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Archive for September, 2013

NASCAR’s Icon For A Stand Up Guy Is Now An Icon For Cheating

September 9th, 2013

 

Clint Bowyer Got Off Easy On Spingate, But NASCAR Handled Best It Could

Though Clint Bowyer got off easy for his blatant cheating, I think NASCAR did it’s best in a tough situation. Yes, after watching and hearing the  in-car camera tape, only the brain dead and/or Kool-Aid drinkers would deny Bowyer blatantly spun out. A huge percentage of fans, including myself, want to see him punished severely for the disgrace his actions brought to our sport. A lot do not feel that the penalties went far enough. I didn’t myself at first, but on reflecting, I think NASCAR handled the situation very well.

NASCAR fined all three Michael Waltrip Racing’s teams 50 owner and 50 driver points each for their unethical actions trying to change the outcome of the race and the Chase. This immediately rights some of the most egregious wrongs: Truex who only got in by cheating is now out; Newman who most likely would’ve been in the Chase without the cheating by MWR is back in.  What that leaves unresolved is Gordon, who probably would’ve been in before the cheating, is still out. Also, Bowyer gets off without any real penalty as he’ll be starting the Chase with the exact amount of points he would’ve had before the he cheated.

In regards to Bowyer, I noticed that MWR has already announced they won’t appeal. I suspect NASCAR made a deal with them: “Take this or we’re going to give you what you REALLY deserve.” So Bowyer gets off easy penalty-wise, but he’s forever disgraced. He can deny all he wants, but each time he does he just loses even more respect. Everyone will know he’s lying. So, though not perfect, NASCAR has righted the main wrong. If they handed out what Bowyer deserved: being parked, MWR would’ve appealed. Who’s to say what would happen then? Everyone knows he cheated and spun on purpose, but would that hold up once all the legal minds got involved? Maybe, maybe not.

So, Bowyer’s punishment is having to live with himself and the loss of respect he’ had built up in NASCAR – not to mention the loss of a large amount of fans who previously loved him as the icon of a stand up guy in our sport. Now he’s an icon for cheating. Clint Bowyer will now forever be mentioned in discussions on cheating in NASCAR – along with his team, Michael ‘Jet Fuel’ Waltrip Racing. Hopefully Clint will try and redeem himself and admit what everyone already knows. It’ll be hard for many to forgive him if he continues to lie about it. Ryan Newman said Clint admitted it to him and apologized within minutes of NASCAR announcing the penalties. Clint should now do the same publicly for the fans, because he owes them an apology too.

That leaves Jeff Gordon. How can it be made right for him? It’s not really fair to penalize Joey Logano since he had no involvement in MWR scam, so putting Gordon in place of Joey wouldn’t work. The only options are either “sorry, sucks for you” or putting Gordon in the Chase as a 13th car. I don’t like Gordon getting screwed, but I also don’t like changing rules just to resolve a sticky problem. I honestly don’t have a solution. There really isn’t a good option. Morally, Clint should be out and Gordon put in his place, but as explained above, that’s not going to happen.

As to Vickers, I don’t blame him personally. He was ordered to pit road by others, and from what I know, it doesn’t appear he was very happy about it. To be honest, I don’t think what he did is even a small fraction as morally bad as what Bowyer did. What Vickers did only directly effected his own team. The effects were limited only to how his team penalizing themselves effected others. I’m not even sure that should be punished… frowned on maybe. However, what Bowyer did changed, and was INTENDED to change, the entire outcome of the race and the Chase for many teams. It made a joke of the race. That rises to a level I could never defend and is behavior that cannot be tolerated in this sport.

NASCAR was in a tough spot and handled this much better than I thought they would. They have kept my respect – though I will have some things to say about their policing of restarts in the future. I understand this was much more difficult for them than a lot of people might understand. Perhaps with some pressure, they will find a way to make it right for Gordon too. Though I find it distasteful to play with the rules, perhaps adding him as a 13th team would be best.  I’ll have to trust others to decide if that is proper.

leftturns190

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Randy's Rants

Dale Earnhardt – “The Intimidator” Bio/Stats

September 3rd, 2013

 

 

Repost from 2009

For me, Dale was the sport. I loved his driving style… aggressive, but not reckless. Yes, he had his moments, but no more so than any other driver. He was a much cleaner driver than the media and his detractors often insinuate. They love to portray him as this wild, crazy man who would wreck anyone to get up front. Simply not true! Dale had the respect of all the drivers, and you don’t gain that by being a reckless fool!  Dale didn’t try to wreck other drivers, he moved them, and only then if he was faster, or of course if it was the last lap! If he didn’t patent the “Bump and Run”, he sure perfected it! He had a code that any true racer or fan of racing could understand: Move the guy if you’re faster, but don’t wreck him! Yes, wrecks happened, and sometimes it could be said that Dale might at least be partially at fault, on occasion ALL at fault, but mostly it was clean. A lot of those drivers I swear he didn’t even touch! I think quite a few drivers wrecked themselves out of fear from seeing the #3 in their mirror! He didn’t get the get the nickname “The Intimidator” by simply wrecking everyone in front of him as a lot of detractors and some in the media like to portray.

You’ll see the bump and run used nowadays, but seldom with the deft touch the Intimidator had, and too often the attempts today could be described more accurately as a “Wreck & Run”. So, help support the legend of the true Intimidator: A hard driving, passionate racer with CAR CONTROL!

You couldn’t find a better driver to follow: If he wasn’t winning, he was driving the wheels off his car trying to! When you see old footage/pictures of races of other drivers leading a race or crossing the finish line, you’ll often see the black #3 close behind doing his damndest to get to the front! I miss him today more than in 2001. It doesn’t hurt as bad, but the sport seems to be getting farther and farther away from what it was when Dale was around, and I miss what he gave us all on race day!

Leftturns190

Born: April 29, 1951

Died: February 18, 2001 during the last lap of the Daytona 500

Home Town: Kannapolis, NC

Car number:  :3:

Manufacturer: Chevy Baby!!

Rookie of the year in 1979 and won his first Cup Title the next year!

Cup Championships: 7! He was Champion in 1980, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994 and would’ve got his 8th in 2001 and then more, but God had other plans for him.

Career Cup Starts: 676

Wins: 76

Top 5’s: 281

Top 10’s: 428

Other notable stats:

Five-time NMPA Driver of the Year (’80, ’86, ’87, ’90, ’94)

Only three-time winner of “The Winston” (’87, ’90, ’93)

Only 6 time Busch Clash winner (’80, ’86, ’88, ’91, ’93, ’95)

4 time IROC champion (’90, ’95, ’99, ’00)

leftturns190