Father’s Day in the NASCAR world usually produces a lot feel-good stories and special reflections of the past. Last weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway was no exception, as drivers reached new milestones, made new memories, and shared big news — all while a giant black garbage bag floated around the track.
Thumbs Up: Kyle Larson’s Victory Lane Burnout
After Kyle Larson took the checkered flag Sunday afternoon, he immediately took his race-winning Chevrolet to Michigan’s unique Victory Lane, which resides on the frontstretch grass. Instead of climbing out of the car, he did something a bit more Kyle Larson — ripping some donuts over the checkered flag tiles.
WATCH: Larson’s unique burnout
Thumbs up, not only for Larson’s smoky celebration, but for seeing unique victory celebrations each week. While Larson left his (tire) mark in Victory Lane, last week’s winner Ryan Blaney celebrated his first victory a little differently — driving backwards, slowly across the Pocono Raceway frontstretch, saluting the fans.
Whether you prefer your victory celebrations Larson-esque or Blaney-style (or even Austin Dillon’s method of sliding on your stomach along the infield grass), one of the coolest parts of NASCAR is watching each driver’s own special way of celebrating a race win.
Thumbs Down: Littering
What do they have in common?
They’re things that don’t belong on the racetrack, but somehow ended up there.
A garbage bag on the track.
A hat on the track.
An on-air tribute to Flounder.
Little bit of everything today. #NASCAR
— Zack Albert (@zack_albert) June 18, 2017
I guess the garbage bag was well-intentioned, at least. And maybe someone’s hat flew off when dozens of race cars rushed past at more than 200 mph (and it wasn’t noted hat-wearer Jack Roush).
We can confirm it was NOT Jack’s hat! pic.twitter.com/iskQvGHVuL
— Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) June 18, 2017
Maybe all that debris could have been prevented if someone hadn’t lost their trash bag on Lap 7.
Thumbs Up: Joey Logano’s Big Father’s Day News
After racing to a third-place finish at Michigan, Joey Logano announced some exciting and Father’s Day-relevant news on Twitter: he and wife Brittany are expecting a little Logano in January.
Wanted to announce this in Victory lane. Thrilled to say Brittany and I are expecting a Little Logano on 1/11/18 pic.twitter.com/Nu3neBjqov
— Joey Logano (@joeylogano) June 18, 2017
An additional thumbs up to Joey and Brittany for the strategic planning of a due date in the NASCAR off-season. It seems a little more ideal than having to keep a backup driver on standby, like Trevor Bayne did this past weekend in anticipation of a little one’s arrival.
Now the two future parents can enjoy a week of riding their tandem bicycle through a grassy meadow before heading to Sonoma.
Thumbs Down: Martin Truex Jr. Wins His ninth and 10th Stages, Displeasing Millennials
After winning Stage 1 and Stage 2 at Michigan, Martin Truex Jr. reached an incredible milestone: his 10th stage victory this season.
“A thumbs down? But that’s an insane statistic!”
It’s true — nobody is even close to Truex’s 10 stage wins after 15 races this season (the next driver in line is Kyle Busch with four). The performance of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team is just plain jaw-dropping when it comes to stage racing.
But, come on, Martin. Give somebody else a chance.
As a millennial, I believe everyone should win a stage just for showing up. You know, participation trophies and whatnot. And give the eighth-place finisher a special bonus.
Everybody wins every stage just for being there. Nobody gets to feel special for winning a third of all the stages, even though it’s an uncanny and untouchable feat.
Biggest Thumbs Up of the Week: Three Generations of Larsons in Victory Lane
This was one of the coolest moments of the Father’s Day weekend — Kyle Larson’s son, Owen, celebrating his father’s big win.
Oh, and Kyle’s father, Mike Larson, showed up, too.