[cb_profit_poster sponsor1]Clinton, S.C., Monday, September 9, 2013, 9:45 a.m.
What’s NASCAR going to do? I haven’t a clue.
What makes it so hard to anticipate is that there are no parameters. Other sports have prescribed procedures. NASCAR has “actions detrimental to the sport of stock car racing.” That could be anything from picking one’s nose on TV to pistol-whipping a team-crew-car-chief-engineer-specialist person. (In the Old West, pistol-whipping was also known as “buffaloing.” Meanwhile, the modern definition would be that NASCAR seems completely “buffaloed” by what happened at Richmond.)
NASCAR has rules, but they can be irrelevant. The One True Rule is that imperial NASCAR can do whatever it wants, which makes anticipating its actions difficult. All bets are … always off.
I was checking this website’s statistics, and two people from Norway read yesterday’s blog, so perhaps, in fairness, I should provide some background information.
They had this big golf match at Bushwood, and Al Czervik hit this horrible tee shot that bounced off a tree or something, and hit his shoulder, and he claimed it was hurt, so he appointed Ty Webb to serve as a stand-in. Then Czervik walked up to Lou Loomis, who was officiating the match, rolled up a $20 and said, “Keep it fair.”
Never mind. My bad. That wasn’t NASCAR. It was the movie “Caddyshack.”
What happened during the closing laps of the Federated Auto Parts 400 was difficult to officiate. Where the outcome of a race – and the content of the Chase – is concerned, any call has to be made at the time, one would think, but one might be wrong because NASCAR is a dictatorship that attempts to be benevolent but isn’t above occasional acts of tyranny.
See Hamlin, Denny, and Keselowski, Brad.
Imagine yourself in the tower as the laps wound down. (Correspondence suggests that you do this quite often.) Clint Bowyer spins. Hmm. That looked a little odd. But no one’s got time for a full-fledged investigation.
Brian Pattie asked Bowyer if his arm was bothering him. Other than that, it’s like they were talking about some kinda inside joke.
Yeah, that’s what it was, all right, an inside joke, “inside” being a reference to the whole sport.
NASCAR fans hate “team orders.” They don’t want all the teams playing poker. They want the cops to raid their high-stakes game. NASCAR fans also don’t have millions hanging on whether or not they make the Chase. NASCAR fans are desperate because their favorite drivers may fail. Owners, crewmen, drivers, sponsors, website developers, image specialists, strength coaches and parts suppliers are all desperate because they may run out of business.
I’m not condoning cheating. I’m just saying that’s why it happens.
The business of NASCAR is mainly business. The Peach in Daytona Beach must always be in reach. Forget rain, Spain and the Plain. This ain’t no musical!
The race got muddied. The Chase got cheapened. The sport got bruised.
NASCAR wishes the mess never got out. NASCAR wishes the hectic nature of the final laps obscured what was really going on. NASCAR wishes TV hadn’t talked to Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR wishes TV didn’t run all those radio feeds.
In hindsight, that is.
That wealth of information can be a double-edged sword, which is something Nixon learned the hard way and yet few seem to have heeded his example. It used to be that the biggest problem with fans and media using scanners was the language. NASCAR would love to have nothing more weighty than F-bombs to deliberate upon right now.
What are they going to do? I haven’t a clue. I’ve just got a handy knack for rhyming.
I haven’t been at the track all year. I don’t get to chat with one of my go-to guys around the side of a transporter while the mob is pinning Jimmie Johnson to the entrance door. I’m growing distant. My hunches might not be as valid.
At this point, NASCAR officials aren’t likely to let bygones be bygones, but they can’t underscore the essential potential for corruption in the system by retroactively changing the outcome of the race and the income of the Chase.
I doubt we’re going to get one of those “y’all better not pull this crap again” warnings. They tried that before the race.
The biggest problem isn’t the misconduct. The biggest problem is the system.
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