Friday, September 13, 2013

NASCAR's outrageous outrage

I'm having a hard time getting all upset about the outrage du jour in NASCAR over some collusion and other hijinks during the race last weekend at Richmond.

If you missed it, in the final laps of the race, with Ryan Newman looking like the sure winner, Clint Bowyer of Michael Waltrip Racing, egged on by his spotter, pretty much deliberately spun his car to bring out a caution. Post race interviews with Dale Earnhart Jr. had Dale Jr. laughing about Bowyer's crazy driving prior to the spin saying he couldn't figure out what the eff was going on.

The end result was that Newman's pit crew cost him the race, MWR driver Martin Truex Jr. got in and Jeff Gordon got bumped out. Oh, about that . . .

It seems now that there might have been some collusion between Ford teams run by Roger Penske and Front Row Motorsports that had FRM driver David Gilliland slow down to allow Penske driver Joey Logano to gain a position and secure his place in the Chase to the Championship.

Also helping Logano was more shenanegans from MWR as their driver Brian Vickers was ordered to pit with three laps to go for no apparent reason. But the pitting allowed Logano to pass Gordon on the track to ensure that Truex got in and Gordon was bumped out.

NASCAR today finished righting these wrongs by putting Gordon into the chase (Newman was put in and Truex removed a couple of days ago) and all these people who only just discovered auto racing are clutching their pearls and waving their hankies in an attempt to stave off the vapors over this unprecedented manipulation of racing results.


If you had actually been watching auto racing for more than five minutes, you'd know this stuff goes on all the time. Race announcers routinely chuckle about late race cautions being brought out by a water bottle or piece of roll bar padding that mysteriously ends up on the track *wink, wink*

When Tony Stewart won the Championship in 2011, he railed long, loud, and publicly about NASCAR calling late race cautions simply to tighten up the fields for a more dramatic finish.

This kind of stuff has been going on for as long as there has been racing. Teams collude. Drivers play games. Remember -- Dale Earnhart Sr. died while trying to block for his son at Daytona. It's racing. With so much money at stake, these guys and teams are going to do whatever they can to win.

Like I said -- I'm just having a hard time getting upset with all this.

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