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My PRN bandmate Brad Gillie occupies the office next to mine, and it's thoroughly decorated with Rush memorabilia. Actually, after having known Brad for a few years, I've developed an affinity for the Canadian import. I can only tell you that Rush is lot more than Tom Sawyer!
Speaking of Rush, that appears to be the mindset of most folks when it's comes to bright new talent like Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and I'll put Hailie Deegan in the mix as well. Am I the only person that struggles with spelling of her name? Anyway, it appears that a lot of folks are in a "Rush" to move them up the ladder, tomorrow!
I have no doubt that all three of these drivers have the talent to move up to the next level but that doesn't necessarily mean that should jump to the next lily pad just yet. The last two Xfinity champs that made the move to Cup, Daniel Suarez and William Byron, are approaching five years of total experience and have a combined zero wins. They have both shown flashes, but outside of Byron's ability to win poles not a lot more. I like both of these guys a great deal but it's not enough to be in the show, you want to be the show. That appears to be further down the road.
The internal and external pressure on Bell, Custer and Deegan to move up must be on the same level as tectonic plates shoving into each other. The Sirens Song of the higher series is loud and tempting. Odysseus had himself tied to the mast and his sailors put wax in their ears to help them resist. I'm thinking that's not happening in this case but I ask all concerned to pause and reflect.
I've talked to enough drivers to know that winning on a lower level is preferable to losing on the next. Winning and building a resume is not bad, and success at one level is no promise that is will follow you up the escalator of racing.
"Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage"
If the right opportunity presents itself they will all jump up the ladder, I just hope they don't jump for the sake of jumping.