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NASCAR regularly manipulates so it shouldn’t be surprised when its competitors do the same

By admin | September 10, 2013

 By Richard Allen

On Monday night, NASCAR hit Michael Waltrip Racing with unprecedented penalties after the sanctioning body determined that the team had manipulated the outcome of Saturday night’s Sprint Cup race at the Richmond International Raceway. According to officials, the MWR team of driver Brian Vickers conspired to give up positions so that teammate Martin Truex, Jr. could become a part of the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff.

MWR’s Clint Bowyer also spun late in the race which caused a caution and very much affected the race’s finish.

As a result of all this maneuvering, according to NASCAR, Ryan Newman was unfairly knocked out of the playoff. To correct this, officials took 50 points away from Truex as well as from Bowyer and Vickers(the entire MWR organization). The points reduction had little effect on Bowyer and Vickers but Truex fell behind Newman, and thus, lost his Chase berth.

NASCAR also issued an incredible $300,000 fine against MWR, placed the team’s crew chiefs on probation and  indefinitely suspended general manager Ty Norris.

In Monday’s press conference, NASCAR president Mike Helton said that the sanctioning body’s credibility was at stake, which was the primary reason for the harsh penalties. He also stated that he realizes the sport’s credibility has been questioned in the past.

As far as the credibility of the sport, NASCAR has always taken very serious its responsibility to maintain for the most part its credibility,” Helton said. “And I say maintain for the most part, because we get the fact that that’s subjective to fans and others in the industry.  But that’s why we’re sitting here tonight explaining why we made the decisions we made, in hopes to explain why we did that and to offer up some reasonableness to our credibility.

But I think the biggest thing is to remember it’s a sport and it’s got a lot of fun attached to it.  Every now and then it gets out of bounds and we have to bring it back in order to maintain credibility.”

The reason why Helton had to attach the rider “for the most part” when talking about the sport’s credibility is that there have been more than a few occasions in which that credibility has been called into question by fans, media and competitors. For example, Tony Stewart once compared the sport to professional wrestling.

Perfectly timed debris cautions, pit road speeding penalties in which the data was once guarded tighter than a bank vault, the wave around, “lucky dogs”, and the biggest manipulation of all…the Chase for the Sprint Cup are used by NASCAR to manipulate races and entire seasons for the purpose of keeping the show interesting and maintaining the interest level of the TV audience.

NASCAR can recognize a manipulator when it sees one.

When MWR did what it did at the end of the Richmond race, it was merely following the lead of the master manipulators. The race team’s biggest fault wasn’t so much that they contrived, it’s that they did such a bad job of it.

This is a sport based on manipulation. Since the inception of the big television contracts in 2001, such as was mentioned above has become commonplace. NASCAR apparently wants its teams to “do as I say and not as I do.” Or at least use better code words.

Topics: Articles |

12 Responses to “NASCAR regularly manipulates so it shouldn’t be surprised when its competitors do the same”

  1. Russ Says:
    September 10th, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    They also did it like refugees from the Keystone cops. Problem is really this: Nascar has without a doubt manipulated things for many years, but with the rise of technology and social media it has become more obvious.
    Perhaps their base was willing to accept it, but new fans weren’t.
    Now you have the spectre of the mega teams, although in this instance it was what could be described as a rogue team, being able to script the sport much like WWE. So can Nascar get the lid back on Pandora’s box?

  2. Tony Geinzer Says:
    September 10th, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Are we aware, not that I care to be ornamental, but, you have a marauding owner trying to win,win, win and worse, Rob Kauffman (MWR’s Co Owner) has cowed his way into a Powerhouse despite HIS name not being on the building.

  3. Ann Says:
    September 10th, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Rich, you are spot on this is what I find so frustrating about everybody wanting to do bodily harm to anyone associated with MWR. And let me preface I am not a fan of Mikey, thats another story. Nascar does this all the time. The benefactor of these lucky dogs and debris cautions are almost always a HMS member or one of its satellite offices. People are spilling their guts about cheating, I find it laughable. I guess they don’t mind it when Nascar does it. Reminds me of my fathers wife and my father. They can’t stand a current daughter-in-law who is a decent person, but they lap up anything the “ex-daughter-in says (which are all lies). The moral of the story is they don’t mind the first wife who is liar telling them lies and like her better..ready for it ….”because she is prettier”. The moral of the story is people don’t mind getting lied too, they just are funny about who they let them tell tall tales.

  4. Doug tebbe Says:
    September 10th, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Oh yeah, NASCAR sees itself in what MWR racing. What’s
    Good for the goose, is good for the gander!! What is
    NASCAR afraid, the fans figuring it out, better look in
    The mirror before crying foul!!!

  5. Bill B Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Unfortunately we fans are the only ones that can penalize NASCAR. By tuning out and turning our backs on the sport. I have been tempted many times. Once my driver retires I may just do that.

  6. midasmicah Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:06 am

    ….and more fans head for the exits. This long time fan has just about had enough. I no longer watch nationwide races unless it’s a stand alone race with no cup drivers. Same with the truck series. The WWE has to be in awe of nas$car’s manipulation of their sport. I’ve said this before and soon I’ll be saying it for the last time if things don’t change. When nas$car loses die hard fans like me, they’re in deep &*$#*.

  7. John Cooke Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Spot on Rich! Case in point would be the caution they threw Friday night in the Nationwide race when a car got up out of the groove with 11 laps to go. Kesolowski jumps the start with nothing to lose and takes the win from a series regular. I think a simple rule would solve a lot of these problems on restarts and people winning races who haven’t run near the front all night. Pits are closed on cautions in the last 10 laps of a race. Nobody can stay out, change 2 tires or 4 tires, get no gas, ect. You restart in the same order and everyone will be starting on equal footing. This would have made the spin Saturday night not much of a factor!

  8. amazed Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    This year there has been a huge amount of late race cautions multiple times, I have found that suspect as well. I also have to wonder when these back of the field drivers don’t have a problem 97 percent of the race then all of a sudden they cause a caution. Are these other teams on the big teams payroll? It is not out of the realm of possibility.

  9. SnakeX Says:
    September 12th, 2013 at 12:20 am

    This was the point I hammered at since the outrage over Bowyer’s spin began. I found it absolutely incredible that self described NASCAR fans were so angry over Spin-gate when EVERY race is manipulated by NASCAR multiple times per event…and I say event because they aren’t really races. Either these people don’t really follow NASCAR or they don’t really care about cheating unless it effect someone they like or is perpetrated by someone they don’t like.

    NASCAR has been a joke for a very long time. Every time I watch it or see Helton, Pemberton and the rest on TV I feel like I need a shower to wash off the slime my eyes have seen. I finally had enough about 5 years ago. I’d go to 3 to 5 races a year, but not anymore. I’m one of those empty seats you’ll catch a glimpse of when the network camera crew screw up and allow you to see how few people are there.

    I used to support the sponsors of NASCAR teams whenever I could. I bought fickin’ Hefty bags just because they sponsored Eric McClure. I did it because I wanted to reward them. But then I stopped as my own personal protest to the corruption in NASCAR. Now the only influence a sponsor of NASCAR has over my purchasing decisions is I won’t by my favorite candy because of who they sponsor.

    I have loved racing and NASCAR since I was a child in the 60s. I won’t stop watching or following NASCAR because of how France, Helton and the rest have destroyed the integrity of the events, but I don’t care about it like a real sport. I treat it like watching a reality show knowing full well it has nothing to do with reality.

    I would have bet everything I own that NASCAR would have taken no action against MWR, but I was wrong. I would bet everything I own they won’t change the way they govern their events. I hope I’m wrong again, but I doubt it. Take it from one who knows, a snake can shed it’s skin, but it’s still a snake.

  10. Chris Leone Says:
    September 12th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    You didn’t see NASCAR fine Richard Childress a ton of money in ‘93 for starting and parking Neil Bonnett in Atlanta. That’s still race manipulation. Maybe not as obviously beneficial as what Bowyer and Vickers did, but it was the same concept.

    Forget “do as I say, not as I do.” How about some consistency with the sport as enforced during its heyday? Of course, because it was done to benefit Earnhardt, I’m going to get mauled for even bringing it up.

  11. Allie Marie Says:
    September 12th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I stopped watching NASCAR back in the early ’80s. A certain driver wasn’t being taken to task for blatantly wrecking competitors. When he died, I came back. Bought a lot of stuff, went to a lot of races & met some interesting people. After Denny Hamlin, who I am not a fan of, was fined for stating what anyone w/eyes could see regarding the new car’s performance on the track I pulled the plug for good!! The only race info I get now is on twitter. NASCAR believes the fans are mindless drones & that we’ll keep shoveling money into their pockets. Not me, I’m out! Anyone interested in all this stuff I have to sell?!

  12. Bob Says:
    September 12th, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    The article got it right. The biggest manipulation of all… The Chase. It does not surprise me one bit that MWR tried to do what they did. But where is NA$CAR on the 22 - 38 race manipulation? For 9 full laps, radio chatter indicates how the 38 tanked the last laps in order to allow the 22 to finish ahead of him. Where is the outrage from Pemberton and Helton on this one? They talk about credibility, of which there is NO credibility in NA$CAR. I have been saying for years that the only way to hurt Brian France and his merry band of idiots is to not go. Do not buy their merchandise, do not support their sponsors, do not watch on TV. But Fox and NBC ponied up 8 billion dollars to broadcast this nonsense for the next 8 years. So the only choice we have is to ignore it, or accept it for what it is. Racertainment, meaning an event that isn’t real but closely resembles something that once was