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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays … let’s talk about the absolute worst NASCAR had to offer from 2022!
Fine. We’ll talk about some of the better moments, too. Not a lot, though, because that’s not nearly as much fun.
Yes, we’ve officially reached the ‘reflection’ portion of the offseason, which – for those who like the curtain pulled back a bit – basically means everything you’re reading right now what was written days (maybe weeks) ago because I’m on vacation and most likely sleeping in this morning.
How’s that for some Inside Baseball?!
Anyway, there ain’t much going on in the world of NASCAR right now, so let’s revisit some of the worst – fine, and best – moments from this past season. So, basically, let’s talk some Bubba Wallace and Ross Chastain.
Four tires, a splash of fuel because, let’s be honest, we’re not going very far today, and maybe an Advil for yours truly after six days off.
Monday Morning Pit-Stop – the ‘Recycled Copy Edition’ – is LIVE!
Ross Chastain bullies Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin
I don’t know what category this one goes in, so I’ll let you decide at the end.
Let’s travel back to St. Louis waaaaaaaaaay back in June, when Ross Chastain decided to ZERO in on Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott for absolutely no reason at all.
In case you can’t remember what happened six months ago, Chastain ran Hamlin into the wall and wrecked Chase early in the June race at Gateway, prompting both to meet him in the hallway between periods and promptly stuff him in a locker.
Not quite, but …
As you can see, Hamlin made the first move, running Ross all the way to the bottom of the track and nearly into the grass as he tried to make a pass, while Chase responded by running him into the wall on the next restart.
Just in case Ross the Boss still didn’t get the point, Denny then passed him and basically drug him around the track for the next two laps.
“That kid needs an ass-whooping,” said the always-cheery Eddie D’Hondt, Elliott’s spotter.
Anytime you can turn Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott into friends, you KNOW you’ve messed up really, really bad. Ross basically said as much after the race, but he didn’t exactly sound remorseful in the heat of battle.
“I hope they’re proud in the tower of our superstars,” Chastain radioed the team as he was being stuffed in said locker.
I know I am!
Bubba Wallace throws NASCAR tantrum, runs at Kyle Larson like a bull
While Denny and Chase handled their business in their cars, OutKick fan favorite Bubba Wallace took his anger out on Kyle Larson by challenging him to a wrestling match on the infield.
Nope, I ain’t lying, either.
Man, that video never gets old. Seriously. I’m shocked every single time I see it, and I know how it ends!
Did Bubba act like an unruly toddler and pick a fight with maybe the smallest driver in the entire garage? Sure, but who am I to judge?
Just kidding! This was an embarrassing moment for NASCAR, for Bubba Wallace, and – more importantly – for Bubba’s many, many sponsors.
Don’t think McDonalds being pissed off is a big deal? Here’s the statement Bubba released 24 hours after this mess.
“I want to apologize for my actions following the on-track incident with Kyle Larson and the No. 5 car,” Wallace tweeted. “My behavior does not align with the core values that are shared by 23XI Racing and our partners.”
I appreciate you trying to bury the lead, Bubba, but we all know the big-wigs in the glass tower told you to whip up an apology ASAP, because NASCAR ain’t exactly in the business of being able to lose sponsors right now.
Anyway, Bubba was suspended for the next race, but did give us the gem of an interview right after his boxing match.
Ross Chastain gives Martinsville a NASCAR stripe
Our final moment of reflection takes us to Martinsville, where Ross Chastain redeems himself from the St. Louis debacle by giving us one of the greatest moments in NASCAR history.
Needing a miracle on the final lap of the final race before the championship, Chastain floored his Chevy with two turns to go, closed his eyes, and said one heck of a prayer.
In the span of five seconds, Chastain became a video game-playing legend, putting his Chevy up against the wall on the final turn of the final lap, FLOORING IT, passing a dozen cars – including Denny Hamlin – to somehow advance to the championship race.
It was literally something we’ve all done in video games. I’ve done it a million times. You’ve done it, too.
You’re about to lose, so you just gun it, ram into 18 cars, destroy the wall, do six flips and barrel across the finish line ahead of everyone else.
But this was real life, with real people, real consequences, and real money on the line. And it was really, really amazing.
Unless you ask Kyle Larson, of course, who sounds like an absolute joy to be around.
“I don’t know what you guys think. You probably think it’s cool. But I think it’s pretty embarrassing,” he said after the race.
OK … on second thought, maybe Bubba was on to something.
Samantha Busch checks in from the pool
All right, back to our regularly scheduled programming. And hey, it’s actually me this time, not the fake version of me who wrote this last week!
Let’s scan the internet for any Christmas pictures from our favorite drivers! First up, the Busch fam, with an ode to summer from the matriarch.
If you thought that wasn’t enough, how about this heater of a video Samantha Busch whipped up over the weekend?!
My goodness. Queen Samantha is QUICKLY becoming a star. Love her. Love Kyle. Love the entire Busch family. Love Busch Light.
What a day!
Ryan Blaney celebrates Christmas with some dogs
From the OG NASCAR couple to the up-and-comers – Ryan Blaney and Hooters girlfriend Gianna Tulio.
These two have been CRUSHING it this offseason, but they appear to have taken a little time to themselves during the big day.
Can’t wait to see what’s next for these two, by the way. I’m getting big time marriage vibes, but who knows?
Side note: How about the the beard on Blaney? You won’t find better facial hair in the entire garage.
OK, that’s all I got. Let’s turn the page to January, which means we’ll officially be ONE MONTH away from the Busch Clash out in LA.
And that’s definitely the only time I’ll EVER promote anything out in California.
Take us home, Larry Mac!