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NASCAR teams giving own sport black eye

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 04: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet, goes through inspection prior to the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Aside from the news of the legalization of sports gambling, based on state, the biggest news in NASCAR, again, this week has been penalties. Only two teams were penalized after Saturday night’s race at Kansas Speedway, and one of them was one of those little lug nut-related penalties, but the other one was one we’ve been seeing over and over this year, 12 races into the season. This time around, Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing team lost 20 points and car chief David Bryant for a couple of races, and crew chief Chad Johnston’s wallet is $50,000 lighter, if you believe the race team doesn’t pay these fines, because Larson’s rear window caved in.

After the race, Larson contended that the issue with the rear window of his car was part of the damage sustained when he made contact with Ryan Newman late in the race. Believe that or not, this whole rear window issue is getting old. According to NASCAR’s Scott Miller, penalties are going to increase for this window issue. Something definitely needs to be done.

I think what’s been irking me more than all these penalties for repeated infractions are the outcries that NASCAR needs to do something about it other than cracking down on the offenders. You know, the outcries from folks who seem to be pointing their fingers at NASCAR for teams trying to skirt the rules. Here’s a novel idea. How about placing blame where it’s due? Let’s blame the rule breakers for this debacle.

The teams are the ones making their own sport look bad with antics like several of them not getting through inspection in time to qualify, because they presented their cars with non-conforming splitters several days after they were notified that NASCAR officials would be inspecting splitters more closely.

This, to me, isn’t much different than when several teams complained of faulty pit guns upon NASCAR’s move to mandated pit guns distributed by the sanctioning body. Come to find out, the most vocal of race teams weren’t using the pit guns according to the gun manufacturer’s specifications. Simply put, those teams were causing their own pit gun failures.

Last week, I saw a social media post from a NASCAR Xfinity Series driver I won’t name here who was critical of NASCAR’s inspection system, suggesting that the system won’t be around beyond mid-season, because too many teams are having issues with it. Really?!? The inspection system should be scrapped because too many rule breakers are getting caught?!?

No offense, but suggestions of cutting back on inspections to reduce penalties are laughable, and the unnamed Xfinity driver isn’t the only one making that kind of suggestion. That’s basically saying that NASCAR should somewhat turn a blind eye to rules violations to avoid punishing rule breakers. Are adult members of the fanbase raising their children that way? I hope not.

I don’t hear fans of other sports suggesting that the ruling bodies of their favorite sports league stop punishing rule breakers, because way too many people are being punished. Why are NASCAR fans different in this respect? I just don’t get it. Blame the violators, not the governing body trying to straighten them out and get them to “fly right.”

That brings me to those all-to-famous sayings in NASCAR, “It’s not cheating unless you get caught” and “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” Really?!? What kind of message are we trying to send, here? No wonder that tin-foil hat brigade exists to imagine all kinds of conspiracies on races being fixed, biases, etc. But then again, I’m thinking some of those folks are the ones who chant those aforementioned mantras.

I think I’m getting a headache. I need an aspirin or two. It’s a shame I can’t think of some current aspirin/NASCAR team sponsorship relationship to support right about now.

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Posted by on May 16, 2018. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,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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