Blog Entry

This Is Not a Test

Posted on: November 14, 2008 4:46 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2008 4:46 pm
NASCAR's decision to ban all testing for 2009 is a big step in the right direction. Now that Sprint Cup teams are forbidden to conduct tests at any NASCAR-sanctioned track next year, most teams will save between $3-$5 million, a hefty amount given the economic hardships being felt throughout the garage area. But the sanctioning body has to take it further and not simply mandate that teams aren't allowed to test. NASCAR has to enforce the rule. The way the new policy reads, teams would be banned from using any sanctioned facility but allowed to utilize tracks outside the NASCAR family. That means short tracks like New Smyrna Speedway in Florida or Madison International in Wisconsin are fair game as are road courses in Virginia or Ohio. Rockingham Speedway, just outside the NASCAR hub in Charlotte, could now be a gold mine as a testing destination with the track offering both the one-mile superspeedway that used to be part of the Sprint Cup schedule and an adjacent short track, built specifically for legends, go-karts and of course testing. NASCAR should penalize any team caught testing anywhere by sitting out the next week's race. That would ensure all the teams are on an equal playing field. And with the possibility of being parked for a real race weekend the penalty, you can be sure no team would risk the move. My gut tells me the super teams of Hendrick, Roush, RCR and JGR will somehow find a way around things but I applaud NASCAR for taking a positive step to reign in the escalating costs of Sprint Cup racing.

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: Testing

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:18 pm

OR go the other way

and allow the teams two extra days at the destination track to get set up and ready to race each week.  OK I know I'm spoiled living in Indy and the tradition of a full month of basically open track testing for the IRL in May, and the 2 weekends of qualifying.  And i know that is just not feasible with NASCAR, but allowing teams access to the track one day after the previous race to work on set ups would allow a level playing field, while not endangering the drivers.  Teams dont exactly get the wind tunnel and high tech data, but they can tune thier car the old fashion way on the track (as long as they can afford the tires and gas) 

Since: Nov 17, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2008 12:07 am

This Is Not a Test

The ban on testing will only continue to grow the gap between the top teams and the bottom teams, and practically eliminate any chance for a new team to build a program and be competitive - not that NASCAR doesn't already make it really hard for new teams to enter the sport.   When qualifications gets rained out. I would love to see them at least run a small qualifying session for those outside the top35 so that at least everyone who shows up gets a chance to make the race.

And testing is part of what keeps the safety level of the sport intact.  The fiasco at the Brickyard this year would never have happened if there were not so much restrictions on testing and practice.  That was the sorriest excuse for a race I have ever had the misfortune to witness.  I have not been back to a race since, and did not even watch another race for a month I was so disgusted after that "event".

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2008 2:26 pm

This Is Not a Test

With the blatant cheating that goes on throughout this "sport", do rules really matter anymore?

Pete, you're right. A death-penalty level of punishment would definitely make teams follow the rules. The problem is, NASCAR is driven by sponsorship money. If a sponsor loses their advertising for a week that they've paid for, they won't be around for much longer.

NASCAR's management doesn't have the guts to enforce a penalty like that.

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