|Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth|
and Kyle Busch purposely trailed the field for most of the day at
Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo: Sarah Crabill, Getty Images)
Is It Racing or Just A Show?
by Vivian Simons
I've tried. Goodness knows I've tried. But somehow I cannot reconcile my feelings about how this season of NASCAR is ending. I keep asking myself, and others, what has happened. Sadly, neither I nor anyone else has an answer.
My feelings seemed to change drastically during the last race at Talladega on October 23, 2016. To protect and help their advancement to the Chase, three of the normally faster cars in most Cup races, decided to fall to the back and just ride there for the entire race. They finished 28th, 39th and 30th. They were Toyotas driven by JGR drivers Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch.
Way back on September 15, 2013 NASCAR made a new rule and then they announced the following to the fans.
"NASCAR requires its competitors to race at 100 percent of their ability with the goal of achieving their best possible finishing position in an event," NASCAR president Mike Helton said, quoting the new rule. "Any competitor who takes action with the intent to artificially alter the finishing positions of the event or encourages, persuades or induces others to artificially alter the finishing position of the event shall be subject to a penalty from NASCAR.
"Artificially altered shall be defined as actions by any competitor that show or suggest that the competitor did not race at 100 percent of their ability for the purpose of changing finishing positions in the event at NASCAR's sole discretion."
After the Talladega race, NASCAR deemed no rules were broken. What they said was:
"The spirit of that rule is really to prevent somebody from intentionally allowing another teammate to do something that would not be in the spirit of the rules of the race,"[Steve] O'Donnell said. "In this case, we look at that as a strategy decision that the team made. They executed it.
"It's obviously part of the format. It's a decision that they made during the race. But in this case, that wouldn't be something that we look at that violates that rule."
At this point, some of you may be asking, what does this have to do with anything at this late date?
- NASCAR Tripleheader at Homestead-Miami
- Logano Wins Phoenix - Homestead Bound!
- ‘A Veteran’s Homecoming’ Devoted to Reducing Suicide
- Rest In Peace Jake Leatherman
- Carl Edwards' #Win Locks Up Berth in The Chase