|11/01/23||The Numbers Don’t Lie|
|10/11/23||Win or Be Consistent|
|10/05/23||Cutting it Shorter|
|09/21/23||Happy in the Black Hat|
|09/14/23||Wishes Come True|
This week, NASCAR did something I never thought I'd see when they moved Martin Truex, Jr. out of the Chase and Ryan Newman in. For the folks who won't take a win away from a driver whose car failed post-race inspection, this was an unprecedented move.
Yet, it was a move they had to make. You can't allow folks to overtly game the system. Baseball and bicycle racing are among the sports reeling from such efforts.
A friend asked me how, what MWR did was different from a football team letting the other team score to get the ball back; or pulling the goalie in hockey for an extra attacker. My response is that, in those instances, the teams are still attempting to win the game. Winning the race was never the intention of MWR.
Yet, despite what NASCAR did, they haven't ultimately penalized Clint Bowyer (he starts the Chase with the same number of points he would have had), despite his apparent indiscretion. Should he have ignored his boss?
Jeff Gordon was a loser through this, he lost his Chase spot to Joey Logano who was, unknowingly, part of MWR's game. So, how do you penalize Logano?
The bigger issue is: how will NASCAR prevent this from happening down the road. As our friend Nate Ryan from USA Today noted, the message, for now, is less "this will not happen again" and more "do a better job disguising it".