Sunday, November 08, 2015

Brian France and NASCAR Need A Wake-Up Call

Do you know the expression "Jumping The Shark"? You know the episode of Happy Days where the Fonz decides to water ski and he jumps over the shark? You could never take that show seriously again and you always thought of that episode. Well, that is where NASCAR has gone since Matt Kenseth let his anger overrule good sense and intentionally wrecked Joey Logano. It has been thought that the NFL was the king of arbitrary rules since last season. I submit that is the dunderheads the run NASCAR. They have no clue and will arbitrarily enforce rules.

Let's start in Martinsville. Kenseth crushes Logano into a SAFER barrier and Logano can no longer continue.  NASCAR parks Kenseth for the rest of the race and decides on a 2 race suspension and a 6 month probation. Let's say something right here. I have no problem with the suspension. In fact, I would have made it the final 3 races of the year. The probation is longer that I thought it should be, but it is OK. Probation was reduced to the end of 2015 on appeal. So the reason that Kenseth was suspended for that amount of time is something that Brian France stated in the defense of the penalty given out:

"Going back to Richmond, we made it very clear that anybody in the industry, any driver or participant who intentionally tries to alter the outcome of events or championships, that that crosses a different line than a racing problem between two drivers," France said.
Go back and read that again. Any driver or participant who intentionally tries to alter the outcome of events or championships. Well, Matt Kenseth definitely did that. So, he and NASCAR are fine on that account. But what about the Danica Patrick badly performed takeout of David Gilliland? She was fined and points taken away. She was intentionally trying to alter the outcome of the event. She was causing a caution that should not have been. Do you know if things would have shaken out differently if she had not caused that caution? No you do not. Because maybe Jeff Gordon has a tire that blows 2 laps later. Every caution has an impact on the Chase and on the participants in the race. So why isn't NASCAR parking her ass on the bench just like Kenseth? Because then you would have drivers suspended each and every week.

Why would you have racers suspended each and every week? Because those racers who decide to dump a competitor intentionally should face the exact same penalty as Kenseth did. And we know that each and every racer out on a NASCAR track has a t one time or another wrecked a competitor because of anger. The regular season determines who is in the Chase and you cannot win the Chase without qualifying for it. With a straight face, how can you say that someone being taken out in Week 4 of the season doesn't impact the Chase? So let's say that Matt Kenseth takes out Eric Almirola during a race in Atlanta intentionally with 5 laps to go and they are going for the race win. NASCAR will not suspend the driver. Why? According to Brian France, that is just smart racing. That is wrong. Matt Kenseth has intentionally altered the outcome of an event and the chance for Almirola to advance to the Chase. But then you turn off some of your audience because their favorite driver is out of at least one race. And if you decide to suspend a fan favorite, then what is the business backlash if he is out at the same time you have suspended another top name? I understand that $$$ drives the sport, but let's get this straight.

And speaking of $$$, NASCAR will take this action and make money off of it. You don't think so? Then you don't remember Edwards taking out Keselowski at Atlanta. I saw that wreck this year in an advertisement for the NASCAR race in Atlanta. Wrecking each other is a part of the sport that is intriguing to people, whether it is deliberate or not. And what will bring in more $$$, according to NASCAR, it is a controversy about why the accident happened. NASCAR will allow footage of this wreck between Logano and Kenseth to permeate the airwaves in ads and NASCAR themselves will show this wreck in various instances, not just for news worthy things. 

So if what Mr. France states is a reason for Kenseth's suspension is true, then why isn't NASCAR investigating Kurt Busch's claim that Brad Keselowski intentionally wrecked Matt Kenseth before the Logano incident? It had an effect on the Chase because Kurt Busch was taken out during the wreck. Where is the questions to the #2 driver? I don't think that has been done. And has NASCAR talked to Busch after the claims? The wreck affected the chance of Kurt Busch to win the NASCAR title. Because the sanctioning body doesn't care. Oh, a tie rod came loose and that caused the wreck. Really? How do you know that? Kenseth says that his tire went flat and he couldn't turn. Maybe that is true. Did NASCAR investigate that? Probably not, because they parked him immediately after the wreck. I'm not saying that Kenseth wasn't lying, but if he says something, why don't you believe him but you do another racer in the exact same position?

In conclusion, NASCAR has always had their favorites and agendas. We knew about that in the 80's, 90's, and 2000's. After the Boys, have at it proclamation, fans were hoping that would be set aside. Well, with this incident, we know that the sanctioning body at the very least is incompetent, and probably hoping that controversy will bring back viewers and fans to the sport. The Kevin Harvick wrecking somebody at the start to get him into the next round of the Chase didn't bring them the controversy that they wanted, but they think that this might. The agendas are in full force, at least to me they are. And until they are put back on the back burner, the sanctioning body can kiss my lily white a**.


R.J. said...

I had to stop reading halfway through, but the difference is Gilligan -- eh, Gilliland, isn't running for a championship. Ever.

Brent said...

That is fine. I reread it myself and I could have done lots better.

R.J. said...

No problem. That's why I wait 24 hours after something like this happens before I attempt to blog about it. I've done worse!

Zebster said...

I Agee, Brent, despite fact that I don't equate what Logano did to what Kenseth did. I'm glad you mentioned Harvick but I think a lot more needs to be said about that stunt because that kept him in and knocked someone else out and he may ultimately be your champ this year, which would not be a very good thing

Brent said...

I don't either, but when the Chairman of NASCAR says it is smart strategy to dump a Chase competitor in the last 5 laps of the race, you might have a problem in the future, not just this year, but in years to come.

And the Harvick stunt should have cost him any chance at this year's title.