You heard it here from a media guy: sometimes having 24 hour, on-demand sports media is not necessarily a good thing. Thanks to the need to fill air-time and print space, we all know a lot more about the relationship between Kurt Busch and Patricia Driscoll than we ever want to know, what Carl Edwards thinks of Tony Stewart’s athleticism, and all manner of tripe none of us would have ever given two hoots about 30 years ago. Thankfully, the 2015 NASCAR season is roughly a month away, and some stories have surfaced this week worth taking note of….
If ever there is an old school driver left in NASCAR,it’s truck racing great Ron Hornaday. His tendency towards the use of the chrome horn doesn’t sit well with some fans, but there’s little doubt the all-time leader in truck series wins (51) commands a significant mix of admiration and grudging respect. The 56-year old has been given an extended lease on NASCAR life, thanks to team owner Curtis Key. Key and The Motorsports Group will put “Horns” behind the wheel of their number 30 Chevrolet this season. While Hornaday has never achieved the same success in the Cup series that he has in the CWTS, you know you’re going to get hard racing from racer who never backs down. Wins will likely be hard to come by for the start-up team who will be testing their stuff alongside the likes of Hendrick, Gibbs, and Penske, but nonetheless, Hornaday will bring cameras the way of TMG.
There’s good news for Brian Vickers. Better known these days for pitching blood clot medication than racing, Vickers has been given medical clearance to race by doctors, and will be back behind the wheel once again at Las Vegas. Not only has the 31-year old needed to take leave of racing due to blood clots, he also has a hole in his heart. While we’re all passionate about racing, it pales in comparison to life itself. It’s good to hear- whether we’re Vickers fans or not- that he will return to racing soon, and is reportedly “better than ever.” No doubt the absences have affected his progress as a contender in the Sprint Cup series, but one can’t help appreciate his determination to soldier on in spite of the adversity and frustration.
Thanks to his victory at the Chili Bowl, Rico Abreu has become something of an overnight sensation. The victory has earned the Californian and racing buddy of Kyle Larson a ride for H Scott Motorsports in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East circuit for 2015. As if winning the prestigious race weren’t enough, the 4-foot-4 Abreu has become something of a folk hero and inspiration as one who has a condition called achondroplasia- which causes dwarfism. To Abreu’s credit- and those around him- he’s lived a life without limits, growing up doing all the things bigger kids were doing, dreaming big dreams. The 22-year old has earned the right to get a shot at big-time racing, and while his physical stature initiates curiosity, it’s his ability that has punched his ticket to advancement. Stay tuned.
It is good to see in the midst of the nonsense, there are racing stories worthy of our attention. They can’t come at a better time.