Blog Entry

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

Posted on: June 6, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 11:06 am
By Pete Pistone

If you’re looking for a line to cross that will provoke the wrath of NASCAR, stop wasting your time. 

There clearly isn’t one. 

Drivers purposely running into each other in retaliation on the race track? 

“Have at it Boys.” 

Competitors taking sports cars out for 128 mph joyrides on public highways with 45 mph speed zones? 

Enjoy the ride. 

Team owners slugging drivers in the garage area?

Make sure you don’t lose your jewelry. 

There’s a Wild West mentality going on in NASCAR these days and the sanctioning body doesn’t seem to mind one bit. 

For nearly two years the payback and on-track retribution of the “Boys Have at It” era has continued to escalate. 

What began as a slogan to describe NASCAR’s intent to loosen its reins on competitors and not over regulate the sport has morphed into a free for all that has spawned paybacks on the race track as well as fisticuffs in the garage area. 

The latest example came on Saturday when team owner Richard Childress decided he’d seen enough of Kyle Busch’s antics and decided to deliver a knuckle sandwich in the Kansas Speedway Camping World Truck Series garage. 

According to witnesses not since Nolan Ryan delivered a whipping to White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura for making an ill-advised trip to the pitcher’s mound back in the day had a more senior member of the sports world dispensed such a beating to someone several years his junior. 

NASCAR’s reaction to the altercation? 

You guessed it, not much. 

The die was probably cast on Sunday when the sanctioning body allowed Childress to remain on the grounds at Kansas, although “in a restricted manner.” The logic given was that since RCR did not have another senior management type at the track, sending Childress away would be unfair to the organization. 

So with that response perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the final punishment handed out on Monday was not a suspension of any kind but simply a $150,000 fine and the laughable “probation” period that NASCAR hands out like Halloween candy. 

Childress will pay his fine, which for the record is the second highest in the sport’s history trailing only the 200k  NASCAR hit driver Carl Long with when he showed up at the track with an engine that was off specifications by 0.17 cubic inches. By the way Long was also originally suspended 12 races for that infraction before the sentence was cut to eight events. 

However Childress will be back at work this weekend much lighter in the wallet but really none the worse for wear. 

The same cannot be said for NASCAR. 

Yet again the sport of stock car racing has put itself in a bad light and the spotlight has been taken off the product to another sideshow production. It no longer matters who wins a race. The real story is what controversy, fight or other distraction NASCAR is involved in each week.

There isn’t another sport in the world that would tolerate the behavior on and off the track that has gone on in NASCAR this season. But rather than step in, make a statement and do its best to police itself and its image, the best NASCAR can do is hand out hollow justice and reinforce empty policies. 

When Kyle Busch made headlines from coast to coast with his 128 mph speeding ticket two weeks ago, NASCAR didn’t even make an attempt to address the situation even though, whether right or wrong, the sport received a ton of bad publicity and in many cases was ridiculed. 

What was obviously a dangerous situation was ignored and in the process sent a message that perhaps NASCAR condones such behavior.  Silence is not always golden. 

Instructing Busch to take part in public service announcements as an advocate of safe driving or talking to school groups about highway safety would have been the responsible thing for the sanctioning body to do. 

When competitors decide to use their fists to get their point across in any other sport with the exception of hockey, there are repercussions. 

However in NASCAR such behavior seems to be actually encouraged. Oh and that encouragement isn’t limited to simply the people behind the wheel. As the Childress altercation clearly indicates, team owners are welcome to participate as well. 

Imagine any other team owner in any other professional sport being involved in a fight like the one Childress was in on over the weekend. How long would the NFL or NBA or Major League Baseball wait before banning that owner from attending games or conducting business at an event? 

If you answered instantly you’re today’s big winner. 

Richard Childress is one of the most respected people to ever spend one minute in the NASCAR world and rightfully so. He’s a pillar of the community, one of the sport’s biggest contributors and a future Hall of Famer. 

He did not conduct himself in a manner that reflects any of those accomplishments on Saturday. It is NASCAR’s job to ensure its participants, especially at the level of team ownership, maintain a decorum of civil behavior as representatives of the sport.

NASCAR did nothing to indicate it cares one iota about such matters and by doing so has added to a track record that long ago crossed the line of embarrassment.

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Since: Dec 29, 2010
Posted on: June 9, 2011 3:30 pm

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

Well that would never happen. Kyle is a punk talks tough ,acts tough ,but runs at the first sign of trouble take the race where harvick when up to the car if anything busch should have been suspend and fine alof morefor pushing harvicks car on the pit road and could have seriuoly injured somebody thats where nascar sent the wrong message to let this little punk get away from everything nothing is never his fault but Kyle cause the most wrecking go figure.

Since: May 8, 2011
Posted on: June 9, 2011 2:04 pm

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

I have asked this before but I'm going to ask it again! What if it had been Kyle that had walked up to RC and punched him in the head then yelled at him and put him in a head-lock and punched him a few more times,would there ONLY be a $150,000 fine? Even if Kyle was not on probation he would be looking at the highest Nascar fine ever and would hace been suspended

Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2011 6:39 pm

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

It sounds clear that what occured was a criminal action, the same as if a fan attacked another driver or another fan. Under the law you are not allowed to punch someone because they pissed you off. Assault and Battery. Reckless Driving or Speeding is typically a civil infraction.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 6:23 pm

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

Oh please, it was not a big deal.  This pansy azz liberal politically correct crap does not fit NASCAR and it does not belong in NASCAR.  Pete you need to take your wimmpy azz over to womens tennis and write about that.  As far as I and many other fans are concerned, yea NASCAR sent the wrong message by giving him a fine.  I will bet that little boy Busch thinks twice about pulling this kind of crap again because he will soon find out that others can come up and wreck his trucks after a race and face no punishment.  Hey Pete, maybe we should put a 55 MPH speed limit on the track and make the drivers use turn signals...what a dumbazz!

Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 5:43 pm

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

Two guys got into a fight, yes well known guys, but really just two guys.  Name a single walk of life, Actors, Sports, Gov't, Business, Education, Religion, etc, etc where this has not happened.  And sometimes it is not even guys but gals!  As long as people have emotions and are passionate, stuff like this is going to happen.  Life is not vanilla, Thank God!

Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: June 8, 2011 1:18 pm

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

Kyle Busch is this most exciting thing NASCAR has going right now. Period. And I hate Kyle Busch.

Since: Oct 16, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 1:10 pm

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

Didn't take long for one of those buffoons to speak up and totally validate my point.  I am far from being new to NASCAR and I don't need a history lesson on the sport or it's participants.  I was at Bristol in '96 when Earnhardt got sent to the back twice and worked his way back to the front only to fall short at the end while wrecking Labonte at the line.  Most impressive thing I have ever seen in racing.  If you want to believe that his aggressiveness was any different than KB that's fine, keep your blinders on.  Dale Earnhardt himself would probably have agreed with me.  And by the way, the France family started NASCAR and has been running it ever since so don't lecture me on anything you brainless moron. 

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 12:41 pm

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

You obviously are new to racing.   When the number 3 car was on the track ... yes he traded alot of paint,  and so did most of the other drivers out there ... tim richmond,  rusty wallace,  d. waltrip, elliot.  When these drivers were in their prime nascar was one of the most popular sports.  That is why people go to a race to watch em trade paint and try to win at all cost.  Do people go to football games to see a guy breakaway from everyone and run for a td??  no they go to see the hits.  Nascar realized this after they started fining people for incidents on the track and docking them points ... they should have just taken the fenders off the cars.  The biggest difference in K. Busch and Dale is that if you were in Dales way he let you know and if you didn't move he moved you.  Kyle goes out of his way to hit another car and is just a snot nosed brat.  Dale came up old school and helped shape this sport and made it what it was 10 years ago.  It is now ruined because of the france family in charge now.  As for what childress done... yes it was not classy it should have been taken care of ON THE TRACK.    I am one of the buffoons you speak of please come tell me that to my face.   you bitch

Since: Oct 16, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:10 am

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

I'm sure it's been brought up but isn't it interesting how Childress gets steamed about this when his driver in the #3 caused more body damage to competitors cars than just about anyone in the history of NASCAR.  You didn't see Hendrick going after Earnhardt when he purposely wrecked Terry Labonte TWICE at bristol in the 90's.  I have a ton of respect for Richard but this is rediculous.  He's lucky he didn't end up going to jail with charges filed against him.  The bottom line is the frustration of the RCR organization at just barely being competitive and not really competing for championships has affected it's ability to control themselves when things like this happen.  Kevin Harvick is without question the biggest no-class, wise-ass punk in the sport.  Maybe some day he'll take issue with someone like Carl Edwards and get that annoying smirk wiped right off his face leaving a broken nose and a couple missing teeth in the process.  Of course the Earnhardt fanbase with it's legions of brainless buffoons all support RCR and their vendetta against Kyle Busch while ignoring the fact that his style is no different than their hero legend that they worshipped so passionately.  I suspect if Dale Jr. drove as aggressively as Busch does it would be a completely different attitude.  I'm not a Kyle Busch fan when it comes to wanting him to win but I am a fan of his talent and style.  All you haters better learn to deal with it because he will be winning a ton of races for many years to come. 

Since: Jun 16, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:04 am

Idle Thoughts: NASCAR sends wrong message again

Kyle had it coming for sure. He is a self centered arrogant chick. He reminds me of that little skinny kid in school who talked a lot of crap, starting a fight then walking away while his friends fight for him. He is pretty brave in that car, but can't back it up outside the car. Instead choosing to run like a scared little girl.

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