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‘Doughnuts to the right’: new post-race swerving?

NASCAR cracked down on drivers swerving during post-race cool-down laps last season, something race teams resorted to in effort to get cars within spec for post-race inspections. Fast-forward to 2017, and several teams have had issues with their rear-ends of their cars being out of spec in post-race inspections. Coincidence? Probably not.
After Saturday night’s Monster Energy All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, winner Kyle Busch was instructed by Adam Stevens via the radio to do his celebratory “doughnuts to the right.”
Maybe it’s just my suspicious nature, but is “doughnuts to the right” the new post-race swerving?
During an interview Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Stevens said, “That was just an effort to make sure that we could meet the tolerance after the races.”
Sound familiar? Maybe Stevens wasn’t the one who said something to that effect last season, but doesn’t what he said on Monday sound very familiar to crew chief and driver reasoning for swerving after races last year? I think so.
In all fairness, here’s Steven’s quote in its entirety (courtesy of NBC Sports, requoted from SiriusXM):
“That had nothing to do with any damage being received. That was just an effort to make sure that we could meet the tolerances after the races. Doughnuts and burnouts are very hard on the car. It puts a lot of stress into all the suspension components. If we go out there and do the doughnuts to the left the same way that we’ve been turning all day, it’s going to eat into more of that tolerance. The only car out there doing doughnuts is the winner. We’re going to use up all of our tolerance doing doughnuts potentially. If we have that opportunity to do doughnuts, it just makes sense to do them the other direction so we’re not stressing the components in that manner.’’
When team members, be they drivers or crew chiefs, explained why they swerved after races last year, they claimed that the swerving was an effort to make sure their cars were within NASCAR’s tolerances after on-track happening may have moved them slightly out of tolerance.
I wouldn’t be surprised if, within the next few weeks, we get word of a NASCAR rule, similar to the no swerving rule, that will dictate doughnuts wind to the left, or maybe even a ban on doughnuts altogether.
I’m not predicting that such a rule will be added to the rule book. I’m just saying I won’t be surprised if it does.
Why did that Harry Hogg to Cole Trickle directive from Days of Thunder, “Hit the pace car,” just pop into my head?
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 (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on May 23, 2017. 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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