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Random Lugnuts: Candy and Race Car Drivers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards
What is Random Lugnuts?  It's random bits of stock car racing commentary written on an irregular basis by an irregular racing fan.  The name is a reference to the lugnuts that go flying off a car during a pit stop:  you never know where they are going to go, what they're going to do when they get there, they can be annoying, they're often useless after a race, and every once in a while someone gets hit and they don't know exactly where it came from.
Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.

Random Lugnuts: Candy and Race Car Drivers

Bill Crittenden
March 3, 2008

Commercial Break

Never underestimate the effect of marketing on the target audience.

Kyle Busch is all over the stock car news these days, and for good reasons this time.  His performance has ensured good visibility for the M&Ms #18 car.

Which is unfortunate to me, because his ride is butt ugly.  There's just no nice way to say it.  It's an eyesore.  But then I'm a 27-year old cynic, and I like the simpler designs of yesteryear on the cars.

My son, however, is just past his third birthday.  Yesterday, he's sitting in my chair, kinda bored.  I'm off in the kitchen microwaving lunch, when I hear him call, "Bill," from the other room.  I pop my head around the fridge, look at him, and say, "what's up, buddy?"  He looks at me, points at the screen and says, "emms," his name for M&Ms.  I look at the screen, and there's Kyle Busch's car.

Well, from that point on, the race became a game for him.  He'd say it every time we saw Kyle on the screen.  When the camera would turn away, he'd say, "where's the emms?"

Of course, as soon as I try to turn our moment into a cute YouTube video, he decides he's done watching the race.  Sorry, I tried.  It was really cute, though.  But my lesson about designing cars for the sponsor's target audience was learned...and Kyle Busch seems to have a new fan.

Victory Lane

Well, controversy is always fun to write about.  Now word is that Carl Edwards' car didn't quite pass postrace inspection, and that penalties may be coming.

I could pretend to have all the answers, which is what I normally do, but in this case for now I'll just point out something I've pointed out before and likely will again whenever something like this happens:

Carl Edwards' car.  It's all over the news.  Carl Edwards' car.  Never mind that this isn't short-track racing in Rockford, this is the Sprint Cup, and he's not wrenching on his own ride behind an aluminum trailer hauled by a Ford pickup truck.  There's a whole team of guys in a huge hauler and garage working on the #99 Dish Network car, lead by Bob Osborne, whose name isn't mentioned until the very end of the article on NASCAR.com.

Sure, it's not fair that the crews do so much hard work to put a driver in a position to win and get so little recognition and money compared to the drivers.  But this is the flip side, those who get the fame also get the infamy, even when it wasn't for anything they did or could even prevent.

Any other speculation is premature until the full story and news of any penalties comes out.  But I'm working on the next edition already, just in case NASCAR decides as I predict they will...



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