By admin | November 6, 2011
By Richard Allen
It is said that there are two sides to every story. In the spirit of that statement I am writing two separate columns to address the parking of Kyle Busch by NASCAR following his actions during Friday nightâ€™s Camping World Truck Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway. In one of those columns I will attempt to explain the positives of the sanctioning bodyâ€™s police action against the driver and in the other I will attempt to explain that the wrong decision was made.
On lap 15 of the WinStar World Casino 350 driver Ron Hornaday got inside of Busch and essentially muscled his way around as the two raced through turns one and two of the 1.5 mile track. The pass by the Kevin Harvick, Inc. driver forced Buschâ€™s Toyota to go high up the banking and brush the wall.
Clearly, Busch was angered by the move and pursued Hornaday down the back stretch as the yellow flag waved. When Hornaday slowed in observance of the caution, Busch latched his truck onto Hornadayâ€™s rear bumper and began pushing him wildly through turns three and four until he finally hooked the right rear of the #33 and turned it head on into the outside wall.
Busch was then ordered by NASCAR to take his machine behind the pit wall and park it for the rest of the night. The next morning, the sportâ€™s governing body announced that the often controversial driver would not be allowed to participate in either the Nationwide Series race scheduled for Saturday nor the Sprint Cup event set for Sunday afternoon on that same track.
Hereâ€™s why parking Busch for the weekend was a good move by NASCAR.
First and foremost, what Busch did was blatant and dangerous. At the speeds being traveled on a track such as Texas Motor Speedway, even after having just been put under caution, such a move as described above could have resulted in catastrophic consequences.
It has long been considered taboo for one driver to hook another in the right rear and intentionally turn the opposing car into the wall in such a way. From local short tracks to giant super speedways, this practice has been forbidden as one of those unspoken codes of conduct under which drivers are supposed to operate.
Another reason NASCAR was right to punish Busch is that standards have to be set somewhere. What Busch did canâ€™t be tolerated under any circumstances. Although NASCAR told drivers to â€œHave at itâ€ some time ago, guidelines were never really established. Perhaps it was assumed that those involved would know where the line was and not cross it. Obviously, that was not the case but this incident has now provided the sanctioning body with an opportunity to define those boundaries.
Add to the argument for parking Busch that his actions made the sport look bad. NASCAR will no doubt get mentions on a number of television and radio shows more often dedicated to the coverage of stick and ball sports for the simple reason of the hosts being able to show the sport as bar brawling side show rather than a legitimate sport.
And finally, on a bit of a strange note, Buschâ€™s parking may discourage Sprint Cup drivers from entering lower division races if they know their actions there may cause the loss of Cup points or may start feuds that could spill over to the top division.
There are a number of reasons that could be argued in favor of the actions NASCAR took against Kyle Busch this past weekend in Texas. From establishing guidelines to maintaining the integrity of the sport, the governing body of the sport had to do something.
In the end, this was a tough call for NASCAR to make. Either way they would have been criticized by fans, media and other competitors. And consider that there is much more to it than the discipline of a single driver. Sponsors, crew members, car owners and fans are all impacted when one of the sportâ€™s stars in benched. However, the call could have been made much more easily, or might not have had to be made at all, had clear guidelines for driver behavior been detailed and those guidelines been enforced regularly and consistently.
Please consider this opposing view http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1564
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