NASCAR QNA: Jenson Button had a ball (and bang), Chase Elliott had a seat at COTA
Any explanation for why COTA was so physical?
It’s just the nature of the current beast, and may or may not have something to do with the Next Gen cars and the perception that they’re accepting of punishment.
Chase Elliott was watching with his injured leg elevated (at least it should've been!), and was probably damn glad to be part of Fox's broadcast team instead of playing bumper cars. Still safer than snowboarding, apparently.
Maybe us onlookers, as well as those in the cockpit, are so close to the trees that we can’t see the forest. Maybe it’s best to let an outsider describe what today’s NASCAR feels like to a driver new to the … ahem … "give and take" of American stock-car racing, especially on a road course.
Who's that refined Englishman over there?
NASCAR POLL: Should Daniel Suarez be penalized for post-race actions at COTA?
NASCAR'S LE MANS LINEUPJimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller, Jenson Button to pilot Next Gen in June.
NASCAR SPEED FREAKSHas Chase Elliott lost his road-racing crown to Tyler Reddick?
Jenson Button? How'd he enjoy his first taste of NASCAR?
Button, the 2011 Formula One champ, will be part of the three-driver lineup for NASCAR’s Next Gen entry in June’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. His first career NASCAR start, Sunday in Austin, won’t likely prepare him for Le Mans — thankfully, to hear him tell it.
“You get to Turn 1 and everyone’s in the way. People are braking later than me, and they just hit the car and use that to slow them down,” he told Fox’s Bob Pockrass post-race. “I have to say, I enjoyed the race — I’d say 60% of it. Forty percent of it, kinda felt a bit silly, the amount we were hitting each other.
"On the exit I gave them a big whack back. The revenge is enjoyable, but there are points where it feels … it feels … that we can do better. But the action’s amazing, don’t get me wrong.”
So did he love it or hate it?
What, you never heard of a love-hate relationship?
Listen, NASCAR isn't everyone's cup of tea, and that goes for fans as well as drivers.
But given the alternative — two-hand touch instead of tackle football — American stock-car fans are probably OK with an occasional barroom brawl breaking out in Turn 11 or thereabouts.
But if you employed any of those physical COTA tactics at, say, Silverstone or Monaco, they'd probably haul you before The Hague.
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: NASCAR: Tyler Reddick wins, Jenson Button laughs, Chase Elliott joins