The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be heading to the short track of Martinsville Speedway this weekend, and with tempers already at a boiling point, things certainly will get even rougher on the track than expected. That’s the beauty of short track racing, the ability to complete with a microscopic amount of leeway, yet similarly be able to beat on each if a driver’s line is crossed.
Two weekends ago, things between Tony Stewart and Joey Logano reached a fever pitch, with Logano throwing a water bottle at Stewart, and the fan favorite Stewart barking an expletive-laced rant at the posh Logano. These drivers are both at the most elite level of stock car competition, despite their roads being very different.
Stewart began running dirt midgets at a young age, winning the USAC Triple Crown championship; whereas Logano ran asphalt his entire life. Logano ran Bandelero cars to get his start in racing, winning at Atlanta Motor Speedway 14 times in a row. Both drivers have a short track pedigree, despite being on different surfaces.
Stewart claimed that Logano has never had to work for anything in his life, which can be nothing but farther from the truth. Nowadays, every driver in Sprint Cup has to work incredibly hard, and at the end of the day, the greatest drivers will always find ways to end up in the best equipment no matter what.
The notion that if Logano had come from a family that was unable to provide him top dollar equipment he wouldn’t be in Sprint Cup is asinine. On the more level playing field of dirt and asphalt short track racing, talent finds ways to get noticed. Talent means taking a tenth place car and having it finish in the top five. Talent is winning on an off day at lower levels.
Stewart and Logano are no different in that they both work incredibly hard to get to where they are. Every driver that attempts to qualify for Sprint Cup does. Whether it be someone like Paul Menard or Austin Dillon who have had support their entire lives, money doesn’t get cars into victory lane. Driving a race car at an elite level is a fluid situation. Drivers are constantly being replaced, and often times drivers will only get one shot, regardless of background.
Money does absolutely allow someone to get a head start. This can’t be denied. But money is also earned as a direct result of talent, and ability to win. Logano and Stewart have both had their chance, and are both at the elite level for a reason, and it sure isn’t money.
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