At Bristol, it took two 20-something NASCAR newbies to bring back a little "old school" racing and the fans who witnessed the closing laps of the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 Xfinity Series race loved it as Erik Jones drove through, instead of around, Ryan Blaney to claim his second win at the world's fastest half-mile.

Blaney had the lead on the next-to-last restart with 23 laps to go and had been strong all afternoon, especially on the long runs where he had, perhaps, the fastest car. Jones, on the other hand, fired off fast and knew if he didn't get by Blaney quickly, he probably wouldn't win. That's why as soon as Jones reached Blaney's back bumper it was time to be a bull in a china shop, not a ballet dancer.

"We were racing hard and we ended up getting the lead," Jones simply said. 

Blaney, in the meantime, grudgingly understood.

"I felt I had to protect the bottom (the) best I could. He got in there hard and we just made contact. That's hard racing and I pushed the issue," he explained.

Jones offered no apology and Blaney didn't ask for one. The young Toyota driver understands that his aggressive move has given Blaney the green light to return the favor down the road, and Blaney certainly won't forget he has a get-out-of-jail-free card the next time he's behind Jones.

It used to be nothing to see bump-and-runs, where a driver, out of time or patience, would give the guy in front of him what we used to refer to as the "chrome horn," sending him up the track and out of the way. 

Jeff Gordon shoved Rusty Wallace not once, but twice, going into turn three on the final lap to win at Bristol. Wallace didn't retaliate immediately, he just filed it away for a day when the two reversed roles. It was common for drivers to make contact and get pushed around. And it was perfectly acceptable as long as the "bumper" didn't wreck the "bumpee."

That's the way it used to be, and the bump and run is mostly a lost art these days. The drivers have also lost the heart to move another driver out of the way when the time comes. These days, if that move is made, fans and competitors alike treat it like it's some kind of crime. If not a felony, at least a misdemeanor.

Jones brought it back at Bristol and Blaney handled it like he was an old soul from a bygone era. It was good to see. It gave me hope what made NASCAR great hasn't really been forgotten.

This week's BY THE NUMBERS…

At Bristol, Kyle Larson led nearly half of the laps, 382 of 800 to be exact, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series races. Unfortunately for Kyle, he came up short in both events.

In 22 previous Cup starts at Bristol, Martin Truex Jr. led a total of 114 laps. Monday he was out front for 116 laps.

Jimmie Johnson now has 82 Cup victories. That's one behind Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time list. Johnson is now only two in back of Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison, who are tied for fourth. Sitting third is Jeff Gordon with 93 checkered flags.