My Brain on NASCAR: Racecar drivers are hard to Trump

col-cathyelliottJust a few short months have passed since GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump asked the following question at a campaign rally in North Carolina: “NASCAR endorsed Trump, can you believe that?”

Well, it was pretty unbelievable … except it wasn’t NASCAR that made the endorsement. It was Brian France, the sanctioning body’s chairman and CEO. France had some fallout to deal with, some damage-control scrambling around to do, a few ruffled sponsor feathers to smooth and whatnot, but for the most part this minor squall in a very turbulent political season blew right on over.

Mr. Trump, despite his knack for stirring up Kansas-level clouds of dust, has somehow found a way to weather every storm. And when you look at some of the remarks he has made during his campaign, you realize that while he may not speak the language of politics all that well, he is actually quite fluent in NASCAR-speak, and may even be giving some behind-the-garage tips to its athletes.

Take Brad Keselowski, for example. Keselowski got his start in racing by cutting grass and mopping floors at his dad’s race shop. I can just imagine Trump pulling him aside for a little one-on-one time and offering what are now a couple of his most famous lines. “I always want to think of myself as an underdog … but when somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal. Be tough.”

Just a few short years later, thanks to a no-holds-barred, aggressive driving style that sent his competitors – and himself – flying into the catchfence a time or two, the driver now known as “Bad Brad” was mopping up the competition instead of floors, and hoisting the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship trophy.

2010 was also the year that Denny Hamlin went on an absolute reign of terror, winning eight races after being sidelined by a knee injury early in the season. Never known for his humility, Hamlin and his team had T-shirts printed proclaiming, “All We Do is Win.”

Perhaps Mr. Trump, who has his own various lines of “American” men’s apparel manufactured in patriotic places like China and Bangladesh, spared a few moments of his precious time to share the following sentiments with the fiery Hamlin, who by the way finished the 2010 season in second place, behind champion Jimmie Johnson.

“Without passion you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing,” he said. “My whole life is about winning. I don’t lose often. I almost never lose … You have to think anyway, so why not think big?”

Coming soon to a department store near you – the Trump Hamlin collection. It’s nearly the best.

Speaking of Jimmie Johnson, well, he must be a man after Trump’s own heart (or whatever he has lurking inside his chest that passes for one). The six-time champion is NASCAR’s poster boy for the new millennium Handsome. Charming. Articulate. Able to drive the wheels off his race car, then hoist the wheel-less Chevy onto his back and take the checkered flag on foot without even breaking a sweat.

Although this is probably not the description JJ would want to use on his official website, he is Trump’s kind of guy, as evidenced by the words, “In the end, you’re measured not by how much you undertake, but by what you finally accomplish.”
That is lovely … and I’m pretty sure Trump didn’t write it, although I have no trouble giving him credit for the veiled threat that followed — “Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken.”

(Let’s pause here for an inappropriate personal comment. Although I realize this is sounding a lot like a political column, honestly I still don’t know who I’m going to vote for. In the interest of bi-partisanship I looked and looked for some pithy and entertaining Hillary Clinton quotes, but found that to be the driest of wells. She should check out a NASCAR race sometime, it might lighten her up a bit. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

The 2016 Olympics have taught us that nothing is a sure thing. Even Michael Phelps can lose once in a while – OK, once – and there is glory to be found in one’s very best effort, even if it yields no gold, silver or bronze.

A seventh championship for Johnson? Probably.

A presidency for Trump? Stranger things have happened. I just can’t think of one right now.

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titles

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titlesSouth Carolina Swimming welcomed almost 800 swimmers from 25 Swim [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Rivers named honorable mention All-American

Rivers named honorable mention All-AmericanCoastal Carolina senior outfielder Kieton Rivers was recognized as a [more]

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-Stars

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-StarsMyrtle Beach right-handed pitchers Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo and Paul [more]

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleball

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleballNearly 100 local recreational athletes put themselves in a real [more]

CCU football loses legend with retirement of Glenn

CCU football loses legend with retirement of GlennCoastal Carolina football chief of staff and director of football [more]

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to Jackets

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to JacketsCoastal Carolina baseball had its season come to an end [more]

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in Regional

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in RegionalThe Chanticleers took an early 3-0 lead and did not [more]

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club Challenge

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club ChallengeThe Myrtle Beach Track and Field Club welcomed 22 clubs [more]

Chants battered by Tigers, drop into losers bracket

Chants battered by Tigers,  drop into losers bracketCoastal Carolina baseball saw a 2-2 tie disappear in the [more]

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine years

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine yearsNorth Myrtle Beach is looking for a new boys basketball [more]

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings Golfweek has unveiled its annual list of the “Best Courses [more]

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to five

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to fiveTonka Hemingway has played enough games with opposing offensive linemen. He’s [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach