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Could NASCAR’s problem be conflicting driver codes?

The Matt Kenseth/Joey Logano saga and the NASCAR penalties for Matt Kenseth that followed has all levels of NASCAR Nation divided. Fans have varying opinions, media members have varying opinions, current drivers are of varying opinions, and so are former drivers. Judging from what some drivers have said, maybe there are conflicting driver codes out there. And it seems that some drivers jump from one code to the other, depending on whichever is to their benefit at a given time.

Denny Hamlin has been the most vocal in support of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kenseth. He keeps mentioning this driver code that, according to him, has been around since racing began that calls for drivers to police themselves — whenever a driver is wronged, he takes care of things himself/herself.

But there’s another driver code that seems to have been out there for years when it comes to blocking. I’ve heard driver interviews time and time again with a large number of drivers — and I’m not going to list some of the names here — that states that drivers have every right to block faster cars, but they had better be ready to face the consequence, with that consequence being getting moved by the car he/she is attempting to block.

Wasn’t that blocking “code” the basis of Logano’s contact with Kenseth at Kansas Speedway? So in a sense, wasn’t Logano enforcing that “code.” If so, was Kenseth really wronged at Kansas?

By the way, the moving blocking cars mentality has been exclaimed publicly by drivers who seem to be Team Matt in this situation. So, what gives?

Another instance of drivers trying to play on both sides is the whole idea of drivers policing themselves. The whole idea of the code brought up by Hamlin calls for drivers to police themselves. During the recent restart controversy/debate, weren’t drivers crying that NASCAR needed to do something because drivers couldn’t police themselves? So, can drivers police themselves or not? If not, should settling scores and righting wrongs be left up to them?

I’m not Team Matt or Team Joey. I just figure the penalties are what they are, and my opinion doesn’t really matter. It is what it is. Above is just an observation I’ve made based on statements made by drivers, both in the last few days and the last several seasons.

I’ll end today’s post with something I found kind of amusing. Apparently, there’s some kind of driver text circle in which a group of top drivers engage in a group text on the way home after races. I’m guessing Logano and his Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski aren’t part of this “clique.” Call me crazy, but it’s just a gut feeling I have. So is this a group of the “cool kids” making things hard for the “uncool kids” — the dorks or nerds, or whatever?

I admit, one of my TV guilty pleasures used to be the VH1 show, Basketball Wives. Some of the women on that show had a “clique” they referred to as “the circle” from which they excluded the women the primary group didn’t like. I hate to say that this “text circle” kind of reminds me of that.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner.

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Posted by on November 4, 2015. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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