Sportsmanship is a virtue that tends to get lost in translation when it comes to racing. To the outside perspective, the individuals in the machines are rivals and are locked in a kind of combat until a victor can be determined. Until the checkered flag drops and everything is over, there is no such thing as care and compassion on the field of battle. I’ve heard it from little kids even…think back to the scene in the movie “Cars” when Lightning McQueen stops short of the finish line, then backs up to help out The King. I’ve heard six and seven year old kids lose it and yell out, “What are you doing?!” during that moment in the movie, genuinely upset that Lightning didn’t get the checkered flag he so coveted earlier on in the film.
Here’s the truth: all racing done in the public eye is a pageant. Yes, there’s competition, but the underlying factor is that everything…the racing, the promotion, the play-by-play, all of it, is entertainment. It’s a business and opinions aside, every racer needs every other racer in order to be successful. More often than not, when the show is over and the day is done, most drivers and crew are friendly with one another. They know each other, help each other out, and look after each other. So what you’ll see from the Bloomsberg Fairgrounds here isn’t too out of the ordinary. When Mark Hall sends the “Raminator” into the dirt hard after a jump and winds up wheels-up, the driver of the Lucas Oil “Bigfoot” Ford comes straight out of his truck and up to the wounded Ram, cutting power and fuel and checking on Hall to make sure that everything is alright before the emergency team pulls up to do their job. There is no celebration for being the de facto winner, just concern for the safety and well-being of another driver. This is a class act move right here, one that we like to see wherever we go.