MONTE DUTTON - RULES AND REGULATIONS
Wouldn’t it be nice just to have a normal week? How about a normal day?
Oh, I’m not just talking about NASCAR, where a driver can establish himself as the favorite for the Monster Energy Cup championship, then have the apple cart (or a Ford Fusion if you want to be a stickler about it) overturned for having an illegal spoiler.
A spoiler spoiled everything.
By the way, this is not just NASCAR. It would be nice to roll over in the wee hours of the morning, discover you fell asleep with the TV on again, and before you switch it off, not realize some nut has shot up a nightclub in California.
I am incapable of solving what’s wrong with NASCAR, let alone the world.
What has happened in NASCAR reminds me of what happened in football about 40 years ago when offensive linemen were allowed to use their hands while blocking. The idea was to reduce holding penalties. Now, of course, there are about twice as many flags as there were back then.
NASCAR officials decided they could reduce cheating by making the rules more complicated, tight and specific. This has served the purpose of making cheating more complicated, tight and specific.
I can remember a time when STP was the racer’s edge.
Cheating is not unique to automobile racing. I saw a wide receiver have to go the sideline and put in some knee pads recently. Every team in big-league baseball thinks the other team is stealing signs.
I called it “socialized racing” 20 years ago. If everyone would just be obedient and do NASCAR’s bidding, everything would work and everyone would be happy. The problem is that everyone wants to win.
Racing is at its best when there is a balance between rules and innovation. Smart people who make high salaries do not make such salaries long if they aren’t allowed to use their smarts.
Now, when I see a fellow racing fan in town, and he says he figures Kevin Harvick is going to win the championship, I feel tempted to say, “Uh, not necessarily.” The fellow could ask many questions that could be answered, “Uh, not necessarily.”
Not everyone watches NASCAR America while he’s taping NASCAR Race Hub and checking his Twitter feed constantly. As much as I hate it, not everyone reads this column. Some people just watch the race, and for them, it’s gotten too damned confusing. They don’t start tuning to SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel. They don’t listen to three different podcasts a day.
They quit paying attention. That’s what they’ve been doing for more than a decade.