Is Nascar trying to eliminate the “little guy?”

022110-NASCAR-Making-a-statement-DS-P_20100221205529_335_220_397x224 Nascar does things at times just because they can.  No rhyme or reason. They just do it because they can and always use “Actions detrimental to the sport of stock car racing” as its justification.

On Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, Nascar confiscated the #66 car driven by Dave Blaney from Prism Motorsports after he headed to the garage 43 laps into the 250 lap event.  His teammate, Michael McDowell headed to the garage three laps earlier.  Both would be considered “start and park” cars.

Start and park is what teams that have very little budget do to get purse money to get them to the next week’s race.  They can’t afford brand new engines.  They can’t afford to wreck their car.  They can’t afford to even have full time crew members.  They are trying to survive.

Well, Nascar by confiscating the #66 car from Prism Motorsports, puts that organization in a position they won’t be able to race that car at Las Vegas next week and stand to lose over $100,000 for at least starting that event.

The reason they won’t make Las Vegas is that Nascar has already told the team they won’t get the car back until this coming Saturday which is too late to re-work the car, practice, and qualify.  Nascar basically has penalized Prism Motorsports $100K for no known rule infraction. (The 100K assumes they would qualify for the race.)

Why is Nascar doing this?  Are they embarrassed that there are “start and park” cars in the field?  Isn’t it better to have them than a short field and when did Nascar become a series of elites only? 

Nascar was built on the little teams and owners who scraped together every dollar they had to go racing.

I know Brian Keselowski very well.  He’s the older brother of Penske Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski.

Brian tries to be the driver behind the wheel of his #26 machine every week in the Nascar Nationwide Series.  However to do that, he usually has at least one other car and sometimes two that he hopes will make the field and then parks them a few laps in.  Why?  It’s the only way he can continue to race and as Brian has told me on several occasions, racing is all he knows plus he loves the sport.

Unless Nascar believes the #66 team have been violating the rules, there is no reason to confiscate the car and hurt an already struggling team.  I believe every real Nascar fan should flood Nascar with letters and emails of contempt for this move.  It’s time to stand up to Nascar and it’s philosophy of “We’re Nascar and we can do what we want because we can.”

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2 Comments

  1. Interesting post. But, if you ask me, the embarrassment is there with the whole “start and park” concept. When a team shows up simply to make a lap for a $100K payday, in my opinion, they don’t deserve to even make the show. There are other teams who are willing to race the whole show, but are bumped by the so-called “start and park” teams. This is nothing more than a money grab.

  2. Just an update on your post: Both cars were returned to the teams in time for them to race in Las Vegas.

    I agree with Dr. Rus Jeffrey that the whole “start an park” concept should not be allowed. I understand that some teams do not have the money or sponsorship to run a complete race, but I don’t think it is fair the the fans to see a car qualify for a race only to run the race a few laps and then park the car. This is a spectator sport and the fans deserve more. If they don’t plan to run the entire race then they don’t have any business starting the race at all. Bravo to NASCAR for putting a stop to the “start and park” teams.

    Shannon
    http://www.RaceDecorations.com


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