Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sunday Circus

Well, NASCAR has now lost it completely. As in, gone completely nuts. As in, have had their brains scrambled by listening to too many unmuffled car engines. Maybe this generation of the France family wasn’t very bright to begin with.

Last weekend’s race was the final one to set the 12-car field for the “Chase,” which is NASCAR’s version of the playoffs. The top twelve cars will be the ones competing for the championship and, during last weekend's race the cheating to manipulate the standings rose to awe inspiring levels.

Clint Boywer, who is locked into the Chase, spun his car on purpose so that a team mate, Martin Truex, could advance position during the ensuing caution. That was not sufficient to get Truex in, so Brian Vickers, another team mate who was not in the Chase, simply pulled into the pits to give Treux another position. That resulted in Truex being in the Chase and Ryan Newman, who drives for a different team, being out.

Meanwhile, the Penske team was conspiring with another team to have their driver slow down so that their driver, Joey Logano, could gain position. That worked and got Logano in the Chase, but it knocked Jeff Gordon who, again, drives for a different team, out.

All of this is against the rules, and they are not even trying to hide it; the cars are spinning and pitting right out in front of God, fans, officials and everybody, and the negotiations are happening on radios that have the frequencies published so that fans can listen in. The whole thing is resembling a scene out of “Talledega Nights” and I’m looking for Ricky Bobby to show up in his underwear any minute.

So NASCAR decides they need to take corrective action and issues penalties which result in Truex being out of the Chase and Newman being in. Unfortunately, it leaves Boywer, the guy who started the whole mess with his fake spinout, in the Chase and it leaves Logano in and Jeff Gordon out, so there is still a lot of grumbling.

NASCAR’s next move, then, is to "expand the Chase" to 13 cars and put Jeff Gordon in, which is beyond bizarre. About the only one who is happy about that is Jeff Gordon. Everyone else wants to know why, since Logano’s team cheated to get him in, he isn’t penalized as the other team was, which would put him out and Gordon in, instead of this nonsense about "expanding the Chase."

Gordon’s own teammate, Jimmy Johnson, is even complaining about the move, saying that having 13 cars in the Chase rather than 12, “alters the dynamics” of the deal. He’s obviously nervous about the fact that his average finish in the last four races is 35th, so I’m not taking him very seriously.

1 comment:

  1. bruce3:32 PM

    cheating in pro sport? Shock! Horror! Congressional investigations! Sanctions! Drone strikes!

    okay, I think I warped my hairline trying to get my head around what happened. Maybe it's a good thing I don;t watch NASCAR.