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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

NASCAR's big rules FAIL

I don't know why I'm up at 2:11 AM.  Maybe it was what I ate, or that Laurie's up at her friend's tonight.  Or I've got too much chocolate in me.  But I do know what's rolling through my mind preventing me from shutting off.

Nutshell synopsis:  The opening NASCAR Nationwide series race at Indy today, gifted by NASCAR to the double douche, Brad Keselowski.  Gifted, you say, not "won by"?  No my friends, if there was anything this race wasn't, that term would be "won".  Here's why.

About 20 laps to go, and a spinout had caused a caution and a restart.  Keselowski was first, with the inside track, Elliot Sadler on the outside.  I should mention here that NNS is like the NASCAR AAA league, but for reasons of advertising money they allow Sprint Cup ("big league") drivers like BK and the Busch brothers to run there too, they just don't get "points" towards the championship.  Behind BK is Sam "I'll get in the way of anyone " Hornish, Jr., and behind Elliot was fellow contender for the NNS championship Austin Dillon.   When the green flag flew on the restart, BK dogged it, leading Hornish to push him, setting his tires spinning.  Even NASCAR admitted this is an old trick of BK's to mess up the driver beside him.  NASCAR officially calls this "Sportsmanship."  Dillon immediately began pushing Elliot past BK, and I mean he was UNDER Sadler's back end.  So Sadler went on through, and suddenly NASCAR "black flagged" Elliot- which meant he was supposed to go to pit road for a pass through penalty, which would drop him hopelessly out of the race.

NASCAR's rules, according to Jeff Gluck of SBNation, says that it was Elliot's responsibility under "normal" circumstances to do whatever it took to allow BK to start first.  In the event of "abnormal" circumstances forcing him out first, Elliot was obliged to attempt to "give the position back".  NASCAR claims that even had they considered the fact that he was being pushed by the equally- douchelike Dillon, he did nothing to give the position back to BK.  Never mind he would have had to slowed down with Dillon up his back end, and probably had to cross in front of BK to reach the apron until the double douche was satisfied he'd fubared Elliot enough and finally started racing.  Never mind that this would have likely caused the accident that NASCAR claims they go "out of their way" to avoid.  To his credit, Sadler refused to take the black flag, and ran 8 laps in the lead while his crew chief tried to talk sense to NASCAR officials, but with 12 laps left, he was forced off the course, leaving the race to be "won" by Keselowski, in front of fans who NASCAR undoubtedly thinks would rather see the Sprint Cup car win a NNS event, a crowd that jammed Indianapolis Motor Speedway within a whopping 15% of its capacity.

What makes this "enforcement of the letter of the law" even more heinous was the incident at the very BEGINNING of the race.  Pole sitter Kasey Kahne was thrown off when the flagman signalled green early- early enough, to Kahne, that he was confused and Kyle Busch roared past him into the lead.  Very similar circumstances, and yet Busch neither got black flagged NOR had to give back the position.  And why would that be?

Because a START and a RESTART aren't the same thing in NASCAR's eyes.  WTF?

According to Gluck, a start is not led by the flagman, but by the pole sitter.  If he fails to take off, the next guy can.  So both incidents, according to the book, were judged correctly.  If BK had been the pole sitter and did what he did at the START of the race, Elliot would have been within the rules.  Any point thereafter, it's a no-no.  And it's this capricious changing of rules in midstream that cost Elliot 17 championship points and $100,000 in prize money.

Elliot tweeted after the race, "Just got home.. Still lost for words... Not everyday you have a chance to win the biggest race of season and have it taken away..........."  If you check NASCAR's Facebook site, 799 comments to date have been made on their after-race post, overwhelmingly negative.  The double douche's take?  "I see now why all these fans are upset over penalty, Espn group did not properly explain the situation. " .   Well sorry Brad, you'll have to excuse ESPN for not understanding such an inbred set of rules as governed this race.

So people who have a true sense of sportsmanship scratch their heads, saying, "Kahne had the pole and never led, Sadler had the lead but never led," while NASCAR shills go out and say things like, "If Sadler doesn't like it, well, it's not a Foundation For A Better life commercial" and NASCAR itself says nothing, serene in it's omnipitance. 

And, me? I'm no better than NASCAR.  I wrote them, asking for an explanation, and if they sent me one by Monday, I'd print it without further comment here.  But it's 3:00 AM now, and just like them I'm changing the rules in midstream and printing this anyway.  You see, they made no attempt to give me the position ahead of the deadline, so I'm Black-flagging them.  Oh, and advertisers?  If I wanted to watch a sport that takes inconsistant rules and just applies them arbitrarily, I'll stick with Friday Night Fights.  I won't be watching the Brickyard tomorrow.


  1. Brilliant! And I understand your frustration. And agree with you. Sometimes you just gotta' wonder why.

    Now, let's see. You recap baseball games, highlight NASCAR and it's foibles AND you tilt at windmills? Tell me dear CW, is there anything you can't do well? Seriously. I expect a critique of the Olympians outfits next buddy. :)

    Hope you are asleep now. Although it was nice to see someone up around now. Sweet dreams.

    1. Honestly, I've let Al Penwasser do the Olympic uniform critiques on his blog. Not only was it funny and informative, but it brought Charo into the discussion, which is always a plus in my book!

      Thank you for the compliments. It's amazing how righteous anger helps the creative writing process.

  2. Yeah, some of these Nascar rules make me scratch my head occasionally as well...

    Once Fox is done with their share of airing the races, I don't get a chance to watch any until they air one or two over on ABC. (no cable/satellite) But, by then, I'm far more interested in NFL...

    1. I tell you the truth quality in both announcers and in camera set-up and direction declines precipitously after Fox is done. Kyle Petty on TNT is a big boob that makes Michael Waltrip look like a brain surgeon.

  3. Tony watched the brickyard... It takes a lot for him to turn off any sport.

    That said, he's been repeatedly screaming at the TV from the bogus calls by the Olympic refs.... many sports, so little time. It's a wonder how his head hasn't exploded yet. :)

    1. It takes me a lot as well. So I was quite proud of myself to not even have peeked at Brickyard. Of course, I was busy watching the Reds thomp the Rockies, as well as the Womens Archery, so I had help.

  4. I was up late watching baseball.
    And wasn't even eating chocolate.
    I think you did better, rules kerfluffle notwithstanding.

    1. Thanks. Hope you liked the plug I gave you after the first comment.

  5. CWM:
    And now you know why MY desire to continue watching NASCAR has waned over the last decade.

    The LAST year I followed it wa back in 2000, when my favorite driver, Bobby Labonte FINALLY won the WINSTON CUP...(before they changed the damn name of THAT).
    And that was also the year he set the RACE RECORD for the Brickyard.

    Since then, it's been too much "change for change" sake,, too many regs to favor certain drivers' abilities (inho), and much too much's overrun the damn sport.

    And then, it becomes more of a CHORE to watch than enjoyment.

    Good call on your part.
    I can relate to your frustration.

    Stay safe up there.

    1. Many of the comments of Facebook's NASCAR page said the same thing, Bob. I'd just like to know the purpose of having different rules for starts and restarts.

      BTW on the subject of favoring certain drivers... Elliot tweeted yesterday morning, "Jimmie Johnson just asked a very good question. I asked the same thing yesterday and got ignored." Hmmm... I guess it pays to be JJ or Kyle or the blue douche.

  6. The rules of NASCAR are COMPLETELY nonsensical to me, but then I hate driving so the idea of being in a car for hours without actually getting any place is a little mental to me, too. =P

  7. I was so upset for Sadler. Still am. I'm sorry, but when it's Kyle, he can do nothing wrong, or so it seems. Irritates the fool out of me. What was Sadler to do? Dillon was clear up his rear end!!! It just makes ZERO sense. Zero.