By admin | May 25, 2009
By Richard Allen
Scott Riggs said that the Coca-Cola 600 will be his last race driving for Tommy Baldwin Racing. Well, who can blame him?
“I’m a competitor and a racer,” Riggs declared. “It kills my soul to know we go to the race track and we’re not going to be competitive.”
I ask who can blame him not because of the status of the struggling TBR team but rather because of recent events in NASCAR. The sanctioning body has shown, without a doubt, they have no intention of helping the little guy.
The cases of Carl Long and Jeremy Mayfield demonstrate that.
Long was found to have an engine that was oversized by .017 cubic inches and he was nailed with the biggest rules infraction fine and suspension in NASCAR history. $200,000, 200 points and 12 races was his sentence.
Mayfield was found to be in violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy and was suspended indefinitely. He claims he had only taken a common allergy reliever, which happens to be a NASCAR sponsor. For all we know, with NASCAR’s policy of Iron Curtain like secrecy, Mayfield may have been using some illegal street drug and should have been suspended. We just don’t know because from the offices of Daytona Beach, mum is the word.
In the Riggs case, why not get out while he can? NASCAR is not going to help his team with sponsorship and if they are caught 1/8 of an inch too low or he takes too much cough syrup within a 24 hour time span, his career as a race car driver might be over.
NASCAR’s television contract with the networks says the sanctioning body has to put 43 cars in the field for each race. Apparently, they feel pretty confident they have plenty of teams at the present because they have shown little effort to make life easier for their so called ‘field fillers’ of late.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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