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NASCAR should make pit road speeds public

By admin | May 17, 2010

By Richard Allen

It seems as though NASCAR goes out of their way to give conspiracy theorists(like I often am) all the ammunition they need to make accusations against the sanctioning body. One area in particular is that of pit road speeding violations.

This past weekend Jimmie Johnson was penalized for being too fast on the exit of pit road after his last stop of the day in the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover.

“I don’t know how it’s possible,” Johnson declared over his team radio after being informed of his violation. “I got passed exiting.”

NASCAR tells the teams and the broadcast networks exactly where on pit road the violation occurred. However, all anyone really has to go on is their word. That, of course, leads to speculation and innuendo.

On the other hand, many would argue that since it was Johnson who was caught on Sunday there is proof that no conspiracies are in place because it is his team that is often believed to be favored.

Perhaps the most well known speeding infraction took place in Indianapolis last year. Juan Pablo Montoya was busted when it appeared as though he was on his way to the biggest moment of his brief NASCAR career. After dominating much of that race and seemingly only needing to coast to victory he was issued a penalty which cost him the win.

Montoya, much like Johnson on Sunday, could not believe he had been speeding. He protested vehemently over his team radio but to no avail.

NASCAR could end all the complaints by drivers and the speculation by everyone else if they would simply allow the television networks access to the telemetry used to gauge pit road speeds. After all, this is not something that is a judgment call. The car is either too fast or it isn’t.

Instead, as they so often do, NASCAR has chosen to make it hard on themselves.

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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “NASCAR should make pit road speeds public”

  1. Charles Says:
    May 17th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Richard I totally agree!!!

    I think Nascar needs to come up with some system much like the DOT uses in certain areas that shows you how fast you are running with your speed in full view!

    They would have to be creative to make it work, but having the speeds show to the fans and drivers in full view would help solve some of the questionable speed penalities!

  2. Steve Richey Says:
    May 18th, 2010 at 12:46 am

    I have set with the guys who watch a pair of computers that have numerous timing loops relayed to them. Trust me when I say that this system is foolproof. There is no margin of error. If they speed they are caught. I am just a fan who got an all access tour of everything behind the scenes we all always wanted to know. And now I know. There is not conspiracy and there is not cheating the system. It is what it is.Any questions email me.

  3. Ginger Says:
    May 18th, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Well Steve, I’d love to. There’s a problem though. You failed to post your email address.

  4. Richard Allen Says:
    May 18th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    The point of the article isn’t necessarily that I don’t believe NASCAR when they say someone is speeding. The problem is that by not showing anyone except themselves and a few select others, they open themselves up to charges of conspiracy.

  5. Richard in N.C. Says:
    May 18th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    However, most of the conspiracy theories are spun by the media and we know how much credibility the media has.

  6. Steve S. Says:
    May 18th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Well, you can blame nascar. My Verizon cell phone has GPS and can tell me my speed driving down the road. So nascar could change the rules to allow teams to place a system in the cars or if their current phone company doesn’t have the technoloigy than switch to one that does.. but can’t sponsor a car because nascar is puting the cash in their pockets form another phone service.. sorry to change subjects like that but there are so many, lol.