In wake of the possible A-Rod suspension, what offenses would be worthy of a lifetime ban from NASCAR?
By admin | August 1, 2013
By Richard Allen
Word is that Major League Baseball is at least considering placing a lifetime ban on New York Yankees star third baseman Alex Rodriguez. It seems as if the league believes there is enough evidence on the former MVP regarding violations in the sport’s banned substance policy as well as other offenses to warrant this most serious of penalties.
NASCAR is certainly not shy about handing down harsh penalties when it comes to substance abuse issues as well. Jeremy Mayfield, Shane Hmiel and A.J. Allmendinger have provided examples in varying degrees of what can happen when drug tests come back positive.
A lifetime ban from a sport is a very serious matter and must be considered very carefully before its use. In its past, baseball has issued such a ban for violations other than substances abuses. For example, Pete Rose and ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson were banned from the game for gambling.
Since we know substance abuse can bring on the harshest of penalties from NASCAR, let’s take that out of the conversation. What other types of violations would be worthy of lifetime suspensions from NASCAR?
I posed this question Twitter and Facebook and got some interesting feedback. Among the serious responses were such actions as sabotage, felonious behavior, using the car as a weapon and a physical attack on an official.
Sabotage was an interesting response and one I never really even thought of. In all likelihood, this would have to be carried out by a crew member who could slip unnoticed into another team’s garage stall or pit area and do some deed that would result in a mechanical failure on another team’s car.
I would agree that sabotage should be placed on the list of potential offenses worthy of a lifetime ban. But I would also like to believe that this would never be attempted in NASCAR.
Committing a felony crime was another offense mentioned by respondents. This one would likely take care of itself. After all, in this image driven and sponsor dominated sport, any driver or team member who committed a felony would have little chance of attracting the funding needed to race. And that’s not to mention the time away from the sport due to sentencing for whatever crime might have occurred. But nonetheless, a lifetime punishment would seem appropriate here as well.
Using a race car as a weapon was perhaps the most interesting response. There could be all sorts of interpretations involved here. For example, some believe that Joey Logano was guilty of such an offense when he tangled with Denny Hamlin in Fontana, Calif. earlier this season. Hamlin did come out of that mishap with a serious back injury.
And what about the instance in which Carl Edwards turned Brad Keselowski in Atlanta that ultimately ended with Keselowski flying wildly through the air? Does something like that warrant a lifetime ban?
There have been scores of instances in which drivers have used their car in a way in which it was not intended on pit road after a race has ended. Would a lifetime ban be called for if a crew member were to be injured as a result of one car ramming another after the race?
And lastly, anyone who violently attacks an official should run the risk of a serious penalty. Of course, officials may find themselves in the way of a post-race scrape and be knocked down, but that sort of thing is not at issue here.
NASCAR has made its stance clear on drug use in the sport. Whether it’s called a lifetime ban or not, Jeremy Mayfield is not likely to ever come back. But there could be other offenses that might call for the most serious of all penalties.
Who knows if Alex Rodriguez will ever play baseball again? Let’s hope we never have to find out if NASCAR is willing to implement a lifetime ban from its sport for the offenses listed above.
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