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Kyle Larson is very likely one of the most talented drivers of his generation. *Frank Smith Photo)

KERCHNER: Some Things I Think I Know

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — All of us who closely follow motorsports have strong opinions about this, that and the other thing. 

We certainly heard a lot of them during the Knox­ville Nationals. And after hearing those opinions and formulating our own, here are some things that I think are true:

– Kyle Larson is the most talented driver of his generation.

– That said, he’s merely a man and some of the hero worship has gotten a little ridiculous.

– The Friday Hard Knox program during the Knoxville Nationals has become a must-see night of racing. With the majority of the sport’s top dogs already locked into Saturday’s program, the Hard Knox events feature a deep field of talented and evenly matched racers. It’s always fun to watch.

– Regardless of criticism from many newcomers to the sport, the inversion of eight in the heat races on the qualifying nights during the Knoxville Nationals is an important and interesting part of the format.

– Parker Price-Miller may need to think about another profession. He’s had a lot of hard crashes during his sprint car racing career, and he’s only 23.

– Sammy Swindell’s mini temper tantrum on night two of the Knoxville Nationals brought back a lot of memories.

– Most racers are good fits for the term: own worst enemy.

– People who annoyed me when I was 25, really annoy me now.

– Sye Lynch is a gasser.

– There’s nothing more satisfying than a ribeye sandwich and an ear of corn at the Marion County Cattleman’s Ass’n tent during the Nationals. 

– Safety crews like the one that quickly responded to the scene of a crash and fire during Thursday’s preliminary night for the Knoxville Nationals do not get enough credit.

– I’m not sure why everyone is sad to see drivers such as Jac Haudenschild and Sammy Swindell retire from racing. 

– Seeing Ron Shuman during the Knoxville Nationals was great evidence that a talented race car driver can step away from the cockpit at a relatively young age and still enjoy a fulfilling life.

– Granted, our bedtime comes a lot earlier than it used to, but races that stretch beyond the midnight hour really aren’t that much fun.

– Can you imagine if every driver had the marketing sense that Brian Brown has?

– I love it that when pressed by NASCAR media types to name another major event he’d like to win, Knoxville Nationals winner Kyle Larson said, “The World 100 is coming up, and I’d sure like to win that one.”

– I think that not only does Ayrton Gennetten have a great racing name, but he’s got a heavy right foot to go with it.

– It was interesting to hear Shane Stewart, Donny Schatz, Brian Brown and others talk about how hard Kyle Larson and the younger generation of sprint car drivers run their cars.

– The faces in the crowd at the Knoxville Nationals appeared, at least to me, to be skewing younger than they have in a long time.

– I think it says a lot about the Scelzi family that Dominic Scelzi turned down the chance to compete in the Knoxville Nationals after the birth of his first child but flew in for Saturday’s finale after his younger brother, Gio, earned the pole.

– Kody Swanson deserves a crack at the Indianapolis 500.

– It was refreshing to see Denny Hamlin’s mature response to being taken out by Chase Briscoe during the closing laps of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

– What is it that makes television announcers believe there aren’t races that are bigger or more important than those sanctioned by NASCAR?

– Who would have thought that NASCAR Cup Series road course races at Circuit of The Americas and Indianapolis Motor Speedway would produce as many crashed cars as races at Daytona Int’l Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway?

– I don’t believe Jimmie Johnson is enjoying competing in the NTT IndyCar Series as much as he says he is.

– I think Josh Berry getting a full-time drive in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports proves good things happen to those who wait.

– I think I’d like to know John Force’s doctor — medical that is.

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