Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NASCAR needs to revisit policy

I have to admit, back in January, I got caught up in it. I got caught up in the swell of excitement when NASCAR told its drivers they could "have at it, boys." NASCAR basically admitting they were going to allow the drivers to police themselves. Driver rubbed your fender? Rub him back.

For the most part, the trading of paint has been just that, but there have been some incidents where a driver is flat-out wrecking another driver as payback. I don't want to soften NASCAR up, but someone needs to remind these guys that rattling a driver's cage is a lot different than making that driver, oh, I don't know....dead.

NASCAR hasn't come out with any punishment for Carl Edwards after his latest dust-up with Brad Keselowski at Gateway on Saturday night. I'm not sure they will do anything. NASCAR needs to do something, however, and it doesn't have to include a sanction against Edwards. NASCAR needs to back out of the throttle on the "have at it," thing. Enough is enough. The drivers need to be reminded that trading paint is one thing, crashing another guy out is another.

Again, I'm not talking about bumping a guy out of the way. I'm talking about blowing that guy into the wall. It's about finishing first, but at some point, there has to be a respect for the other driver, whether you like him or not. Had Edwards roughed up Keselowski, and not turned him into the fence, we wouldn't be talking about this. That's not how it went down. Frankly, NASCAR is lucky Keselowski isn't seriously injured, or worse. It's time for NASCAR to pull back. Tell the drivers, they are watching, more than ever. Anything that slightly resembles malicious intent gets your called to the trailer for an unpleasant chat. And then a little unscheduled vacation.

The people running NASCAR have seen enough of these kind of things to determine intent to wreck, or intent to win. Time to let the drivers know they've seen enough.

Mike Solarte

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