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NASCAR's eternal swell of inconsistancy

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

NASCAR's eternal swell of inconsistancy

Jeremy T. Sellers
Jerm's Joint
May 16, 2007

It's a no-brainer when you think of other sports. Whether it be baseball, football, basketball, tennis, or here's one for you, bowling, that they all have a rule book. They're pretty cut and dry, to the point, with the exception of possibly baseball. Most rules there are left to interpretation and judgment. Oh wait, did I say baseball, or NASCAR? Sometimes I confuse myself with these two past times as I enjoy both.

Becoming a certified high school baseball umpire has shown me that what my instructors taught us was correct...if all else fails, whatever your judgment is... However, we should be led to beleive that NASCAR's rules are as straight forward as the other sports mentioned. You'd think, right? Wrong! On almost a weekly basis, now, NASCAR continuously proves that the same rule book does not apply equally to every driver and crew chief. How can this be, you may ask? Whereas we all are aware that NASCAR has set forth specific parameters in which the teams must adhere to in reference to vehicle design and construction, there are certain rules that the sanctioning body can use to enforce that don't list these specificities. They are "left to interpretation and judgment". The biggest of these rules is "Actions detrimental to the sport".

By golly, if the violation isn't covered by a certain rule, we'll just use that one to spank the pee pees that need to be spanked. Hell, we can even use that guideline as an excuse to penalize and fine whatever amount we see fit...AND, we can even pound a driver harder for a lesser offense than we did the other for a greater one...because of who they are? Well, with no factual evidence to support this, I would still have to say, "HELL YA!"

Before you fanatics climb my frame because you believe I'm whining on Earnhard Jr's behalf, you need to explore a little NASCAR history. You'll find that it has happened to all of our drivers: Gordon, Johnson, Martin in 1988, Earnhardt, Earnhardt Jr, Stewart, etc.

To me, in a sport where all the cars are of the "cookie cutter" variety, big money is involved, and corporate sponsorship is paramount, there should be absolutely no "grey area" in the rule book. None whatsoever. Even the "unapproved parts" rule is pretty exploratory. What I'm trying to say folks, is that NASCAR needs to operate on the same page, with the same book, straight across the board. Inconsitant fines and penalties are causing awesome discontentment amongst the fans. Say what you want about Stewart, but his recent comments have finally received the attention of NASCAR, because deep down, or hell, maybe on the surface, they know he is right. Argue as you may, even the truest fans have to agree that the sport is in trouble. Deep trouble! Maybe I haven't articulated well here my point, but I think you get the gist!



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