Christopher Bell won the NASCAR Cup race Sunday on the road course at Daytona while the best race – and story – of the weekend came Saturday when Joe Gibbs’s grandson, Ty Gibbs, won the first Xfinity Series race he entered, which put him in some very select company indeed. But first, The Sermon.
Last winter, Kyle Larson used the N word while playing an iRacing game. He was immediately fired by Chip Ganassi Racing and suspended for the season by NASCAR. He was ordered to take sensitivity training. And that, by the way, was the proper way to handle that situation.
Over the course of the 2020 season, NASCAR showed a commitment to race relations that might not have been possible even a few years ago. It banned the Confederate flag from all properties where NASCAR races. When a noose was found hanging from the garage door of Bubba Wallace’s team at Talladega, it threw its support behind the young Black driver and the scene when Wallace pushed his car to the front of the line on pit road and was followed by every other driver, car owner and pit crew member was both inspiring and unforgettable.
To show that 2020 wasn’t a fluke, or a PR exercise, the invocation and the U.S. national anthem at Sunday’s NASCAR Cup road course race were both performed by African-Americans.
Now, this January, Hailie Deegan, a rising young woman racer, used the R word while iRacing. She wasn’t fired and although NASCAR said she was suspended, it was only while she took sensitivity…