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And in other NASCAR news ....

Almost forgot: The other story coming out of Phoenix on Sunday, besides Jimmie Johnson almost certainly losing the Cup and Brad Keselowski almost certainly locking it up, was this.

Cue the "Dueling Banjos" background music.

Nothin' like a good old throwdown in the garage area to bring back the days of yore in NASCAR, when men were men and whiskey was, shall we say, readily available. This was real yee-ha stuff, and it summoned a tear for those who pine for the days before the sport got all corporate, and the men who drove stock cars sometimes didn't have their full complement of teeth.

Being that this is 2012 and not 1912, though, if NASCAR doesn't sit Jeff Gordon for the stunt that touched off all the mayhem, its credibility is zero. Bad enough that he wrecked Clint Bowyer with his temper tantrum, but taking out innocent bystander Joey Logano in the process was truly beyond the pale.

On the other hand ... any abandoned NHL hockey fan who happened to flip on the race in the middle of the brawl undoubtedly felt a pang of nostalgia. So NASCAR at last had that going for it.

Ben Smith's blog.