By admin | September 15, 2013
By Richard Allen
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that this past week has been one of the most tumultuous in the history of the sport of stock car racing after it came to light following Saturday’s race in Richmond that at least two teams manipulated the finish to assist their drivers in making the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff. So it would seem logical to think that NASCAR would relish the opportunity to have cars on the track as soon as possible to steer the conversation away from fake spins and unnecessary pit stops.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature has other plans. Rain has been in the forecast for Sunday for several days leading up to the much ballyhooed start of the ten race playoff at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.
But no worries, over the last off-season NASCAR made much of its development of the ‘Air Titan’, a patented machine devised to cut the amount of time needed to dry a wet race track. If the weather offers a break, the command could be given to fire engines within a relatively short amount of time after the rain stops.
According to USA Today’s Jeff Gluck(@Jeff_Gluck on Twitter), NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said that Air Titan was in Chicago on Thursday. But in what has to be considered a bizarre move at best and an act of complete disregard for fans, teams and the sport at worst, NASCAR decided to send the drying device away after the track opted not to pay a fee required for its use.
Apparently, NASCAR did not want to foot the bill despite the fact that the Air Titan was already there.
Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. It’s hard to imagine an organization who makes worse public relations moves than NASCAR. And this one is just unthinkable. Clearly, the mindset in Daytona Beach is in the wrong place.
When racing is made a secondary concern over the paying of a fee, especially under the circumstances of this past week, it shows that NASCAR has its priorities in the wrong place, as if there was much doubt about that anyway.
Why did they even bother to create the Air Titan if they won’t use it, even to get their precious Chase started on the scheduled day? Who knows? Maybe they’re banking on getting more publicity from Juan Pablo Montoya hitting a jet dryer again.
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