Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

October 5, 2008

NASCAR Gets It Right, and Wrong

Was that race at Talladega something else or what?

I’ve always maintained that the restrictor plate races are some of the best races around, and today’s race was no exception.

Generally the talk of “the big one” is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Carl Edwards’ bonehead move tore up a lot of cars; he was right to be sorry during his interview. They talk about the “big one” as if it’s a foregone conclusion, and therefore they drive that way. Edwards had been a back marker all day, and when he did decide to get up front, his mind wasn’t right.

While NASCAR’s yellow-line rule may or may not be a good idea, at least they enforced it (finally) today. Tony Stewart was passed on the last lap by Regan Smith when Smith went below the yellow line. NASCAR gave Smith a post-race penalty of going to the tail end of the lead lap. One has to wonder if NASCAR would have done the same if the roles had been reversed, with Stewart making the last lap pass under the yellow line…

What seems odd to me though is that NASCAR seemingly violated its policy of “whoever crosses the finish line first is the winner”. Had Smith been on the outside of Stewart and won, but then had been found to have an illegal part, he’d still be listed as the “winner” but have points taken away. Smith got a 76 point penalty for his illegal pass, and probably lost close to $100,000. So now NASCAR has established a precedent for changing the winner of the race because the apparent winner violated a rule. Whether they’ll continue to do that remains to be seen (somehow I doubt it).

One thing that NASCAR needs to change is this stupid “chase” system. No other professional sport that I know of allows the championship to be affected by teams that aren’t in the playoffs. I think it’s a crime that Kyle Busch is 11th in the points now. At least under the old system he’d be in 3rd, only 82 points out. Under this chase format, he’s in 11th, 331 points out, and pretty much out of contention to win the championship. I thought the reason behind the chase format was to reward the drivers who won races during the season. The driver with the most races won is now the one getting the shaft.

At the very least, NASCAR should award points separately for the chase drivers. That is, award 1-12th place points for those in the chase, and don’t include non-chase drivers. While that’s not a perfect solution, it would at least mitigate the effect of the non-chase drivers.

You can bet your sweet bippy that if Dale Earnhardt, Sr. were still alive, and went from 1st place in the championship one week to 12th place the next week, NASCAR would have made some changes; the fan outcry would have been huge. Actually, I think that if this had been any other driver than Kyle Busch, there might have been a fan outcry (say if it was Junior or Gordon).

The chase concept is interesting, but there are still too many problems with it that NASCAR needs to address.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.