NASCAR policy doing more harm than good?


Larry McThige

NASCAR is taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their drivers.

Christian Gralak, Online Editor

We have all heard of NASCAR. The beloved racing sport in America that comes every weekend from Feb. to Nov. when 43 Sprint Cup drivers ready themselves to endure continuous laps around a track and do anything they can to win.

Has NASCAR been too lenient with drivers in their attempts at winning though? In past weeks, there have been many retaliatory wrecks caused on the track due to “beef” with other drivers caused by past incidents.

For example on Nov. 1 at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia, Team Penske driver Joey Logano was battling to pass up Joe Gibbs’ driver Matt Kenseth, who was already multiple laps down in the race.

On lap 453 of 500, Logano made the pass over Kenseth to increase his lead over Jeff Gordon who was in second place. As he made the pass around turn one, Kenseth rammed his race car straight into the side of Logano’s and put him into the wall. The crowd cheered Kenseth’s dirty deed and Logano definitely didn’t appreciate it.

Gordon would go on to win the race. The wreck cost Logano his seventh victory and a chance to move further up in the Sprint Cup standings. Kenseth took the blame for it.

“Yeah, definitely my fault. I got into him.” Kenseth told the Augusta Chronicle on Nov. 4. “I know it’s got to be disappointing for him. It’s a tough sport; some days you’re the bat and some days you’re the ball. I was the ball a few weeks ago and I was the ball again today, so that part of it is never fun.”

This little rivalry dates back to Oct. 18 during the Hollywood Casino 400 in Kansas. Kenseth was leading Logano with five laps to go and Logano was tailing Kenseth’s bumper hard. As Logano kept pressing to pass him, Kenseth spun out and ultimately lost his chance at a win. Instead of finishing in first he placed 14th and Logano ended up celebrating in the Winner’s Circle.

While Kenseth was suspended two races for his actions against Logano by NASCAR, there is still much to talk about in regards to NASCAR’s “Boys, have at it,” policy, which was introduced in 2010. The policy has been around to let drivers settle their differences on the track without the need for NASCAR to get involved.

As safety measures continue to improve for drivers, there is no guarantee one may not get seriously injured if involved in an accident. If drivers continue to take each other out on the track because they feel they need to retaliate, then why not just call the sport NASCAR death racing.

As mature adults, there should be no reason to want to attempt to cause an accident and possibly cause severe injury. I, for one, hope a severe injury doesn’t need to occur in order for NASCAR and its road-rage drivers to see that what they’re promoting can be seriously detrimental to it’s racers — even if the fans like the retaliation tactics.