My Brain on NASCAR: A dark day at White House for Keselowski

We don’t normally think of April as one of the more patriotic months of the year, but that is exactly what it has turned out to be.

After twin explosions at the end of the Boston Marathon on April 15 claimed the lives of three people and injured hundreds more, we saw our fellow Americans – both first responders and bystanders on the street — band together to face yet another national tragedy.

So on Tuesday, the shiver of patriotism that ran up my spine was particularly potent as President Barack Obama took a few minutes off from grim reality to focus on one of the nation’s favorite methods of escapism: sports.

It has become an annual tradition for “America’s house” to host the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship team, and this year, first-time champ Brad Keselowski finally got his turn.

“We are here today to celebrate a great American sport,” President Obama said. “I don’t think a single one of Brad’s fans has forgotten the post-race interview he gave on Sportscenter after winning the title last year at Homestead. ‘NASCAR is a team sport, and I have the best team. My family, my friends, my fans, my co-workers … without them, I am nothing.’ That’s what Brad said, and that’s really what life’s all about.”

It was ironic and more than a little sad to hear the president speak of the importance of teamwork with the Boston bombings still so fresh in our minds. Some felt that perhaps the ceremony should be postponed, but the White House felt otherwise, and Keselowski agreed.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “Not because it was me, obviously, being honored, but because of what it means to our country to continue to move on despite those acts and showcase that they won’t rattle us.”

Keselowski was commended for his work with the Wounded Warrior project. “For Brad, our veterans are an important part of his team,” Obama said. “I’m going to quote him: ‘I couldn’t do what I do on the racetrack without these men and women making the sacrifices that they do for me.’

“So Brad, I want to thank you for visiting with some of our wounded warriors later this afternoon and I want to thank you, as well as NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, for your long tradition of honoring our troops and our veterans.”

As always, it was cool to see “our” champion and his car, “our” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy, “our” drivers and other representatives of “our” sport with the White House as their backdrop. But most importantly, that setting served as a reminder of why we have the luxury of calling these things “ours” to begin with. How fortunate we are, even when times are challenging, to be Americans, and to have an all-American sport like NASCAR to enjoy, and to claim as our own.

In the past, NASCAR’s day at the White House has struck a lighter chord, with the president even cracking a few jokes for the benefit of his appreciative audience. The tone on Tuesday was more somber, appropriately, but the president lightened things up at the end, commenting that he was “getting tired of seeing Johnson all the time” and glumly telling the crowd that “Brad offered to let me drive his car around the South Lawn, but once again the Secret Service said no.”

As Keselowski bantered with Obama, chances are that in the back of his mind he was wondering what penalties NASCAR might have in store for his team after illegal parts were found on the No. 2 Ford prior to the April 14 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Perhaps he even asked the President to put in a good word for him.

Might a presidential pardon be in the works? I’m not sure even the White House has that much clout with NASCAR.

Comments

comments

Boys Playoffs: Tigers fall; Saints advance to semis

Boys Playoffs: Tigers fall; Saints advance to semisConway High boys basketball team's bid for a state championship [more]

St. James opens lacrosse season with NMB sweep

St. James opens lacrosse season with NMB sweepAfter posting an undefeated regular season in 2017, the St. [more]

MB girls bounce AC Flora; face Wilson in Lower State

MB girls bounce AC Flora; face Wilson in Lower StateThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team has been battling [more]

Lady Panthers' playoff run cut short by Goose Creek

Lady Panthers' playoff run cut short by Goose CreekDespite a hard-fought match, the historic run of the Carolina [more]

Grand Strand Juniors claim Savannah Showdown titles

Grand Strand Juniors claim Savannah Showdown titlesThe Grand Strand Juniors Volleyball Club sent several teams to [more]

Chants run out of magic, suffer first loss to Indiana

Chants run out of magic, suffer first loss to IndianaIndiana, ranked 17th nationally, scored once in the seventh to [more]

CCU's Adams claims third Player of the Week award

CCU's Adams claims third Player of the Week awardJas Adams of the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team was [more]

St. James' Knaffle, White receive major golf honors

St. James' Knaffle, White receive major golf honorsAfter leading the St. James High girls golf team to [more]

Chants post back-to-back, 10th-inning walk-off wins

Chants post back-to-back, 10th-inning walk-off winsFor the second straight game, Coastal Carolina (3-0) scored a [more]

Boys Playoffs: Tigers ride Wave into 5A LS semifinal

Boys Playoffs: Tigers ride Wave into 5A LS semifinalThe Conway High boys basketball team punched their ticket to [more]

NMB crowns 2 Lower State champs; CF, MB qualify 5

NMB crowns 2 Lower State champs; CF, MB qualify 5The North Myrtle Beach wrestling team crowned two Lower State [more]

Green comes off bench, leads Saints' playoff win

Green comes off bench, leads Saints' playoff winThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team needed [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants sweep USA in Senior Day thrillers

CCU Hoops: Chants sweep USA in Senior Day thrillersOn Senior Day, it was fittingly a senior-to-senior connection that [more]

Chants rally past Sooners on Wood's walk-off in 10th

Chants rally past Sooners on Wood's walk-off in 10thWith bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of [more]

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers roll into Lower State semis

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers roll into Lower State semisThe Carolina Forest girls basketball team are headed to the [more]

4A Girls Playoffs: Big win keeps Seahawks at home

4A Girls Playoffs: Big win keeps Seahawks at homeThe Myrtle Beach girls basketball team had to battle to [more]

Chants overpower Hokies; face Sooners on Saturday

Chants overpower Hokies; face Sooners on SaturdayPreseason All-American Kevin Woodall Jr., had a career-high six RBI [more]

Lacrosse gaining ground on Strand's sports scene

Lacrosse gaining ground on Strand's sports sceneThere was a time not so long that students who [more]

CCU football names Isaac new running backs coach

CCU football names Isaac new running backs coachCoastal Carolina head football coach Joe Moglia announced the hiring [more]

CCU Hoops: Trojans edge Chants; Adams scores 40

CCU Hoops: Trojans edge Chants; Adams scores 40Jaylen Shaw's game-high 18 points were not enough as Coastal [more]

4A Boys Playoffs: Chiefs, Seahawks fall in openers

4A Boys Playoffs: Chiefs, Seahawks fall in openersSecond-seeded Myrtle Beach saw its season come to an end [more]

5A Boys Playoffs: Tigers make history; Braves win

5A Boys Playoffs: Tigers make history; Braves winFor the first time in nearly a quarter-century, the Conway [more]

Chants set to open season with Baseball at the Beach

Chants set to open season with Baseball at the BeachOn Friday, the 2018 NCAA Division I collegiate baseball begins [more]

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers erupt; Tigers win at Wando

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers erupt; Tigers win at WandoOnly hours after learning she had been named the Class [more]

4A Girls Playoffs: Chiefs hit road running; MB stays hot

4A Girls Playoffs: Chiefs hit road running; MB stays hotPlaying in a tough region has its perks. One of [more]

Boys Playoffs: Tigers fall; Saints advance to semis

Boys Playoffs: Tigers fall; Saints advance to semisConway High boys basketball team's bid for a state championship [more]

St. James opens lacrosse season with NMB sweep

St. James opens lacrosse season with NMB sweepAfter posting an undefeated regular season in 2017, the St. [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach