In this year of "have at it," passion and emotion were taken to a couple of extremes last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, and it was all good.
Well, it wasn't good for Kyle Busch's bank account -- or wherever his fine money comes from -- and his Sunday race result. But it was good for the show, for the most part.
It doesn't get much better than the drama and emotion of the Keselowski family as Brad Keselowski came closer and closer to clinching the first major NASCAR championship for him, his family and Roger Penske.
And then, what do we think about the actions of Carl Edwards, after he won Saturday's Nationwide race? He took the passion and exultation of victory to a not-often -- if ever -- viewed range when he spied an open gate near the start/finish line and bounded gleefully into the stands to celebrate with what had to be some pleasantly stunned fans.
You just never know what these guys are going to do next -- and that adds to the delight.
At least most of us don't. Some of the participants did, on Sunday. Like Jeff Burton, who after he "inadvertently" wrecked Jeff Gordon under caution midway through the Sprint Cup 500-miler said he knew Gordon "wasn't coming over to shake my hand" after Gordon purposefully stalked several hundred yards to confront Burton.
Gordon pushed Burton -- much in the same way he'd pushed Matt Kenseth in 2006 at Bristol after some on-track fender rubbing. Gordon got a $10,000 fine and probation then, but got no sanctions this week.
And that's a good thing. A little passion, a single-minded purpose, is what the sport needs to keep people interested. It's a little bit confusing why, to this point, it doesn't seem to have worked, as attendance and TV ratings continue to spiral in the wrong direction.
But the sport for sure needs more Kurt and Kyle Busches, more Carl Edwardses, more Tony Stewarts and more Jeff Gordons -- on his best, most passionate days.
For comedic relief, it can even use some of Kyle Busch on what had to be one of his worst days.
Earlier this week, Kyle apologized for his behavior, primarily open disrespect for the pit road NASCAR official who was rendering the automatic penalty Busch received for trying to steal a lap from the field by out-racing the pace car off pit road.
It's too bad some of the under-aged had to be subjected to Kyle's one-fingered salute -- which extended the penalty by a couple laps -- but that's part of life, and you can't keep the little ones in the closet forever.
They'll be exposed to the same thing in the neighborhood, at school or heaven forbid, at home ... All you can do is offer some education when it's appropriate.
And hope that when Kyle Busch says he learned "when to keep my emotions in check," that he's still able to dispense them as freely as he always has -- to the delight and dismay of his fans and foes alike.
He makes the game infinitely more interesting in the process -- as do all those who carry a vivid amount of emotion into their game. And we can only hope that doesn't dissipate in time -- fines and NASCAR probation notwithstanding.