By admin | July 1, 2012
By Richard Allen
Austin Dillon led all but eight laps on his way to victory in Fridayâ€™s Nationwide Series race at the Kentucky Speedway. It was a truly dominating performance on the track. However, off the track it became a win that will always be questioned after the #3 car failed post-race inspection.
Dillonâ€™s Chevrolet proved to be too low at the rear of the car when NASCAR inspectors took a routine look after the race. It was the second time Richard Childress Racing had been caught with the same infraction as Elliott Sadlerâ€™s car was deemed too low after a 2nd place finish at a race in Iowa earlier this year. Both the Dillon and Sadler cars were found with illegal bumper covers in a pre-race inspection prior to a race in Richmond.
NASCAR has long used the policy of keeping the winner as declared on race day in place but handing down fines and other penalties(usually points) days later. It may be time for that policy to change.
I was in attendance for a race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1978 when many believe NASCAR unofficially adopted the policy of having fans know who the winner is when they leave the track. On that day, confusion over scoring left some believing Donnie Allison had won while others thought Richard Petty was the victor. As my dad and I drove home to Tennessee that night the race experienced three lead changes after the checkered flag when announcements kept coming over the radio to say that one then the other had won.
Ultimately, Allison was awarded the trophy but NASCAR was somewhat embarrassed by their inability to immediately determine the race winner. Supposedly, a decision was made after that event to never have fans leave thinking one driver had won only to find out later that indeed another driver was truly victorious.
The modern day ease of getting information out has rendered that policy outdated. And more, there is the issue of having a car win a race that may have won because of an unfair advantage. Simply taking points away may hurt the declared winner but it does little good for those who were beaten by said car.
In most forms of dirt late model racing, when a car does not pass its initial post-race inspection, it is as if that driver was never even in the raceâ€¦no trophy, no check, no points. And in some cases, race winners have been thrown out days after a race when lab results have shown that illegal tire tampering had taken place.
For those who would argue that â€œstuffâ€ happens during a race that might cause a car that has passed pre-race inspection to fail in post-race, it is up to the teams to see to it they have enough tolerance built in so that does not happen. If that excuse is going to be accepted, keep in mind it is very easy for a car to be engineered in such a way that â€œstuffâ€ could happen to cause shifts and alterations. In the case of a car that may have been damaged, of course, some allowances could be made.
It has for some time been my opinion that NASCAR has too many rules. If I were in charge there would be fewer rules but the penalties for breaking the rules in place would be severe.
The time has come to stop allowing cars that do not pass post-race inspection to keep race wins.
Austin Dillon and RCR team penalized for Kentucky infraction-> http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1848
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