Blame These Plate Wrecks On Smoke, NASCAR, Or Both

by John Chapman on October 30, 2009 · 3 comments

 Final lap Dega by WGA Who could forget this time last year? Coming to the checkered flag, Tony is leading a three car parade, followed closely by the DEI team mates of Regan Smith and Paul Menard. Normally, when teammates are drafting behind the leader at a plate track, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

The way this thing should have played out? Regan gives Paul a hand signal, they pull out together, Paul gives him a well-placed bump draft. They both blow by Tony, relegating him to third, while Regan and DEI get a much-needed victory.

Due in large part to the fact that neither Regan or Paul were TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 05:  Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Subway/Home Depot Toyota leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 5, 2008 in Talladega, AL.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) used to being in this position, we all know that’s not how it played out. Instead, Smith either made a move, or faked high. When Tony- mirror driving to the max- pulled out to block. Regan dove low, while Paul basically laid back and watched things develop in
front of him. Tony threw a second block putting his car on the yellow line. Tony and Regan touched with Regan making the pass, but going below the yellow line to complete it.

Despite a patch of Home Depot Orange Subway yellow and green on Regan’s front bumper to substantiate his claim that he was forced down in the act of passing to avoid a wreck, he was stripped of the win by NASCAR.
To add insult to injury, during his Victory Circle interview, instead of thanking Regan for not wrecking him, Tony crows and rubs it in.

I understand that unlimited blocking is legal in NASCAR. I understand that the yellow line serves as an out of bounds at plate tracks. I also understand that this was a call that could have gone either way. Had NASCAR taken a look at the orange paint on Smith’s car and ruled differently, perhaps blocking wouldn’t be quite as popular this year.

TALLADEGA, AL - APRIL 26:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Claritin Ford, runs to the finish line after suffering damage at the conclusion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 26, 2009 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR) Fast forward to the spring race at Talladega this year. Brad Keselowski and Cousin Carl hook up, and blow by a surprised Junior and Ryan Newman, who figured to settle it among themselves. Perhaps with an eye on last year, Brad makes a move, Carl throws a block, and Brad elects to drive through rather than around. The result? A spectacular wreck for Carl, a most surprising win for Brad.

For the fans who want to see wrecks, they probably aren’t too upset about any of this. One thing that no one likes was the black eye for the sport and the injuries to several fans by very real, as opposed to phantom debris.

Daytona. Fourth of July. Another ill-advised block. This time by 57842933 Kyle Busch. Another wreck. One thing that I think you can bet on this week: is that if someone puts a move on Jimmie Johnson late in the race, he probably won’t be doing any blocking.

PHOTO CREDITS- Edwards’ Talladega Flip by Walter G. Arce. to see more, visit Tony Stewart at ‘Dega in 2008 by Chris Graythen/ Getty Images. Edwards’ Talladega rub by Jerry Markland/ Getty Images for NASCAR. Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch wreck at Daytona by Streeter Lecka/ Getty Images for NASCAR.

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1 RTR October 31, 2009 at 7:03 am

How could there have been “a patch of Home Depot Orange” on Regan’s bumber? Stewart drove a YELLOW Subway car to victory lane.

2 Jim October 31, 2009 at 9:15 am

@RTR. As we speak, John is getting ready to hit the open road.You’re right. It was an honest mistake, and it has been corrected.

3 NBRAceFan October 31, 2009 at 10:45 am

Despite a patch of Home Depot Orange Subway yellow and green on Regan’s front bumper to substantiate his claim that he was forced down in the act of passing to avoid a wreck, he was stripped of the win by NASCAR….hmm if the yellow paint is on the FRONT bumper of Smiths car he got forced down how that means he was BEHIND SMOKE…. If the paint was on the SIDE of the car toward the rear then he could say he was forced down but if its on the FRONT BUMPER unless he was goign around the track BACKWARD and Smoke hit him he was behind….

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