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So, I guess I have to learn how to spell Shane Van Gisbergen now? Great. Thanks, NASCAR.
What a rollercoaster we got Sunday in Chicago, and I’m still not completely sure how I feel. From everything I see on social media, people by in large seem to have loved this experiment.
I’ll be honest with you, I was fully prepared to come out today and take a dump on NASCAR for making me watch that. I didn’t hate the Chicago Street Race. I just don’t think it’s for me.
Maybe I’m in the minority, though?
The scenes were incredible. You’ll get no argument from me there. The racing was also better than I thought, and there was pretty much always something going on. I think someone else just slammed into the tire wall just now!
But did we really need the Shane Van Gisbergen race? You know what I mean? Love the story, seems like an awesome dude and one everyone in the garage loves, so it’s not that.
I’m just saying, was Shane Van Gisbergen making NASCAR regulars look like amateurs the best way to showcase your sport to a brand new audience?
Maybe. I don’t know!
Maybe I’m just still secretly bitter they took the Fourth of July race away from Daytona. Maybe I’m jealous a New Zealander (?) won on our soil two days before our birthday? I guess it could be that I’m just stressed because I just bought a house with an interest rate nearing 7%?
The answer is in there somewhere. Let’s go find it!
What else should we get to today? Chase Elliott and Olivia Dunne drama? Of course. Chase saying everyone stinks? Absolutely. Bubba Wallace talking some diversity and inclusion? I mean, I KNOW you guys want some of that!
How about Samantha Busch refusing to not where a bikini lately? Sure. Let’s do it!
Four tires, a can of fuel and maybe a poncho? Monday Morning Pit-Stop — the ‘Happy Birthday, America, You Stink At Street Racing’ edition — is live!
Chase Elliott says NASCAR drivers were just schooled
Again, let’s be clear here — Shane Van Gisbergen (SVG from now on because I’m now I’m annoyed by it) put on a clinic Sunday.
He was far and away the best driver in the field despite it being his first NASCAR race, but I’m not sure it’s as surprising as everyone thinks.
Guys, SVG is known as a road course ringer. He’s a three-time Supercars champion. He was literally running this race because Justin Marks thought he could win. Rightfully so, by the way.
I mean, look at this prediction from BEFORE the race from IndyCar racer Stefan Wilson:
So, yeah — it wasn’t completely out of left field. This wasn’t a rando driver winning at Darlington or Dover. This was an ass-kicking by someone who is well-equipped to kick ass.
And, according to the always-cheery Chase Elliott, there were a TON of asses out there Sunday ripe for the kicking!
Chase, by the way, finished third. He was fine. He wrecked in qualifying, promptly said he sucks (of course he did) and the drove a backup car from the back of the field to the front and could’ve won had a ringer not been in the field.
My guess is, NASCAR was badly rooting for Chase to win, too. The whole reason they went to Chicago was to reach a new audience. Show off the sport to new fans. What’s the woke buzz word right now? DEI? Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?
Yeah, what do YOU think NASCAR would’ve preferred? New fans seeing Chase Elliott win and hitching their wagon to him, or watching SVG school everyone and then likely never seeing him again?
All the new SVG fans are gonna show up to Atlanta next week and wonder where the hell SVG is!
I have to be honest here. I know nobody else will say it, so I guess it falls on me. Whatever. I’ll fall on the sword for you guys!
Also, how about this little tweet from Landon Cassill?
Fine, let’s quickly talk about Chase Elliott and Olivia Dunne
Honestly, that’s not the worst opinion in the world. NASCAR has openly made a concerted effort to add more road courses to the schedule, so a road course ringer could absolutely do some damage.
Now, do I think someone like SVG could come in and just compete right away on a regular oval? No shot. He’d do well just to finish 20th, and I think that’s a stretch.
But, the ringer market is HOT right now, so it’s certainly a thought to entertain. Who would you guys like to see SVG replace in the Cup Series and why is it Bubba Wallace?
Anyway, let’s quickly get into the Chase Elliott-Olivia Dunne drama before we get back to Chicago.
I wrote about Livvy and Chase looking COZY in Nashville last week, and then Chase promptly scrubbed any pictures from that night from his social media.
Obviously, it was because Clyde has a mystery girlfriend behind the scenes who got jealous from all the Chase-Livvy hype and told him to hit the delete button STAT.
Don’t just take my word for it, either. As I noted last week, a couple OutKick readers pointed out that Chase may or may not have a secret girlfriend who they spotted him with in NYC last week. Combine that with the now-deleted Olivia Dunne posts, and it’s pretty easy to connect the dots.
Is all this drama why Chase steered his ass straight into the wall during Saturday’s qualifying? Who knows!
We had some wild NASCAR wrecks at Chicago
OK, back to the action ON the track!
As I said earlier, while this probably wasn’t my favorite race, it may have given me some of my favorite views.
Watching a race take place as the city just goes about its regular business in the background was WILD. The buildings, the street signs, the stoplights all just … there? It was cool. Props to NASCAR for that.
We also got some insane wrecks. And by that, I mean everyone was either darting straight into a giant pile of tires, or causing massive pileups because we had some NARROW turns.
Either way, it was … something. Start us off, Kyle Busch!
Bubba Wallace talks NASCAR diversity
Amazingly, both those above fellas slammed into the tire wall early in the race and still managed to finish third and fifth. Wild.
Bubba Wallace — OutKick readers’ favorite driver — was also involved in a late wreck and wasn’t much a factor Sunday. He even channeled his inner-Chase Elliott after the race and pretty much said he sucks.
Regardless, it was still a big week in Chicago for Bubba. He hosted his own block party Thursday, and then threw out the first pitch at the Cubs game Friday. Not a bad few days in the Windy City.
Of course, he also talked a little diversity & inclusion, because it’s in the NASCAR rulebook at this point to make sure we use those fancy buzzwords as much as humanely possible. I think between the drivers and leadership, I heard or read the word “diversity” 157 times this weekend.
“There are three types of people: ones that will accept change, the ones that are on the fence about change and the ones that will never change,” Wallace told reporters after throwing Bubba’s Block Party.
“You can never get through the minds of the people that will never change. So we don’t really focus our energy on those people. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t like the change that we’re doing as a sport to tap into different demographics and make the sport more welcome and inclusive. That’s on them. They’ll have to live with that. For us, we continue to march forward.”
Yeah, that’ll sit well with some folks. Can’t wait.
Throw ’em the heater, Bubba!
Samantha Busch is on a roll
Not a bad little toss there from Bubba. I’ve certainly seen worse.
Here’s Samantha Busch continuing her recent heater to start your weeks off right. Happy Fourth, everyone.
On to Atlanta.