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Racers race for positions, shouldn’t expect them to be given away freely

Two of the three recent NASCAR national-level championship races ended with a championship contender complaining of being “held up” by another driver.

“He just cost us a championship, and he’s not even racing anyone,” Elliott Sadler said of Ryan Preece after the Ford EcoBoost 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 18. “You won’t get anywhere in this sport if you race someone like that. You have to race with respect. He cost us a championship. I don’t know what to say.”

Here’s a similar complaint from another driver, from another race.

“He held me up,” Kyle Busch said of Joey Logano after the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series finale, the Ford EcoBoost 400, at Homestead Miami Speedway the following day. “He was there blocking every chance he got. Got a real buddy there, but that’s racing. That’s what happens.”

Before I go on, I’d like to correct an inaccuracy in Sadler’s statement about Preece. Preece was racing for the Xfinity Series owners’ championship for one of the Joe Gibbs Racing teams.

That aside, shouldn’t Preece and Logano both have been expected to race for something else? Race wins, maybe? Sure, in the Xfinity Series race, Cole Custer was way ahead of everyone else, but what if there had been a late-race caution to close that gap? Shouldn’t Preece have wanted to be in the best position possible to race for a win, had that possibility come to be?

And in the Cup race, why shouldn’t Logano have tried whatever he had in his wheelhouse to stay in front of Busch. Sure, Busch was a championship contender, but aren’t the other drivers out there racing for a win? If not, why are they out there?

I’m not trying to pick on Sadler or Busch, they’re just the two most recent drivers to complain about other drivers “holding them up.” We’re talking racing, folks, not pull over and watch the parade go by. Still, this type of complaint has become commonplace among drivers after failed attempts at winning races. To me, complaints about so-and-so not letting me by translates to so-and-so didn’t let me win.

The fastest car doesn’t always win the race; it isn’t supposed to. If the name of the game is merely to see which driver has the fastest car, why bother running the race? We could just see who has the fastest car in qualifying. But yet, drivers are supposed to just let drivers with faster cars pass by without even the slightest attempt to stay in front of them? Doesn’t sound like racing to me.

That’s the same issue I have with drivers who whine about blocking. Shouldn’t a driver try to stay in front of the other cars on the track? Letting another driver win because his/her car is faster isn’t what I want to see. Again, we can determine who has the fastest car on qualifying day.

At times, haven’t drivers claimed to want things put back in the drivers’ hands instead of aero packages, etc., with which cars are too easy to drive and it’s impossible to pass? What’s the point if driver X is supposed to just pull over and let driver Y pass, just because driver Y has a faster car? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of putting things in drivers’ hands?

That’s not racing to me. If we just want to see who has a faster car, again, we can figure that out on qualifying day.

Sadler spoke of respect — a lack of respect, because Preece didn’t just give up and give him a position. What about the lack of respect in the other direction — a lack of respect that contends Preece shouldn’t be able to finish as highly as he possible can, instead handing a position over to another driver?

Drivers claim to want matters in their own hands. Then, race for positions; don’t expect others to just pull over and give them to you.

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Posted by on November 29, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. 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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