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« Where is Jeff Gordon’s rightful place among the greatest drivers of all time? | Main | Gibbs teams lost their oil pans but made a strong pitch for Edwards in Michigan »

Joe Gibbs Racing should be rewarded, not punished

By admin | June 18, 2011



By Richard Allen


As has been well reported by now, the three Joe Gibbs Racing teams have become the target of NASCAR scorn this weekend in Michigan because of some unapproved oil pans. The sanctioning body confiscated. The parts in question will likely draw penalties in the near future.

It is this sort of thing that has caused me to so very often take issue with NASCAR on this website in recent years. JGR should not be punished for what they have done, they should be allowed to reap the reward of using creative thinking.

NASCAR has to approve the oil pans on race cars? Really? Talk about over-regulation.

Supposedly, the pans in question were far heavier than the average piece. The reason for using a heavier pan would be to redistribute weight within the car to a more beneficial location. More weight in the lower front of the car could potentially improve handling.

A team that can think to do something like that is not cheating, they are outsmarting everyone else. Isn’t that supposed to be the sort of thing that is rewarded in America?

This is the kind of thinking that is supposed to make NASCAR unique. Finding a creative advantage within the rule book, or otherwise not addressed in the rule book, are the types of things that have landed or will land a number of crew chiefs and old time owners in the Hall of Fame.

Now, NASCAR has to approve the most minor of parts on every car. With each passing day NASCAR is moving toward a situation in which they will build cars from the ground up and sell or lease them to the teams. Each car will be exactly alike, with no creativity or ingenuity allowed.

If I wanted to watch identically prepared cars ride around in a parade, I could just as easily go to Pigeon Forge and watch tourists ‘race’ on any number of go-kart tracks. Come on, NASCAR. Remember where you came from before you kill your future.

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10 Responses to “Joe Gibbs Racing should be rewarded, not punished”

  1. Russ Edwards Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 5:06 am

    In my opinion creativity is the last thing Nascar wants. They want everything to be the same, which is why we keep hearing rumblings about the spec engine for the trucks.
    I believe Nascar has wanted to be in the race car and parts building business for some time. The rumor was that some executive(s) were involved in the now defunct BSR, a long time parts supplier for the Nascar teams.
    Think of the money that they could make if they supplied even the chassis. AND, it would insulate them in case the manufacturers finally get fed up and pull out. The parts will take a but longer because the teams make so many in house now.

  2. Sue Rarick Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 6:09 am

    nascar would never sell or lease Sprint cup cars to teams……….. They’d sell them a kit and have the instructions sent to China to be translated from English to Chinese and then back to English…….. That would allow the teams to retain 300 employees (6 to build the car and 294 to try and figure out the instructions)

  3. Erich Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Love the Pigeon Forge go-cart reference!

    Do you remember the good old days where each manufacturer would complain about the others having a competitive advantage every week? About two to three times a year NASCAR would have to cut height out of a spoiler to maintain “parity.” I honestly think they got tired of playing that game and decided to mandate templates. Then things got out of hand to the point where they mandate gears and suspension rules. They love having 25 cars that can win every week, but all they’re created is a fendered version of F1.

    The worst thing that ever happened to NASCAR was the network tv deal of 2001. That’s the moment they quit caring about the fans in the stands and started catering solely to the networks’ demands.

  4. Putz Putnam Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Well Done !!!! This isn’t IROC and I , as an old-timer fan, appreciate that NASCAR is about racing. In the glory days, guys like Junior Johnson, Smokey Yunick, and the Dodge/Petty boys became legends because they knew where power and controllability of the car was hidden. I think NASCAR would be better served if we drifted back to those less restricted days ….

  5. TomShick Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    NASCRAP does not have races anymore,They only put on shows. They have not had races for many years. NASCRAP is only about money. And all the J A P S did is cause it to go downhill more. They have been trying to cheat every since they got in the sport. Just like they do the public with the J A P scrap they sell here in the USA.

  6. steven Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 8:23 am

    IROC was a great concept. What would Nascar be like if the best cheaters won every single week? The drivers skills would be instantly negated. Even Danica could win if her crew bent enough rules. In the ancient days drivers like Petty could win by over 5 laps. Competitors sponsers wouldnt be happy with that scenario.

  7. Larry Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Are you guys kidding me? Nascar fined I think Robby Gordon a year or two ago for using an unapproved nose on his car. And, I think the fines were pretty hefty. Let’s see how Nascar fines Gibbs and Toyota for what turns out to be a major infraction. Seems this is much more that just an unapproved part. These oil pans were a lot heavier than a normal pan and according to reports could help the cars handling because weight could be moved around. Remember, rules are rules and the rules says parts have to be approved by Nascar. So what am I missing here? Seems nobody wants to follow rules now in anything whether it’s in school, work, sports or whatever. But, I will be surprised if the fine for Gibbs and Toyota is anything like Robby Gordon got. Seems Nascar wants to punish the little guy more than the big high dollar teams. Remember the Carl Long penalty? Here is another chance for Nascar to be consistant on penalties but I’ll bet they will be no where close to what other teams have gotten in the past. I know, some of these rules seem silly but they are rules and need to be followed and the penalties need to be inline with what that unapproved nose piece cost Robby Gordon. Let’s see what Nascar does. But, in no way should Joe Gibbs Racing be rewarded for breaking the rules because it’s against the rules to use unapproved parts. How does anyone justify breaking the rules much less a writer who should be very familiar with what breaking the rules means.

  8. jkr0124 Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Yeah, back to the old days when the race would finish with one or two cars on the lead lap….Or even finish with the winner being 2 or more laps ahead of the field. Yup, that sounds exciting to me…

  9. midasmicah Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Because of the over regulation in nascar, this long, long time fan who used to be fanatical about all things nascar, has slowly lost interest with each passing year. Those with imagination need not apply.

  10. Pigeon Forge Says:
    June 20th, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Last year i stood in line to drive a go-cart at Pigeon Forge , i was last guy in line so i got the last place go-cart. The race starts and finishs with carts in the same order, fastest cart first and slowest last (me one lap down). I was a little pissed off i stood and watched the next 3 races, same finisting order. I guess the moral of my story is to have a fair and equal race, you need to have equal cars, then you can see who the best driver and crew is. Speaking of fair/equal, the 3 Gibbs teams sould lose ponits just like all the teams in the past have.
    (oooh, by the way, i probabitity woud have come in last even if i had a good cart……