Bruton’s World – Pick-Up Truck Pigs And Fist Fights

Charlotte, NC (November 5th, 2012) – It’s hard to pay any attention to O. Bruton Smith when he suggests things like putting 200-pound pigs in the back of the trucks to make NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races more exciting.

Then again, Smith’s probably right when he says people would pay to see something like that.

This was just one of the gems Smith, the pontiff of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., spewed out this weekend when he held court for the media at Texas Motor Speedway. To say Smith made waves with some of his comments – like the ‘pig in the poke’ suggestion about the Truck Series – is an understatement.

After all, that was Smith’s intention all along.

For more 60 years, Smith has been stirring things up in stock car racing. Without a doubt, many of his contributions to the sport have been epic and you could argue few, if any people, have advanced the sport off the track than Smith has.

Regardless of your opinion of him, Smith is a Hall of Famer. His opinions, as much as they may sway you from laughter to rancor, deserve to be heard.

Okay, so some of them – like the pig comments – are just throw aways, things Smith says just to see what kind of rise out of people.

Then again, some aren’t. In addition to rousting the swine a little at TMS this weekend, Smith also discussed several other topics.

One that caught our ear was his notion that NASCAR needs more drivers who have a “mean streak” in them.

“It would add a great deal to what we do, and we would have more drama if maybe some driver got out at the end of the race and hit somebody,” Smith stated. “I think that’s what’s missing. We used to have a lot of that.”

As someone who lived through and participated in the ‘whip your ass’ days of racing, I’m pretty sure going back to rockem’ sockem’ stock car racing is not a very good idea. Besides the sponsors – the money people who really control the sport – and the lawyers – who put your ass in jail these days for whuppin’ upside someone’s head – don’t really allow for that kind of thing anymore.

Unless you ask Bruton.

“They’d like to do something else because they say, ‘Well, I can’t because of the sponsor,'” commented Smith about today’s drivers taking on punching out competitors as a second career. “We need to do more of that. Have a little bit more free-handed stuff that creates a lot of drama. The helmet throwing. We need more helmet throwing. I call it drama, a little fisticuffs or whatever. Let them express themselves.”

Maybe Bruton’s right.

It could be me that’s missing something here.

After all, Sunday’s race may have needed something more than three side-by-side restarts and five passes for the lead between Johnson and Keselowski in the final 20 laps.

Or perhaps we could have had more than six of the top seven finishing spots filled by championship contenders Sunday?

Who knows?

Maybe having one guy like Johnson trying to secure another title – an unthinkable sixth championship – against someone like Keselowski shooting for a first, just doesn’t grab a fan’s interest anymore.

I’d like to think fans still get excited about something as epic as that.

Regardless of your perspective or conclusions, most of stock car nation can probably agree that we don’t need any pick-up truck pigs or brawls to spice things up right now.

Sorry Bruton, where most of us are sitting, there’s plenty of excitement and drama in stock car racing the way it is.

But maybe, just maybe, you could spice up things a little with one of your whiz bang pre-race shows. How about one with a country and western band concert under a wire walker surrounded by a full-scale military action trying to break up a big brawl of retired race car drivers as a school bus with a pig strapped to it jumps through fire just above the entire melee?

Woo Hoo!

Now that’s excitin’!

Pass me a beer.

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