Here we go again! There’s more team communication of a suspicious nature unearthed from Saturday’s race at Richmond. Can we now say NASCAR has it’s own version of a steroid problem? The radio communication of the ’38′team o David Gilliland- ordered to let Joey Logano pass- is now on display in front of God and everyone, and you would have to be as naive as toddler not to understand it.
Regardless of what NASCAR’s statements are about “context,” you would have to be as blind as Mr. Magoo not to know what is happening. NASCAR’s precedent is already in place; if Joey Logano isn’t docked points, if Frank Kerr doews not face some kind of punishment- and all the other parties involved along with them- there will be hell to pay, from the owners to the fans. Jeff Gordon fans, it looks from here like your guy is getting in the Chase after all.
Some may question the hand-wringing over it all. There’s been cheating and allegations of it throughout history. Let’s be clear, sketchy moves have been a part of NASCAR, a part of racing, back to the days of hand-cranked engines. Master mechanics have added “unapproved” parts and additives, and done things to take the weight out of the car. Let’s not forget the winner of the first-ever NASCAR got his trophy taken for coloring outside the lines. One expects a certain amount of sketchiness- but on this scale? We shouldn’t be shocked, but what has happened isn’t right.
The spirit of competition runs throughout sports. Money and prestige aside, you play to win the game. Who wants to hail a winner who got his title because the competition took a dive? It might fly in the world of professional wrestling, which is nothing much more than sports theater. Speaking as a race fan, I expect more, even if it means a driver I don’t like wins. At least I know he or she earned it.
The damage for this season’s Chase has already been done. In a piece for All Left Turns today, I have called for the Chase to be abolished. At first, I bought into the idea, but I’ve soured on it, and the events of this week were the straw that broke the camel’s back. If the Chase won’t be abolished, then a policy with some of the harshest penalties known to motorsports need to be set forth at the outset of 2014.
We’ll have to see what NASCAR does. One would like to think they are doing their due diligence, and when all is said and done, the hammer will fall where it needs to.