The “Spingate” of 2013 put NASCAR in a spotlight…. and the way they handled it has had an affect on the careers of one driver in particular, as well as one very high profile sponsor. Truex got collectively screwed in this mess, and NAPA ended up with Jr Motorsports and Chase Elliot who is tabbed to replace Jeff Gordon in 2016 at Hendrick Motorsports.
Saturday night’s race at Richmond has put NASCAR in the spotlight once again. This time for questionable actions by Clint Bowyer in the #15 , and blatant actions by his teammate, driver Brian Vickers and the #55 team, as well as MWR’s Ty Norris. The combination of Bowyer’s ridiculous spin, Vickers’ questionable pit strategy, and Ty Norris’ blatant radio traffic, placed MWR #56 driver Martin Truex in The Chase following the conclusion of Saturday night’s event.
I have never, and will never consider NASCAR a gentleman’s sport, and that has nothing to do with women now competing. It’s racing. Stuff happens. I get it. I am OK with that. I like when they mix it up, and beat and bang, and bump and run. What I don’t care for is some damn suit sitting up on a Pit Box, telling clueless drivers (See #55 B Vickers) to pit for no blank blanking reason. I don’t care for some suit telling drivers that know a little more (see #15 C Bowyer) to scratch an itch, thereby spinning their car out, causing a caution. You can’t tell me that either one of those guys were cool with what happened. They can’t say “no”. Their boss told them to do something, they did it. Just like you would do at your job.
NASCAR is a rare sport with team members that do not actually give a damn where their teammates finish. You run fast, you go hard; you finish as high as you can. There are, of course, courtesies to be made. Like, for instance, if your car is running on 6 cylinders and the leaders are coming up on your ass. You move down. You don’t wreck yourself, you move out of the way.
When team executives start determining race outcomes and Chase positions by essentially playing Chess with their cars, what we have is the equivalent of WWE in stock cars. No true race fan wants to see that. No true race fan gives a shit about Ty Norris. We like our drivers. We like our drivers to do well. We like our drivers to EARN their spots. Our drivers are professionals. They EARN their way into the Chase, or they don’t. A race finish should never be the result of an orchestrated move by some jackhole executive with a sweet office and a nice smart phone.
So much crap happened at the end of that race, my head was spinning. I couldn’t keep up with all the drama. Lost in all of it, was the fact that race winner Carl Edwards clearly jumped the restart, giving him the win.
However, THAT went unaddressed by NASCAR. Speaking of jackholes in suits…..