Why bother inspecting cars after a race if the winner gets to keep the win even if his car fails inspection?
BRISTOL, TN - FEBRUARY 28: The new NASCAR inspection station for COT cars is unveiled, during NASCAR Car of Tomorrow testing at Bristol Motor Speedway on Febuary 28, 2007 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
On Friday in my NNS Open Race Thread I wrote this; " I still don't understand NASCAR's logic in letting people who have been caught with rule infractions keep the win. Fine them the points and then move them down the finishing order accordingly and let someone else take home the trophy and paycheck."
And then three hours later Jarrod Breeze over at NASCAR.com wrote a story about how the drivers in NASCAR don't want the win taken away from them if they have been caught with rules violations.
This seems to be a bit of a hot topic right now.
I have never understood why NASCAR car allows people to keep wins after their cars have failed inspection.
As it stands right now if you get the win taken away you automatically get last place points and last place money.
In his article Breeze, quotes Dale Jr as saying, " Money is what everybody in here is after, all these team owners. You start taking that away from them, that will get their attention. Not many of them get to win race, so if you want to get their attention, you get in their pocket. That will do it plenty."
Isn't giving the driver and owner last place money and points like hitting them in the pocket book? I mean the winner from the Daytona 500 this year got about 1.5 million while last place got about 1/4 million. Wouldn't a loss of about 1.25 million be a big enough penalty?
Man it would make me sure that my car was within proper rule tolerances.
Maybe the current rule is a little too steep and that is why NASCAR doesn't take wins away as often as they should.
Well I propose they change the rules and instead of an automatic last place finish the driver is placed in the finishing order after the points penalty is assessed.
Let's look at this better.
Dale Jr says hit them in the pocket book and let them keep the win, well I say taking the win away from them and placing them in the finishing order after the points penalty has been taken away is still hitting them in the pocket book too.
For example, what if this year's Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray had a rules infraction?
McMurray got paid $1,508,450 for the win and if he got hit with the 50 point loss The Kez (Keselowski) got hit with after his car was found to be in violation of NASCAR's rules this week McMurray would have then finished in 8th place winning a paltry $375,521 by comparison.
Is that pocket book enough? I think so.
Some of you might say I'm using an extreme example with the Daytona 500 so let's further look at The Kez and the NNS series instead.
Keselowski finished in first with $40,445 and if you re-adjust the finish order to include Kez's 50 point penalty then he would have finished in 8th with $22.600. You do the math. Its more than $10,000 isn't it?
I think this is a more fair assessment of NASCAR's current policy, and it still puts a dent in the pocket books of owners.
Besides, taking a win away also hurts owners as the can't promote themselves as "Daytona t500 winners" or what have you. Instead they are left with a bitter taste in their mouths that they had it, and lost it. To me having the win taken away would be worse than paying the penalties and having the loss of points assessed.
Twenty years from now Kez's win at Talladega will still be in the record books and no one will even know about the fine or point loss or who finished in second, except for the person who finished in second and should have been the race winner, Joey Logano.
According to Breeze, Nascar's spokesman Kerry Tharp said, "In NASCAR's three national series, it's important that the fans, teams, sponsors and media leave the race track knowing who won the race and not have something about that change a day or two later."
Why the heck not?
Why bother posting the race results as 'unofficial' then? If nothing is going to change then just make the results official as soon as the checkered flag flies, after all that's what NASCAR is saying its doing anyway.
Wouldn't you as a fan want the true winner of the race to be declared even if it was a day later? In a time where other professional sports are going to great lengths to get the call right with replay reviews and coach's challenges NASCAR seems to be coming up short for the fan with this attitude.
Besides I think having a winner declared after the disqualification of a competitor due to a rules infraction would create more of a buzz about NASACR in-between races and give the sport a new level of transparency with the drivers, owners, media and fans.
I mean NASCAR's first 'official' Daytona 500 winner was declared a few days after the finish of the race so why not continue the president set back in 1959 by getting it right all of the time.
Sure it was Johnny Beauchamp that celebrated in Victory Lane back in 1959 but three days later Lee Petty was declared the winner and its his name on the trophy and in the record books, not Beauchamp's.
I think the fans, sponsors and drivers would appreciate NASCAR getting it right, even if they had to wait 24hrs. Just ask anyone who finished second to a winner who was found to be in violation of the rules, like Joey Logano, and I think they would agree.
By taking wins away and placing drivers further down the finishing order based on their point penalties would make racing more fair and transparent, as well as better for everyone involved including fans, drivers, and sponsors.