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
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.