A Respite from Noah's Ark

Jul 5 2011 - 4:02pm

With all that went on Saturday night at Daytona, a quick look at the calendar reveals that it will be more than three months before we have to worry about it again.

Of course, by then, maybe NASCAR's technical folks will be allowed to give the teams some injunctive relief and make it so that a single car, a single driver and the racing gods can determine the outcome of the next restrictor plate event in NASCAR.

I don't know a single driver--and I know quite a few of them--who WANTS to race that way. When you've gotten to the pinnacle of your sport with your own two hands on the wheel, why would you want to hitch your war wagon to another guy in another seat, driving another car?

Ask Trevor Bayne how that worked out for him. Or Tony Stewart. I'd say ask Dale Jr., but I wouldn't want you to get your head bit off.

For Junebug, his race ended when Chad Knaus called his pusher into the pits and forgot to tell Junior. Or did it on purpose. I have no idea what was going on, but there he was, a sitting duck without a dance partner, and he wound up back in the trash with an old, busted hot rod.

First, there's no way a single car can compete. You HAVE to have a draft partner. If that's the case, why didn't NASCAR just award points to both cars equal to where the first one finished? Team game, right?

Second, this two-car thing is an affront to all who grew up loving the sport. When Pearson and Petty were drafting at Daytona in 1976, it wasn't so they could run away from everyone else; it was because each one wanted to win. Staying in line was the way to do it.

There wasn't any thought of pushing somebody to victory. It was damn-the-torpedoes, and you get in my way, I'll park you and laugh while driving under the checkered.

Where did we lose the will to win for winning's sake?

The fact that you have four-car teams at Roush, RCR and Hendrick means that you have six two-car teams, each pushing for team goals. The other 31 drivers are on the outside looking in. Some of them have more than two cars (JGR comes to mind) and they had to split one of their number off (Hamlin went with Newman). That meant Stewart went with David Gilliland. OK, fine. Whatever blows your skirt up.

All in all, I thought that NASCAR, through its ham-handed administration of the new car on plate tracks, has turned a pretty darn stellar event into an ugly, two-car-team pursuit race.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.