If you were expecting some Conor McGregor-style histrionics at Thursday’s Chase Media Day at Miami Beach, you probably went away disappointed, as there were no chairs thrown, no insults hurled and no trash talking.
Civility carried the day, as Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch were mostly polite and positive towards each other.
While NASCAR racing thrives on rivalries and bad blood, this week is not the time to agitate, as the drivers spend an awful lot of time together doing media events and race promotion.
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And besides, pissing the other guys off doesn’t work.
“You’re not going to beat up on a guy in a media session and make his car go … slower,” said Kyle Busch, the defending series champion. “You're not going to make him go slower, you're going to make him go faster.
“You're going to make him want it more, so there's no sense in doing any of that, really,” said Busch. “That's why UFC fighters, they egg each other on; you're just going to get hit harder.”
Busch’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, Carl Edwards, agreed.
“I don't know how the guys feel, but I don't think anything I'm going to say to these guys is going to make their car any slower on Sunday, so there's really no point,” said Edwards. “I know it's entertaining for you guys (the media), but…”
Johnson, the six-time champion, said familiarity with his competitors is different than in the UFC.
“I'm not sure if people like it or love it, but this is the 39th race we've probably had against each other this year, and then years out of doing it, so we do have a rapport, and we also do learn how to socialize outside of the car and then how to flip the switch,” Johnson said.
“It's just something that I guess we grow up dealing with from a young age racing, however, we did it as youngsters up until now, and where a fighter is somebody, they might see that guy once or twice in that moment, and oh, by the way, in the UFC they try to kill each other anyway, so it's all about killing the guy.”