NASCAR: Unfair at Any Speed!

HAMMOND, IN: Show me a racing series where a driver
can time trial ninth fastest out of 47 qualifiers and
fail to make the race, and I’ll show you the Nextel
Cup Series. Sounds like a badly flawed system to me!

As we all know, NASCAR guarantees a starting position
in each race to the top 35 teams in the point
standings. It’s easy to understand why they do this:
it encourages the teams to participate in all
scheduled events, and guarantees the big-buck sponsors
the exposure that they demand. Unfortunately, many of
the real racers are getting lost in the process.

Maybe the “old school” way of doing things seems to
always look better because I, myself, am old.
But…damn it…something is very wrong when Sam
Hornish Jr. shows up at Talladega, qualifies ninth
fastest, and has to load up and go home because
slower, “top 35” entries used up all the starting

Like many others, it saddens me to know that NASCAR
has become the “ultimate destination” for so many past
Indy 500 winners and veterans, but fair is fair. If
they start 43 cars, and you qualify ninth with a legal
race car, no way you should be told to load up. This
is just flat wrong!

It sounds too simple to say that the fastest cars
should fill the starting line-up, but that’s really
what needs to happen. Unfortunately, that type of
honest RACING can probably never happen again as long
as big time motorsports is almost totally
sponsor-driven. And…how can the flood of sponsorship
dollars be stopped now that the dam has burst?

The reality is that the real racers are getting lost
in the shuffle. Meanwhile, Michael Waltrip juggles car
numbers to suit his needs; appears on numerous NASCAR
TV shows, and makes appearances for his sponsor, NAPA.
The fact that he can’t drive nails, and considers a
10th place finish “a victory” doesn’t seem to matter
to anyone.

Wonder what Curtis Turner and Fireball Roberts would
say about NASCAR today?

“If you need a Provisional, you don’t need to race!”

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