
While this whole encounter could be looked at as something out of America's Funniest Home Videos, it also signals yet another example of Nascar undoing all of its own good work in trying to look less like the unloved hick uncle of world motorsport. And that's a shame.