By admin | June 7, 2011
By Richard Allen
Much has been written and said about the recent fracas between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch over the last few days. While the who hit who and why part of the story is intriguing and somewhat entertaining, the real story came in the aftermath of the melee.
On Monday it was announced that NASCAR had issued a steep fine of $150,000 to Childress after he was alleged to have attacked Busch in the garage area of the Kansas Speedway following a Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday. According to reports, Childress was upset that Busch had bumped one of his trucks on the cool down lap and went to seek his own form of justice. It has also been reported that Childress went so far as to remove his watch and hand it to grandson Austin Dillon before approaching Busch, a move that clearly indicates premeditation.
But do keep in mind that there had been previous incidents between Busch and Richard Childress Racing drivers leading up to this particular incident which has led a number of observers to state that Busch deserved what he got. That may well be so but the issue here is NASCARâ€™s actions following the fight, or bigger still, NASCARâ€™s actions in general when policing the sport.
Whether you happen to believe Busch got his rightful reward or not, there can be little doubt that Childressâ€™ actions were out of line for any other setting in society. Granted, I understand that fighting has long been a part of sports, and racing in particular. For that matter, this sport owes much of its current status to a fight. However, allowing someone to remain on the speedway grounds who had just assaulted another competitor is hard to justify, especially if NASCARâ€™s story that Busch did nothing to provoke the punches is to be believed.
Again, I am not necessarily condemning Childress. If I were a car owner and kept having my equipment torn up by the same guy I might very well attempt to do the same thing. But, I would expect to at least be removed from the grounds after it happened.
This is not the only time NASCARâ€™s rulings have come in question in regard to policing the sport.
Letâ€™s stay with the driver in question in this case. Kyle Busch is supposedly on probation for his actions in Darlington just a few short weeks ago. Since having probation levied against him the driver was clocked going 128mph on a country road outside of the Charlotte area in a Lexus sports car. Apparently endangering the lives of others is not something NASCAR feels the need to address in regard to a driver on probation.
But, they have hammered drivers Jeremy Mayfield and Shane Hmiel with suspensions for failing banned substance tests. To say that what Busch did was not covered by probation because it did not happen at the track is just as weak as if someone had claimed these two drivers only used drugs at home and not at the track.
And consider that in the discussion of NASCARâ€™s action against Childress it came to light that Ryan Newman may have been secretly fined by NASCAR for allegedly punching Juan Pablo Montoya in the presence of NASCAR officials in their own hauler. Why the need for secrecy? Well, to have made it public would have been an admission that the incident did indeed happen which then offers up the perception that the inmates are running the asylum.
It wouldnâ€™t be that star power has anything to do with who gets suspended and who doesnâ€™t would it?
And letâ€™s take the biggest travesty of all in regard to NASCAR policing. After the 2009 All Star qualifying race, journeyman driver Carl Long was hammered with one of the most severe penalties NASCAR has ever issued. He was fined $200,000 and suspended for 12 races. What did Long do, you ask? Assault with a deadly weapon while under the influence of cocaine in the garage area? No, his engine was found to have a cubic inch displacement of .17 inch too big.
Again, is it star power that determines punishment?
Sadly, the leadership of the sport is either playing favorites when they issue penalties and think no one notices, or they themselves are completely unaware of their own misjudgments. Either way, it is not good.
The bottom line is that the leadership of this sport is flawed. Inconsistent rulings that lend themselves to cries of favoritism often prove difficult to defend in any way that doesnâ€™t come off as laughable or mystifying. And perhaps even worse are the alleged attempts at secrecy. Once found out, these acts give off the impression that the sport is being run like a police state.
NASCAR and dirt racing being drawn closer together http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1446
NASCAR needs more races decided on the track than in the pits or the gas pump http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1445
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