I’m just at a loss for words over what happened at the end of the Coca Cola 600 on Sunday night. It was a great race throughout, but yet another controversy has sprung up that takes all the excitement out of the finish. Does NASCAR really think we’re that stupid?
[media-credit name=”Barry Albert” align=”alignright” width=”276″][/media-credit]Well given the fact that NASCAR will never win because the fans will complain of anything regardless…but that doesn’t answer the question of whether NASCAR purposefully let the race continue so that Jr. could break his winless drought. As sad as it is to announce as it is to type, NASCAR got busted on this one and badly. Earlier in the race we had a caution for a flipping beer can on the track, but debris spewing from Brad Keselowski wasn’t dangerous? Now, I’m one of those fans that just wants to see the drivers race and to be perfectly honest, I’m sick of these stupid cautions stacking up the field, but that usually never happens.
I got into a heated discussion with a fellow NASCAR reporter and her answer was the typical, “There is no proof. It is all assumption.” Well, I hate to break the news to you, but was there any proof that Fidel Castro had his opposition killed during his re-election campaigns? No, but the fact that every time a news report had something positive about his opponent mysteriously the next morning they would be reported missing and never heard from again. Also, I must add that in 2005, NASCAR assumed that Kurt Busch wrecked Michael Waltrip on purpose at Martinsville. He did not. He simply overdrove the corner. NASCAR has done its fair share of “assumptions.”
Speaking of Michael Waltrip, NASCAR assumed he flipped off Robby Gordon at New Hampshire. Aghhhh. Nope. It turns out Mikey was just hot and waving his hand to get some fresh air and after an appeal of the huge fine he had received, NASCAR gave in.
NASCAR was going to look bad either way coming out of that race. I would have thrown the caution due to the debris that was being thrown out and for the safety of the drivers. We all think back to 2004 at Dover when the leader Kasey Kahne ran over oil and smacked the wall while striving for his first victory. Speaking of which…he caused all of this. Ahem…back to the topic.
NASCAR looked bad by not throwing the caution out and if they threw the caution after the white flag, it would have become obvious. Not throwing the yellow would have appeared less obvious, but still obvious. And little did they know, Jr. was going to run out of fuel either way. Just think about it, caution for beer can, no caution for debris + 2 car incident + Kahne out of fuel. Once again I call for NASCAR to be more consistent on its rulings and not just for the benefit of the most popular driver.
There is a rule saying also that you have to maintain pace car speed in order to win the race under yellow, but in 2008 Jr. didn’t do that. He was actually out of fuel, so NASCAR spoon fed to him his last victory. So really what we have is a driver who has not won in over 184 races if you don’t count his Budweiser Shootout victory in 2008.
Look guys, we can’t blame Jr. for him being treated like Prince William. NASCAR isn’t treating every driver the same and it is wrong. I demand a change; otherwise expect more empty seats. Fans want to see a fair race, not a fixed one; Jr. fan or not.
NASCAR was served justice when Jr. ran out of fuel.
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Happy Memorial Day to everyone!