By admin | May 9, 2011
By Richard Allen
NASCAR has announced they are going to â€œlook intoâ€ the altercation that occurred in Darlington this past weekend between Juan Pablo Montoya and Ryan Newman as well as the dustup between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. While it may be true that they will â€œlook intoâ€ the scuffles and the events that led to them, they are not likely to actually do anything about said confrontations. And more, if they actually do something significant the organizationâ€™s leadership is more inept than anyone may have believed.
Why in the world would the sanctioning body look into something that has gotten them so much attention?
For that matter, to actually punish any of these drivers, with the possible exception of Busch for pushing Harvickâ€™s unattended car on pit road, would be hypocritical. NASCAR should not deliver sanctions against drivers who are doing what theyâ€™re encouraged to be doing.
NASCAR encourages these things with their late race rules. The wave around and the lucky dog are designed to put as many cars as possible on the lead lap. And, allowing multiple green/white/checkered finishes is the sanctioning bodyâ€™s way of telling all those drivers on the lead lap to go all out late in races.
All of these rules combined with those often mysterious late race debris cautions are meant to bring about the very incidents fans have seen over the course of the past two weeks. Anyone who believes otherwise is just fooling themselves.
The biggest problem with the Newman/Montoya confrontation with its alleged punch by Newman on Friday in Darlington as far the sport and the television networks are concerned is that it occurred inside the NASCAR truck where no one could see it. The greatest sin as far as fighting at a race track is concerned is doing it out of sight of those who would most enjoy the show.
Concerning that very thing, there is a sign posted at the Modoc Speedway in Georgia that reads something to the effect of, â€œIf you fight in the pits, you go to jail. If you fight on the front stretch, you get $500.â€ Race promoters are really entertainment promoters and they need things to happen that will encourage fan interest and make them want to come back or watch. Controversy does just that.
As far as the Harvick/Busch confrontation is concerned, it was more amusement than fighting. As a matter of fact, to call that a fight would be an insult to Ali and Frazier. It was more the stuff of a auto racing situation comedy with all that backing and forthing on pit road.
NASCAR may â€œlook intoâ€ the driver confrontations but donâ€™t expect anything more than fines that millionaires can easily afford and meaningless probation. That is, if NASCAR is smart.
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East Tennessee racing roundup for May 6-8 http://tennesseeracer.com/?p=1630
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