I’ll admit there’s a good reason I ended up not pursuing the career in law and politics I once aspired to. Even after 49 years of life, my temper still gets the best of me, and I do and say stupid things. Another thing that would have proven my undoing is my tendency to see things in black and white.
While we can’t unscramble the broken eggs of Richmond, NASCAR can do something very easy for the team that is sandbagging it, or is making some kind of back door deal to “help” another and artificially alter the outcome of a race. It’s real easy.
The offenders should be parked. Five races sounds about right.
Harsh? It may seem that way, but not really. The idea is to scare teams so badly they either have to be incredibly sneaky to try to pull of a deal, or they realize the folly of it and decide it’s not worth it. That’s what NASCAR, the fans and the sponsors really want.
To be sure, those caught this week will pay in one way or another. Martin Truex is a victim of his teams manipulative practices; rest assured that won’t go over well at contract negotiation time. Spotter Ty Norris gets an unwanted vacation and a bad reputation. While it looks like Clint Bowyer got off easy, he will be marked for the remainder of his career the same way Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are. It may seem a little hollow, but think about it long term: do you want any association with this guy?
That’s what’s really going to hurt Michael Waltrip Racing going forward: while at one time regarded as a racing joke, they are now a racing pariah. MWR has about all the attractiveness of leprosy. I’d hate to be an account executive for the team with potential sponsors. You with Michael Waltrip? Those cheaters? I’ll pass. I won’t even waste my breath with the likes of Front Row; they are irrelevant. How the other guys get off as easy as the 22 and 38 teams do is beyond my comprehension. It doesn’t set well with me.
While I applaud NASCAR for doing SOMETHING, all the measures they’re talking about now are making the NASCAR rule book look like the U.S. tax code. I say keep it simple: you catch a cheater, you nail them to the wall. It’s that simple.