Saturday, September 14, 2013

Is There Any Possibility For Negative Credibilty?

Because if there is, I just saw it on Saturday with NASCAR holding a press conference explaining how they are going to ensure that their races have credibility. Mike Helton, Randy Pemberton, and Brian France. They went and told the Sprint Cup racers yesterday in a 17 minute meeting in the Nationwide Garage the new "rules of the road". And yet as the new Tenat 12-4L is laid out to us that aren't in the NASCAR garage, I am thinking, this does nothing for most of the situations that happen during the year that brings the credibility down for NASCAR races.

Let's look at what Tenat 12-4L says:

"NASCAR requires its competitors to race at 100 percent of their ability with the goal of achieving their best possible finishing position in an event. Any competitor who takes action with the intent to artificially alter the finishing positions of the event or encourages, persuades or induces others to artificially alter the finishing position of the event shall be subject to a penalty from NASCAR. Such penalties may include but are not limited to disqualification and/or loss of finishing points and/or fines and/or loss of points and/or suspension and/or probation to any and all members of the teams, including any beneficiaries of the prohibited actions.

Great, we have nothing except to say that a team cannot do anything less than 100% to finish the race at the highest position that they can. Well, yippy. The reason for the massive uproar is because the last couple of chase positions were up for grabs and it came down to one or two points for the cutoff point. This is the question that I would have had for NASCAR if I would have had one on Saturday. Will it still be allowed for teams to work out deals at Talladega and Daytona to allow each of their cars to lead a lap and allow them to each gain a point for the point standings? And if so, doesn't that mean by it's very nature that at least one of the vehicles has to not be racing at 100% of their ability to ensure that each team in the agreement gains that point for leading a lap?

We have seen each and every year where teams will do things that will help their teammates. From slowing down to ensure that their teammate doesn't go another lap down when trying to get their crippled car back to the pits, to having one of their teammates holding up a competitor to allow their teammate to get further ahead, to "accidentally" having something come out of the car to help a teammate who's car might need to have something worked on, we have had instances every year of teammates helping each other. We have seen even more instances of this since NASCAR allowed an owner to officially own 4 cars. I understand that Roush has had 4 cars for basically a decade or more, same with Hendrick. Flaunting the 2 cars per owner rule until it was changed in 2009 I believe. But it is now where you have to help your teammate on and off the track. I remember Hendrick changing pit crew members during a race to help one of their teams try to make the Chase. So does that qualify for the 100% rule that NASCAR is striving for each and every car to finish as high as possible?

The thing that sticks in my craw is that the Power programs in NASCAR are the ones that whined about this and got everything that they wanted. Stewart-Haas got Ryan Newman in the Chase. That is something that I don't agree with. Jeff Gordon got in the Chase. That is just plain wrong. Look at what the MWR penalty is for. That they pitted Brian Vickers to improve the finishing position of Martin Truex Jr. OK, if that one spot was given back to Vickers, Truex still would have been in the Chase. The Clint Bowyer spin was not punished by NASCAR. So, the Top 12 should have been cut and dry. Newman and Gordon should be out. Truex should still be in. Period. No argument. But NASCAR decided that they would start punishing teams at the last race before the chase this year, specifically MWR because of all the whining.

Let's discuss the Jeff Gordon getting into the Chase fiasco. How in hell does that happen? The Clint Bowyer spin in NASCAR's estimation was not intentional. At least they have said that they could not tell if it was intentional so they cannot punish MWR for that. So that means the argument of Jeff Gordon fans about how he was cheated out of a Chase spot is wrong. They want to go into the Front Row-Penske allowed passing for a possible reward. Where is the proof. Maybe they were discussing the fact that we will allow a slightly faster car in Logano to pass in exchange for the opportunity later in the season to repay the favor. That is allowable in NASCAR even with the new tenat in place. So unless there is proof that there is a Quid Pro Quo for technical assistance or money or something like that, there is no case there. The penalty of probation for the two organizations are for appearance of underhanded dealing, not actual dealing. They cannot prove anything. Take that position back and Logano is still in 10th place in the standings. Gordon is 13th place after Richmond and should not be eligible for the Chase. Period. Case Closed. But the Hendrick organization raised a bunch of ruckus. There was talk of lawyers and such from the organization and finally NASCAR decided to buckle and allow him to participate.

NASCAR has handled this situation all wrong and with these new rules, I will be waiting for one of the major teams to fall prey to them. And when that does happen, I expect that the penalty will be just as harsh as what was leveled against MWR. OK, I understand that the last sentence was a joke. NASCAR has always allowed the big names and teams more leeway than those that they don't see as the Top echelon. And until they treat each and every team the same, the credibility of NASCAR will be nil at best.


Anonymous said...

NASCAR lost a lot of credibility a long time ago to begin with. I pretty much stopped caring last season.

As for this fiasco, I somehow managed to envision Mike Helton standing in front of every team owner like Oprah Winfrey and saying, "And you get a Chase berth! And YOU get a Chase berth! And You over there get a Chase berth!" like when she gave everyone in her audience a Pontiac G6 a few years back.

Brent said...

That would have been classic!

Zebster said...

To say nothing about the artificial Chase format that "necessitated" these actions by the teams in the first place. Always hated the Chase and always will. Nascar was at its best when it wasn't trying to be a stick and ball sport.