I don’t know how many of you are on Twitter or, if you are, if you follow the NASCAR traveling circus members.
I’ll just say this, if you don’t, you missed out on quite a good time Sunday night and early Monday morning as drivers, teams and media members made long cross-country flights from California to North Carolina. I guess they had nothing to do but have hilarious and sometimes mean conversations on Twitter.
Or as my friend Ryan McGee tweeted, “#NASCAR Twitter tonight is extra crispy chippy.”
Martin Truex Jr.’s crew chief Cole Pearn started off the festivities when he trolled Joey Logano for ruining his driver’s day, “I guess @joeylogano can’t see through his squinty douchy eyes.”
He later apologized. Logano did too. So did Kasey Kahne for wrecking Danica Patrick.
Then the champ, Kyle Busch, got in the act, responding to a fan who said he cut his tire because he was overdriving. Busch responded by telling the fan to shut up and asked if he was driving. Among other things that proves that Angry Kyle is back, he tweeted, “4 all those blaming me 4 bring out the last caution, the yellow was already out b4 I could get to pit road and that’s why I stayed out.” He then proceeded to call another fan a “ding dong.”
The fun was not just for drivers and crews. Some guy has some comment about Dale Earnhardt Jr. and a pre-race picture, telling the driver he needed to focus on pitting at the right time. This didn’t quite sit right with Earnhardt’s fiancé Amy Reimann who responded to the troll, “maybe you should focus more on not peeing all over the toilet seat and less on critiquing others.”
If that’s not dropping the mic, I don’t know what is.
There was also some good-natured ribbing between drivers. Earnhardt, who was holding a Q &A with fans, blamed Kevin Harvick when asked about the vilification of Logano: “He’s a nice guy. @KevinHarvick was messin with him one day. And now he’s a gremlin out there. #BlameHarvick.” Harvick responded with, “I didn’t make that bed… #blamekenseth.”
Earnhardt took some shots at himself when asked about a road course in the Chase, saying, “If there’s a road course in the chase, I hope it’s the final race and I will drive backwards towing a boat.” Brad Keselowski said his biggest weakness was he ate too many cookies and brownies.
While Sunday night went from chippy to, at times, sublime, it shows something good about NASCAR. The racing is good. The drivers, well except for Kyle Busch, are happy with the racing. They can battle for 400 miles and then joke about what happened on track on the way home. And fans are engaged and drivers are engaged with the fans.
For stuff that didn’t happen on Twitter last weekend and, you know, happened on the racetrack, I am almost to the point where I will take back some of the bad things that I said about Auto Club Speedway.
Not all of it, but some of it.
For the first 15 or so years, the track was terrible; some of the worst racing ever. What made me so mad about it was the fact that the track got moved around the schedule to mitigate the weather and attendance concerns; considerations that were not afforded to the North Carolina Speedway.
Now, the one race in California is one of the best of the year. The track has worn out and it seems to suit the low downforce package. The Auto Club 400 saw three- and four-wide racing and passing for the lead. There were some tire issues this year, but that just makes tire management important.
The good racing and the entertaining-ness that NASCAR Twitter has become makes me even more excited for the short-track racing that is coming up.
Andy Cagle writes a weekly column during the NASCAR season. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.