NASCAR Fans Proved Their Hypocrisy After Richmond

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports /

Coming out of Richmond the NASCAR fanbase was surprisingly calm given what went down on Saturday in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race. This lack of reaction is hypocrisy at its finest.

So, before we event jump into to this let me throw out where I stand on a couple of different subjects. First off, I have nothing against Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Kyle Busch. I might lean towards Earnhardt Jr. more than Busch (based on personality) but I respect the hell out of what Busch has accomplished since returning to NASCAR in 2015.

When it comes to the NASCAR Xfinity Series I do believe there is an issue with how it’s run. However, I do not believe it’s as simple as pulling all of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers out of the series. The issue isn’t the drivers, it’s the equipment that they are in. Pull Busch out of his Xfinity Series ride and put Erik Jones or Daniel Suarez in it and they will win a bunch of races as well. They might not win as many as Busch but they will win their fair share.

As a result of this I didn’t have a huge issue when Kyle Busch was winning almost every Xfinity Series race in 2016. Sure, I wish he wasn’t and I wish that the lesser-known drivers had a better chance, but I believe it’s not that simple. Again, it’s not so much Busch as it is the quality of his equipment as compared to the majority of the other drivers in the field. So when Busch was winning like it was nobodies business and the NASCAR Universe was spitting hate in his direction, I shrugged it off.

The hate being thrown in Busch’s direction was based mostly on the premise that Cup drivers should not be in the Xfinity Series. I might not agree with that opinion but I understand where it’s coming from and that’s why I mostly ignored that hate on Busch. That was until this past weekend when something interesting happened in the Xfinity Series – another Cup driver won but nobody seemed to care.

On Saturday Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag in the Xfinity Series. For Earnhardt Jr. it was his first Xfinity Series win of 2016 and his first Xfinity Series win while running in JR Motorsports equipment. After the win I was waiting for the same hatred to be spewed towards Earnhardt Jr. since he is a Cup driving winning in a lower series.

As you might have guessed, that hatred never came.

Now it goes without saying that Earnhardt Jr. is more popular than Busch so it would have been foolish to expect the exact same negative reaction. However, the fact that there was little to no negative reaction proves hypocrisy that plagues a large portion of the NASCAR fanbase currently. Earnhardt Jr. winning on Saturday is no different than Busch winning. Earnhardt Jr. winning is still taking the spotlight and the chance to win away from a younger and lesser-known driver in the series. The only difference is that Earnhardt Jr. runs less races in the Xfinity Series than Busch does.

So what does all of this mean?

Well, it makes it more than evident that those who cried to the heavens when Busch won and not so much with Earnhardt won seem to have more of an issue with Busch than the cause they are defending so passionately . The outrage for Busch winning races in the Xfinity Series is not about the series or the younger drivers, it’s about Busch. It’s about certain NASCAR fans having a hatred for Busch and using any and all opportunities to sling mud in his direction. The outage for Busch winning in lesser series is almost completely based people not liking Busch and not wanting to see him succeed.

This weekend the majority of NASCAR fans did not crucify Earnhardt Jr. and in February they did not crucify Chase Elliott when he won in the Xfinity Series. Whether it’s a hatred that is based in jealousy or a hatred that is based in the way Busch acts; the bottom line is that it’s based in hate and nothing else.

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There is nothing wrong with disliking a team or an athlete. There is nothing wrong with booing someone when they win or find success. However, there is something wrong with not owning it. Don’t mask the hate by saying you’re trying to fight for younger drivers or the success of another series. If you want to hate, feel free to hate, just own it and don’t further the hypocrisy that is currently running wild in NASCAR.