LONDON: The Racing Journal
Why bother to race if these dirty dealings are allowed to happen? How could officials know that something so suspicious was an accident?
Let’s go to the finish itself. Carl Edwards had a clear advantage over leader Paul Menard on the final restart. NASCAR did nothing, saying Menard “messed up.” Yet, last spring at Dover Jimmie Johnson was flagged for the same exact thing. It is very possible for the leader, which at Dover was Juan Montoya to back off and force the other man to jump.
Penalizing Johnson was a no-brainer for NASCAR. Since Johnson wins so often, fans didn’t object to his being moved to the back.
This whole thing is a PR nightmare for NASCAR. Fans all over the place are already voicing their protests. Racing should be decided by wheel-to-wheel action, not underhanded maneuvering.
NASCAR finally did the right thing on Monday night and gave MWR the highest penalties ever. It was obvious that the dialogue between Bowyer and his spotter was some kind of code.
Bowyer should have been thrown out of the Chase, too. I feel bad for Martin Truex Jr., one of racing’s good guys. He really had nothing to do with the “plot,” although he temporarily benefited from it.
NASCAR should allow Jeff Gordon’s team to be eligible for the Chase also. He was hurt by these shenanigans. Would it be terrible to have 13 cars in the Chase?
There is a solution for this and it would make racing better. NASCAR should enact a rule that when a late yellow flag comes out (for example with less than 15 laps to go at Richmond), those that pit will return to the position which they were running when the caution flag waved.
Too many races in NASCAR are won and lost in the pits. This would prevent changing fewer than two tires for track position. It would also prevent many fuel mileage runs. Fans pay to see “racing.”
Therefore a “tricky” late spin would not help anybody like it can now.
One thing is for sure, Michael Waltrip can wipe that smug look off his face.