Monday, June 14, 2010

Michael Waltrip Talks TV Timeouts


Michael Waltrip has one of the highest media profiles in NASCAR. He is a multi-car owner in the Sprint Cup Series. He is an analyst for SPEED on the Camping World Truck Series telecasts. He is a panel member of Inside NASCAR on Showtime.

Sunday night, Waltrip took the time through a series of Twitter messages to respond to fans upset with NASCAR's late race actions in Michigan. A late caution for debris that was never shown on the TNT coverage tightened the field after Denny Hamlin had worked hard to build up a lead.

In Victory Lane and on several TV shows, Hamlin had expressed an acceptance that NASCAR had thrown the caution simply to bunch up the field for a more exciting finish. Some fans reacted with anger as NASCAR has continually denied ever putting out a caution flag for anything other than valid reasons. Waltrip has his own ideas on just what defines "valid reasons."

Here are Waltrip's comments:

"I am a huge fan of a late caution. In basketball they just call it what it is. A TV time out. In football its the break in change of possessions. In baseball its either a walk to the mound or the end of an inning. Its sports. NASCAR needs to have those too."

"If you don't agree you probably don't feel sorry for that pitcher who got robbed of a perfect game because MLB is stuck living in the past."

"The last caution today was well thought out by NASCAR. Everyone had pitted and no one was adversely effected by the caution. The 100,000 plus fans that drove to MIS to be entertained I'm sure appreciated the late race reset."

"Crews had to make the right calls on pit road and drivers had to get up on the wheel to close the deal. What's wrong with that? Thank you for buying a ticket and gas and a hotel and etc.."

"I'd bet that if you were offended by my opinion in addition to not feeling sorry for that pitcher you probably haven't bought a ticket to a race lately. As the kids say these days....'Jus saying'. The world is a changing."


The world may be changing for Waltrip, but his statement reflects a radical departure from what NASCAR has been saying publicly for decades. Protecting the integrity of the racing has been one element that has kept NASCAR in the ranks of sports like the NFL and away from the perception that stock car racing is professional wrestling on wheels.

One significant influence on the caution flag decisions this season may be television. While there might be one hundred thousand fans in the stands, there are millions watching at home. NASCAR suffered last season from boring races where aero issues handed the car out front the win time and time again.

This season, we have NASCAR Race Control much more active with decisions in races that seem to be driven by television. Key drivers are often on the verge of being lapped when debris suddenly appears on the proverbial backstretch. Slow cars heading to pit lane bring out the caution flag when the field has become strung-out in the race.

It seems ironic that Waltrip used Twitter to send his caution flag manifesto. This form of instant communication allows media members, fans, teams and even NASCAR to maintain constant contact during the races.

These days when NASCAR throws a caution for debris, fans in the stands use Twitter to instantly verify if there is a problem or perhaps the "Waltrip rule" is now in effect. Twitter even lets them send pictures of the offending spring rubber, body panel or tire liner.

This is certainly going to be an interesting topic at the next Sprint Cup Series race. If NASCAR follows the Waltrip example and admits to throwing a caution flag at Michigan to spice-up the finish, it will open a Pandora's Box for the fans.

Now, late in every race the fans of the drivers not at the very front of the pack are going to be expecting a "show caution" to get that exciting double-file restart for TV and set-up the possible green/white/checkered scenario.

Where do you come down on this topic? Is this old school vs. new school fans as Waltrip suggests? Is this an integrity issue or should some fans just stop taking NASCAR so seriously? Should using caution flags to set-up an exciting finish for TV become a regular practice for the sport?

To add your opinion on this topic, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave us your views on this topic.

91 comments:

Skip said...

Well, as Tony Stewart said a few years ago - it worked for the WWF, so why not?

Although I'll note after he said that, the phantom debris cautions went away for at least a few races, so maybe Mikey opening his big mouth will have the same effect now.

Oh, and Mike? This Texas Motor Speedway season ticket holder is pretty darn offended by your comments. The debris cautions are so predictable they're pathetic. "88 is the lucky dog? Quick, throw the yellow before the leader passes someone else.". "20 laps to go in a snoozer? Yellow."

It makes a mockery out of the sport.

kbaskins said...

I wonder if Michael Waltrip would still be in favour of instituted late-race cautions if Martin Truex Jr. or David Reutimann had a 10-second lead, only to lose that lead and subsequently the race on a retstart.

Probably not.

--KarenB

sbaker17 said...

It's Jacque Debris. He's worked for NASCAR for a long time now.

West Coast Diane said...

No thanks. If I wanted a manufactured outcome I'd watch wrestling. This is coming from someone whose driver benefited from the caution and got a top ten finish.

Can't wait to see what NASCAR says. I am sure they won't be happy with Mikey being so blatant. At least Denny was subtle about it...LOL!

Barry from Tennessee said...

Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and others said they did see the debris. It was also supposedly shown on Race Buddy.

West Coast Diane said...

PS...I read the comments to my husband. I am even more irritated.

The world is changing? So you manufacture the outcome of a sporting event? Racing doesn't have a natural break like other sports. It is apples & oranges.

Whatever happened to integrity.

Jack from PA said...

I know where Mikey is coming from with his comments and wanting the paying fans to get a "show," but at the same time there have been races that have played out well on their own. It's not the leader who has a 10 second lead's fault the track produced a boring race.

Further, think about the team members who spend all the time they do to prepare a car. Just think of the outcry if something happened to Hamlin on the restart and Kahne or Busch got by and snagged what was arguably a sure win by the 11.

I love NASCAR as much as anyone and want nothing more than to see a great race with a great finish, but there are times where you just don't mess with the natural flow of a race. If the race is uneventful, don't try and make it such by throwing a mystery debris caution. IMO, that's lying to fans by even saying there's debris on the track, If you want a competition caution to bunch up the field and hope for a demo derby for the last 15 laps, then just say it.

As for the TV networks, they knew what they were getting into when they signed the contract. Not every race is going to have a photo finish or 10-car wrecks on the final lap like at Pocono. No doubt, it's probably what every network wants but it is rare.

Jonathan said...

Hate to say it but I somewhat agree with Mikey here. Think about it in stick and ball sports when it comes down to the end theres usually a timeout here and there called by either of the 2 teams. In Nascar theres 43 teams so we cant have timeouts for each team lol think about it..... So whats wrong with a caution near the end?? I said this before Mikey did the past few races when the cautions came out. I know most of you wont agree but just a thought. I dont know if im for them or not its strage...

Andrew said...

The phantom debris calls is why other forms of motorsport have trouble taking NASCAR seriously. You get the occasional bad race, okay, fine.

Not every series has scintilating races every time they go out on the track. You don't see the IRL throwing a "debris" caution when their cars get strung out at Long Beach or whatever.

When no one can see debris, it cheapens the experience. Imagine if Hamlin had lost due to that?

majorshouse said...

I personally don't take the word of a Waltrip seriously, but if if this is what we have been suspecting for some time then this is no better than the WWF or the WWE and would love to have seen what he would have said if it had been one of his cars in the lead, come on Mikey grow up and then shut up.

Anonymous said...

I loved the logic. Football can call a timeout, so its okay to throw a fake caution? We felt sorry for the pitcher, so its okay to throw a fake caution? How about this is racing and not football or baseball?

Bucky Butler said...

Since Michael Waltrip is held in high regard by some media outlets as a expert commentator, my guess is he knows what he's talking about. So if that's the case, I'm outraged. But I'm not surprised. With Hamlin's huge lead and as green flag stops were cycling through, I knew a caution was going to fly for debris and myself, tweeted as such as soon as the yellow came out. Skip said it best, referring to Tony Stewart's past comments, that this sport is as relevant as pro wrestling. They may not script it out but with their manufactured finishes, such as green-white-checker, it has watered down the product. Races, like all sports, should just play themselves out. If Hamlin wins by 15-20 seconds or even laps the field in a snoozer, so be it. That's how the race played out. Using Michaels baseball analogy, which his was plain stupid, some people don't like pitcher's duels. But sometimes you get a 1-0 game that is over in 2 hours. Not every sporting event is action packed but you find the entertainment in that fact, where you can. I've been very critical of this form of motorsport for some time. Perhaps, as JD asked, it is a case of old school versus new school and I just don't fit in any longer. I do find I get more out of other forms of motorsport lately. Indy Car has been entertaining with out being manufactured. Last years Championship race at Homestead came down to a caution free, fuel economy run for Dario Franchitti. Can you imagine NASCAR allowing that to happen for it's championship race? Not today you can't. Also to Skip's point, I'm a 35 consecutive year attendee of the Daytona 500 and just renewed for next year. I go to the July race and to Homestead. I also am offended that anyone who disagrees with Michael may not be spending their hard earned money to see their "show". Perhpas I should re-consider where I spend my entertainment dollar.

B-Flo said...

well at least mikey is being honest
and it is true in other sports, most notably the nba
i mean we have to be realistic

Tom said...

Sorry, but this only puts into words what I have thought for some time: NASCAR has little credibility as a true "sport". If there was a scheduled caution at let's say, 10 laps to go, every race, that would be one thing. Throwing a caution to prevent a driver from going a lap down, or getting too far ahead, or the field is too spread out, sorry, that is fixing a race. Hey I get they want to give fans a more exciting finish, but giving that conflicts directly with the actual integrity of the race! Tony was right as we get closer to the WWF. At least the WWF doesn't pretend to be real.

Tom
Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

I have nevre liked Waltrip. But you know what? I am glad someone finally said it. This has been going on for years.

GinaV24 said...

I hate the whole idea of this, but NASCAR has been doing this special dispensation caution deal for a while depending on who they want to favor and this year in particular with their move to the multiple Green White Wreckers finish scenario, it has become really obvious that they are willing to manipulate the end of a race.

Martinsville was an obvious example and they did it again at Pocono.

Hamlin just said what most fans already "knew" but until then it hadn't been said and with Mikey (the NASCAR motormouth) confirming it, well, I guess its true.

So, if this is the "new" rule in NASCAR then just come out and say that with 10 laps to go, we're going to throw a caution. You can pit or not pit and then do ONE restart and however that works out for the field, then it is what it is. I'd rather see them race 10 laps for a finish than see a bunch of wrecked race cars in a weekly crapshoot. That's not racing, that really is WWF and if this is the way NASCAR wants to go, they can't call themselves a sport any more - don't bother to do the championship deal either - just hand out a belt to whoever the chosen one this year is.

My friends already think this is a stupid "sport" and that it is pretty dumb of me to waste so much time and money on it. I guess they were right all along.

It really makes me feel like there isn't any reason to bother watching or buying tickets any more.

JohnP said...

Even as a die hard Stewart fan, I have to say he was wrong a few years ago in making that comment. Thought it then, saying it now.

Mikey is also wrong. He's just a showman so I understand his point of view though. He's kinda like a ring master at a circus. All hype. But, I'm a diehard race fan and not a diehard showman so I say let the cars finish without a fake caution. At this point I view both Waltrips as simple showman and not true race fans. They have simply been on the inside to long to be able to view the sport from the viewpoint of the actual people who totally support Nascar. The fans. No fans, no tv contract. No fans, no sponsors. I'll call it what it is. Fake cautions is fake racing.

Cooter said...

Late-race yellow flags ARE predictable. NASCAR thinks we won't catch on. It's pure fraud, P.T. Barnum trickery.
Dave Despain's credibility is sinking along with NASCAR's as he made a valiant attempt to deny the phantom caution at Michigan. His demeanor indicated he didn't believe what he was saying, but was being forced to say it.

Charles said...

If NASCAR does admit to deliberately throwing 'race reset' cautions that will be the last time I pay attention to anything NASCAR.
It's the anti-competitive decisions time and again that are killing NASCAR. Fake cautions, GWC, COT spec, points racing instead of win total to determine championship, the list keeps growing.
I'll know the end has arrived when they start conveniently leaving folding chairs in the post-race interview areas for the drivers to whack each other with.

JohnP said...

Just read the other comments. Stunning - NOT. The fans want racing to be real and not a fraud. After attending many races at Dover (read $) if I ever was positive one race had a manufactured ending I'd be so irate I'd most likely turn WWF/Nascar off forever. Sounds like to me Mikey put his big fat mouth filled with jet fuel directly into a long smoldering fire with the True Fans of racing. Because this issue will now be looked for by the fans in detail. It will not go away anytime soon and it's to late to stop it.

Donna in FL said...

What disturbs me most is that Waltrip suggests deliberate officiating fakery by NASCAR. Forgive the pun but that isn't being a good sport!! That's not "sport" at all, it's scripted entertainment, and validates detractor claims.

If NASCAR wants to make a late race break for every race like we see in the All Star race a new rule, so be it.

I've been watching a very long time. Drivers used to throw stuff out windows to try and draw a caution, and that upset NASCAR. Now NASCAR has apparently been doing the very same thing, yet denying it, and doesn't expect the fans to be outraged??

I too have spent $1000s over the years on races & merch, knew what I was getting, same as other sports.
Now, I think I have a right to know exactly what NASCAR is- a sport or an entertainment- so I can decide if I want to continue supporting or take my money elsewhere.

OSBORNK said...

Michael is full of it when he says other sports do it. If other sports did it, they would have to reset the score to make it close enough that a simple mistake by the leading team would result in an underseved victory for the other team.

The use of fake cautions late in the race makes watching the first 90% of the race a waste of time. The race winner is frequently based on who got lucky last.

Michael and Denny only said what has been common knowledge for years. If NA$CAR and the networks wonders why attendance and viewership is down, they are badly in need of a reality check. There is a reason professional wrestling is not on a major network and real sports with honest an unmanipulated results are.

Joe said...

Michael Waltrip's logic isn't quite right here, either. You can call a timeout in football and basketball, but if you're down 20 points before the timeout, you're still down 20 points after it. Throwing that late caution pulls the lead lap cars running half a lap behind right back to the leader's bumper.

This is not a timeout or a mound visit. Waltrip's argument has no merit.

If the racing is boring -- and it is at times -- fix the cars or fix the tracks. Don't "fix" the races.

Anonymous said...

How does a fake late-race caution compare in any way to the end of an inning or an time-out near the end of the game???

Did I miss something, do time-outs magically even up the score with two minutes left in the game? Does the team with a large advantage give up their lead when the last inning starts? No!

So how are those things comparable to essentially stripping away a driver's good performance. What if this had been a first-time winner like David Ragan (or some other new winner) with a 10-second lead, would everybody be so accepting if NASCAR threw a debris caution and then he lost the race despite clearly having the best car? I seem to remember such an incident happening to Casey Mears when he was driving the #41 car at Homestead and many people were not very happy about the "phantom debris" caution.

And that opens up so much more, should NASCAR always throw the caution at the end? Should we just throw out all fuel and tire strategy before the last 20 laps out the window, forget fuel mileage races and just have a sprint to the finish every single week?

Honestly, I like exciting ending to races, but I like variety in my races, and even more I hate fixed and manufactured outcomes to my races!

JohnP said...

Donna said it better then I could after trying twice. :)

After Hamlin's comments on live TV and it being backed up completely by Waltrip within hours. I have a Real Question?

Is Nascar a "Sport" or simply a "Reality Racing Show"? And I want to know, becaue I despise reality shows. And I'll just go to my local short track on Sundays in Delmar, De.

Newracefan said...

Haven't read all the comments and I may be in the minority but... I've been to races and there are times that I have been greatful for a debris caution. Sometimes it helps my driver sometimes it hurt him. So I'm good.

Kyle said...

I wish NASCAR would just call them competiton cautions...or may TV breaks, like basketball does. You knew with 20 to go when the field was completely spread around the track after two green flag pit stops one was coming...

BTW, digging the new digs at thedalyplanet.tv

West Coast Diane said...

For the few that favor late race cautions, how about just doing heat races on Saturday and then a short "main", maybe 200/250 miles on Sunday. Would be better than phony cautions.

Why bother running a whole race, some 500 miles, to have the race and positions affecting championship points, artifically determined by the last 20 or less laps .

Dr. Kevin Harrington said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jayhawk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Once again MW gets it wrong and manages to insult those of us who dare to disagree with him. As others have already pointed out, late race fake cautions are not just a break in the action. They reset the scoreboard. Advantages that have been built up over hours of racing and hundreds of laps are wiped out. After bunching the field up and going through three green/white/checker attempts at the end, anybody in the top ten might win.

Imagine if a team leading the super bowl by three touchdowns saw their lead reduced to a fieldgoal at the final two minute warning to make the game "more interesting". Suppose Tiger Woods is leading a major tournament by six strokes at the 17th hole and has it reduced to a single stroke starting at the 18th to make it more interesting. That is what NASCAR is doing.

I lost a lot of respect for NASCAR and championship winners when they went to the chase format. Right in clear view, they change the point standings to group the field more tightly to give more people a chance to win it if luck goes their way.

If NASCAR has decided to do the same thing with individual races, and it appears they have, their product is greatly cheapened in my eyes. What is the point of investing several hours of your time in watching an entire race? Just tune in for the last 20 laps and you'll see all that matters.

Anonymous said...

Waltrip, you are right, the world is changing. NASCAR TV ratings are dropping, race attendence is down, and now with this blatant admission of race fixing, I have watched my last race.

Pretty funny that this is comming from Jet fuel man. i suppose he thought the fuel was changing that day.....

Anonymous said...

These comments are outrageous, but as MW is usually the spokesman when Nascar is running an idea up the flagpole, they probably represent the thoughts of the Nascar brass.
Seriously, if these are the new rules, then Nascar is no longer a sport, but is an entertainment-based reality show. Why not just run a 20 lap sprint each wee and forget about the first 90% of the race? If fans cannot trust that they are spending their time and money on a fair and "real" event, the death spiral is truly underway. I am very sad to say this.

Anonymous said...

Hey folk's lets do this. Let's replace faux king Brian with Mikey and Mike Helton with DW. They are both hucksters and absolute company line followers. Plus where king Brian seems to have no answers, the Waltrips have all the answers, just ask them.

Why do we bother to listen or respond to either of them. Oh I know, Television doesn't give us that option.

Keith said...

Why must an idea be thrown out or accepted just because of who thought it up?

I just wish NASCAR would be consistent in whatever they do.

Anonymous said...

As pointed out by several others, auto racing is not comparable to most other sports. The closest you can come, I believe, is golf. Other sports have one team playing against another team. Auto racing has multiple teams competing at the same event. So does golf. So lets take golf and apply the same logic that NASCAR does with auto racing: On the last hole of the golf tournament, the PGA calls a "time out". Player "A" was ahead by 5 shots over the 2nd place golfer and 6 shots ahead of 3rd through 7th place. When play is resumed, 2nd place is now tied with the leader and 3rd through 7th are one shot back. Golly, that would be really exciting for the fans to watch, wouldn't it? Trouble is, it would no longer be a sport, it would be and entertaining exhibition. Would fans of golf want to see this? If they say yes, they are not golf fans.

bevo said...

I totally understand why integrity is a foreign concept for Michael Waltrip.

His grasp of logic though is frightening. Much like his older brother he seems to just jack his jaws to hear his own voice. I'm sure a full retraction including the obligatory "I was misquoted" (yes, even though it was his own Twitter account) will follow.

Dannyboy said...

Yep, you're right!

Lets go back to the "good old days" where the winner was the only car on the lead lap [sarcasm].
Go back & look at the average margin of victory in 1995, 85, & 75.

Anybody who thinks short track racing is more "pure" hasn't been to enough short tracks. Last race I attended, they reversed the qualifiying order so the fastest cars have to race their way past the slower.

Now that's "pure" racing :-P
.
.

Ritchie said...

The problem is that hardcore fans know that even if there was "debris" on the track (and let's face it, there is always debris on the track) that doesn't mean that NASCAR always throws a caution. It only means they can throw a caution. Its no secret that NASCAR wants the races to be close, and I do believe that NASCAR throws cautions to bunch up the field from time to time. However, the real issue is that NASCAR isn't doing enough to manage its image.

What I have never understood was if NASCAR was really trying to bunch up the field with a debris caution, why not make a show of it to convice everyone it is legit? Send a truck to the backstretch, have a crew of guys jump out and scour the area for debris, jump in the truck and drive up to Phil Parsons on pit road holding SOMETHING, anything. That way TNT can tell the world how safety conscience NASCAR is. Everyone would be forced to applaud NASCAR (regardless of whether they want to or not) and we could all enjoy the next restart with out feeling dirty the next morning.

Just sayin'....

Kevin said...

It's pretty obvious what NASCAR has been doing, and I'm glad some of the drivers are finally speaking up. I absolutely loved Hamlin's quote in his post-race interview yesterday.

But beyond integrity (which is important enough on its own), this creates another problem. I believe the first 90% of races have become boring because drivers know the late-race caution is coming. If you know you're all going to get bunched up anyway, and that leading the race doesn't give you much of an advantage, then why bother to lead at all? Hamlin kept the lead because he was so far ahead of anybody else, but he even admitted to saving his tires after his last pit stop because he knew a caution was coming. Drivers have absolutely no incentive to race hard before those last few laps, so they don't. By throwing these late-race "debris" cautions, NASCAR itself is the cause of the boredom that has occurred in the first 90% of many races this year.

Tommy said...

Totally agreed Keith. If MW had an answer for world peace, the haters would still hate. Why hate the messenger.

Anyhow, I agree with Michael. NASCAR is entertainment. Why do you think they have the GWC finishes? It's for "your" entertainment. More televisions would be turned off if there were boring races, like yesterday. Majority of the fans like close racing with passing, MIS had none. I am sure most of us here, sat up and watched the restarts. Let's be honest, it was more exciting, than already knowing Denny was going to win by 15 secs. As a fan of DH, it was nice to see him pull away again.

Bucky Butler said...

The thing that gets me the most is that Waltrip is OK with the concept of throwing a late race caution to bunch up the field, for the sake of a good finish. He's basically saying, screw integrity if it's good for the show.

Matt said...

I follow MW on twitter and saw his comments last night. To me he came across as an arrogant ass as he tried to explain how things need to be. BS. At the time I thought he had indulged in a few too many Bud Light. I still don't quite understand the relationship between Gallaraga's near perfect game and fake caution to bunch up the field. Maybe NASCAR should just have a "competition caution" with 10 to go, kinda like when Goodyear brings a new tire. Arrggghhh.

Anonymous said...

If Nascar would have a "halftime" in a race then these cautions would not be needed. If teams were allowed to work on their car for 15 minutes it would help the ones a little off get better and make the last half of the race more enjoyable to watch. The halftime would give TV a chance to talk to the drivers, owner, pit crew. It's a win for Nascar.

Anonymous said...

Until it's a RULE I'm not buying the TV timeout crap. If it's fair and everyone knows when it's coming that's fine, but don't arbitrarily throw them sometimes but not other times.

Where's the line? If Junior is leading you don't throw one but if Clint Bowyer or Denny Hamlin is you do?

Imagine the outrage if there was no "TV timeout" rule at the end of a football game and Goodell could just pick and chose when to stop the clock.

If Baltimore has a 4th down with 30 sec. left and Indy has no timeouts left does the NFL arbitrarily call a time out and force a punt? If New England completes a long pass to the 1 yard line with no timeouts and 5 seconds left does the NFL arbitrarily call a time out to allow a dramatic final play?

Absolute BS with no hard set rule in place.

bullitthead said...

I was listening to the "Official's Channel" on Pit Command when the debris caution was called. One of the officials called up to the tower and stated that a couple of drivers saw debris in T1 (please forgive me but I can't recall which ones). The official in the tower called down to the pace car to take a look. Brett Bodine reported back to the tower that there was a piece of debris in the racing line and the next thing I hear is "Put it out, put it out..." .

Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset at the NASCAR spotters or Brett Bodine. It is their jobs to find debris and throw the yellow flag when they see fit. But I'm right mad at the folks in the TNT truck (who we all know listen to the same Official's Channel) for knowing exactly where find the debris and not showing it to us to dispel any doubts.

Thank you, Michael Waltrip, for throwing back the curtain & revealing the Wizard (who oddly enough bears a striking resemblance to Vince McMahon).

Anonymous said...

Tommy: This is a sporting event, sometimes the show stinks. That is part of life. It is not a Broadway play where the outcome is determined and there will always be a good show.
Or at least, Nascar should be. F1 racing often has a leader the entire race and seldom throws a full-course yellow. Yesterday in Montreal, Hamilton dominated, and there was a complete tire casing in the driving line, yet the race continued. You should not exchange integrity for entertainment--unless you admit a commonness with WWF.

sbaker17 said...

West Coast Diane said...
For the few that favor late race cautions, how about just doing heat races on Saturday and then a short "main", maybe 200/250 miles on Sunday. Would be better than phony cautions.

Why bother running a whole race, some 500 miles, to have the race and positions affecting championship points, artifically determined by the last 20 or less laps .

June 14, 2010 11:02 AM

How 'bout this:

Heat races, Semi Main, and an inverted 30 lap main event, yellows do not count. 2 spins and you are on the trailer. All beginning at 10:00am on Sunday morning.
Similar to many Saturday night short track programs all over the USA

Matt R. said...

These late-race debris cautions are just like the GWC, "Shootout style restarts", lucky dogs, wave arounds, and chases to the championship. They are all ways to artificially change the racing. But then, if we didn't have those things, you'd have 5 or 10 lead lap cars every race and you'd all be complaining about boring races with no one on the lead lap.

We long time fans have to face reality: NASCAR (and to an extent, the world) is changing. The focus is no longer the RACE but the SHOW. It is this way because of sites like this, twitter, facebook, etc that allow for instant reaction and critiques to the races. Back in the 80s and 90s, the only way to see fan reaction was to wait for the letters in Winston Cup Scene. By that time, everyone had moved onto the next race.

So, long time fans, either we change with NASCAR and the world it's in or we stay stuck in the past (or good ole' days) and be miserable with every move NASCAR makes. I choose to accept it, while longing for days of old, because I still believe NASCAR is the best form of motosports, despite it's many flaws.

Anonymous said...

Listen to who is saying it, the jet fuel, stolen sway bar, the mysterious crash and disappearance , and the alcohol involved crash with the motorcycle. And that's only the things we know about. Someone with credibility would have to say this for me to pay attention. The Waltrip brothers prove out to be wrong more often than they are right.DW the other day was saying drivers NEVER hit each other, when I remembered his goofy brother punching a guy in his car. It's time to purge NASCAR of the Waltrip brothers.

West Coast Diane said...

Bullithead....that is the real issue here. "If" the cautions for debris are real, then show it. Ok, so sometimes maybe at a distance something inocuous might cause a call, so be it. But show it and explain it...in racing line, affects entrance to pit road, thought it was a piece of metal, whatever. JUST SHOW IT...if it is real, that is.

Geez...I am the last person to be a conspiracy theorist, but NASCAR has me reaching for my tin foil hat and revving up my black helicopter.

Richard in N.C. said...

Hamlin has a well documented history of acting before putting his brain in gear, which knocked him out of the Chase last year. After the race Kasey Kahne said he saw a large piece of debris - but, of course, Hamlin now is all-knowing, just ask him.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR has changed to the extent that it is no longer racing, but just an entertainment and show. It has very few competitors who really race but lots of drivers who do just that - drive. I admire the old style competition and those competitors but abhor those who just drive around to present an image. MW may be right, times are changing, but so are fans. There are less fans and more entertaiment and show watchers. It is a contrived game that is not really a sport any longer. There is definitely no integrity left. Right or wrong, NASCAR makes the rules, bends them and counts their money.

GA Red

Anonymous said...

Matt R., if they want to make these show cautions just like the Lucky Dog, Wave Around and Green-White Checker or just like the 2-minute warning in football fine, just MAKE IT A RULE.

I'm old school and don't like most of these new rules but at least they're actual rules written in black and white. My problem with the phantom yellows is the arbitrary nature of it. Be fair and consistent - always throw cautions every 25% of the race, have a halftime break, always throw a caution with 10 to go, whatever they want to do - just make it a fair rule and don't arbitrarily pick and choose when to do it and arbitrarily pick and choose who to screw out of a win and who not to screw out of a win.

At Dover Nascar decided it was okay for Kyle to win by 7 seconds with 100+ straight green laps at the end but at Michigan they decided Denny shouldn't be allowed to win comfortably. That's my biggest issue, the lack of consistency and fairness.

Donna in FL said...

I'm finding it even more disturbing and sad that some (formerly by me) respected NASCAR writers are saying they are ok with the fake cautions, if it saves "The Show". If this pans out I think they will need to reclassify themselves as entertainment writers. And after more than 35 years, Matt R you might be right. I might be finally saying goodbye since I only like NASCAR as a competitive sport.
Diane, me too.

KoHoSo said...

Didn't Mikey give pretty much the same opinion on TWIN last year?

glenc1 said...

as usual, it seems that Mikey just can't give an opinion (which he's entitled to) without insulting the people who keep him in business (the fans.) I paid for 2 race tickets this year (Dover & the Glen) and might make another.

Most of you have made the points that I would already. The analogies are faulty for the reasons many of you pointed out. I don't like the 'fakery'; another word for it is *FRAUD*. And it's embarrassing that people think it's like the WWF and don't take any of it seriously. How a sanctioning body can commit fraud against its followers and think that's okay...I just don't get it. If they want to do it, then just create a rule where there's an automatic caution with 10 laps to go. At least that would be honest (though still manipulative.) Personally I agree with those who don't think it's fair that some car that's dominated gets beat because of some artificial caution, but that's me...I can accept that all races are not going to be bringing the house down (which happens in all motorsports.)

glenc1 said...

and btw, seeing some updated comments that there actually was debris...this time...they need to make sure the cameras get it. I'm not a fan of Hamlin, but he apparently didn't see it and neither did we. This wouldn't be an issue if it hadn't happened before to the point that we no longer trust them. How sad is that?

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking that this argument is the same argument that has given us our current championship points system.
Apparently the first 400 miles are used to set up for a shootout in the last 50 miles with no real advantage to anybody who was clearly superior during the first 95% of the race, just like the Chase.

Richard in N.C. said...

I watched, live, Felipe Massa almost get killed last year with a piece of flying debris - as I recall, about 8 ounces, with several hundred pounds of force upon impact. I personally feel debris is far more serious than apparently the vast majority of the media does. This is not rocket science. Tinker belle does not pick up debris - they send a truck out to find it. If the media would get up off its collective "seat," they could quite easily answer whether or not there was a piece of debris. I give the press the benefit of the doubt that they could identify a truck. NASCAR cannot win in the media - they are wrong if they throw a caution and it turns out to be unnecessary, but they would be crucified if they fail to throw a caution and someone ends up being hurt. The media doesn't want to know whether or not there was debris, they just want something to snipe at NASCAR about to hook readers.

The perfect solution in my view would be to get several members of the press out of the air conditioning and station them about an 1/8 of a mile apart around the inside of each track to watch out for debris and make it their responsibility to police debris.

JD, I hope I have not stepped over the line, but this is how I feel.

Buschseries61 said...

The lousy fake drama has been turning me off since 2007. I just go to my local short track to watch real racing since NASCAR has become a load of rubbish.

Michael is always the first in line for the NASCAR kool aid. His opinion doesn't suprise me. But what does suprise me is Michael telling me how I should react to his opinion. "If you don't agree with this, then you..." is heading towards Kenny Wallace territory.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Richard,

No problem. I don't think anyone is disputing the fact that NASCAR puts out the caution flag correctly for a wide variety of incidents and situations.

This season has seen a new and aggressive use of caution flags to bunch the field when it was very clear there was no debris.

At Pocono, media members and fans were typing over and over again on Twitter that they all wanted a mystery caution to bunch up the field.

The topic on the table is whether one driver, like Denny Hamlin, should have the lead he honestly built up erased to make a better ending for the TV viewers and fans.

Needless to say, this has been a topic debated for decades. Our focus today is on Michael Waltrip's comments and the reaction to those comments by the fans.

JD

GinaV24 said...

Richard in NC - I understand your point is safety, so no disrespect is meant by this comment.

Wasn't Massa in an open cockpit car? At least in "stock cars", they have a closed car AND if NASCAR can risk the lives of the drivers doing their crapshoot multiple G-W-Wreckers restarts at restrictor plate tracks, why would they be concerned about safety when there's a little debris on the track?

NASCAR can't have it both ways -- either they are interested in safety or the show.

Personally I don't like the manipulation of the end of the races -- but as much as I hate it, if they are going to want to have a close finish, say so, make a rule and follow it.

SusanB said...

I am surprised that the debris was not shown on tv because it was shown on Race Buddy. That is the problem that needs to be fixed in my opinion. The tv networks should make an effort to show the debris on tv.

As for Michael Waltrip, I do not agree with him. If someone has a good lead and that is how the race ends, I am okay with that. They earned that win. I am also okay with the fact that not every race is going to have an exciting finish to it.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with them throwing a caution for debris. As long as there really is some. And we've had occasions where the drivers say they reported it and then they wait till 50 laps to call it....if it was unsafe, it was unsafe 50 laps before that (unless it moves, which debris can do.) That is why I don't trust NASCAR to be honest; when their own drivers, who are discouraged from speaking negatively, say these things, it certainly doesn't help their credibility.

Gina makes an excellent point about the safety issue--particularly valid at plate races.

Scott W said...

I believe this all started with NASCAR introducing the COT, they wanted a similar car raced by all. No one manufacturer having an unfair aero package over another. Yes I hear all the Toyota nay sayers screaming about the engine... but the Toyota engine has more horsepower then my manufacturer. I say engineer a faster engine. I digress...

So we have similar cars running and we still have the cream of the crop leading the field... but this can't be!!! Everyone should be just as fast as everyone else...

The next bright idea by NASCAR is to keep the field of cars close together... Hmm what’s that race control there is debris on the backstretch... YELLOW FLAG let’s make sure these racers are safe... Oh it’s a piece of a tire out of the groove.. Well good thing we checked.. Now we know these care are safe and that drivers like Michael McDowell, Carl Edwards, and Brad Keselowski will verify that a small amount of rubber on the track is the least of their worries when there are 43, 3500 pound chunks of rolling debris on the track every weekend.

If it comes out that NASCAR is influencing the race by bunching up the field with unnecessary causes, then shame on NASCAR. This is pour racing, about men and women working to field the fastest car they can. So if Denny Hamlin has a 10+ second lead great, those guys deserve to win and everyone else needs to take note and bring a fast car next time.
If you don’t like the pass of the race… do what I do.. DVR the whole thing.. I can watch an entire race in under 45 mins… I watch the first 10 laps FF to the first cause then FF stopping to check the running order or listen to what the announcers are talking about and stop at other cause if they warrant it then FF to the last 20 laps… Wham Bam!!! I had a full afternoon to get things done around the house and feel productive!

red said...

ok, so i took a day to reflect on what i've read and what others have said and have come to this moment:

throwing the caution flag in a race when there is no debris or the debris that is on the track doesn't endanger the racers is wrong.

why? because racing, like all sports, is about the integrity of the competition. manipulating the event for whatever reason destroys the integrity of that event and thereby eliminates the competition.

once a sport hits a tipping point as far as its integrity is concerned, it becomes extremely difficult to regain competitor and fan trust. and if a sport loses the trust of its fans in the honesty of the competition, then the sport suffers financially and the fan base diminishes.

does nascar play fast and easy with a whole range of its "policies and procedures"? have phantom flags always been thrown and continue to be to this day? i'd be a fool to deny that. but i believe this is fast approaching a tipping point for the sport. why should i bother to go to a race, tune in on tv or support a sponsor if everything that comes before that fake caution flag is negated once the flag is thrown? if the race is going to be so blatantly manipulated, then why support it at all? why tune in? why invest the time/emotion involved -- let alone the $$?

these things matter:
integrity.
honesty.
competition.
history.
respect.

and unsupportable caution flags attack them.

and for the record: i don't watch the race for the wrecks or "exciting finishes." i watch racing because i love the strategy, competition , excitement and courage it takes to be successful in the sport. do i want exciting finishes? sure, what fan doesn't? but i want it to be like craven/busch at darlington or burton/kenseth at dover or any number of other close races that made me hold my breath for the checkers.

and those two races were NOT tarnished by fake caution flags.

Andrew said...

Thank God Michael Waltrip doesn't run the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As soon as the lead cars are strung out a lap or two apart, there'd be debris on the Mulsanne Straight! And we'd find ourselves all bunched up again!! Just like that!!

longtimeracefan said...

Much Ado About Nothing . . .

Ok, I'll take the bait too. Michael said: "I am a huge fan of a late caution". He did not say a fake caution. Big difference.

Kahne said he saw debris, NASCAR Race Control asked Bodine in the pace car to check it out and he also spotted the problem. RaceBuddy showed it, TNT did not. It happens.

Denny said what every driver who is leading says when a late caution bunches up the field. Nothing new there.

Cup racing is unique, always has been, hopefully always will be. It's not a sport for everyone. As much as some folks would like it to be, it's really more a show, and yes, the drivers/crews are athletes. About the closest sport to compare it to would be horse racing: Car/Horse, Driver/Jockey, Crew Chief/Trainer, Owner/Owner, Left Turns. But is horse racing a sport or a show? Both.

Today's NASCAR is not yesterday's NASCAR. But neither is today's NFL, MLB, NBA or any other sport. Good, they all would be very boring if nothing ever changed.

Taking anything too seriously is probably not good for one's health. Taking anything that anyone says about a sport seriously could be, well kind of silly.

Pot stirred, Race On . . .

Anonymous said...

Old waltrip is for it Because it lets his cars get caught up!! Before the yellow flu Truex was 29th a lap down so of coarse he likes it !!!!! Thats why the sport is going down the tubes ..People like Waltrip the same guy that has to add hot fuel to run good!! Soon as truex and Tryson see that mwr is a smoke screen they will be gone

Richard in N.C. said...

Now I must say that the media sniping about debris cautions is one of my pet peeves.

From my understanding of the NASCAR meeting with the drivers and teams last year, Denny Hamlin is a prime example - think before you shoot off your mouth. My understanding is that NASCAR did not tell the drivers not to speak, but to first think about the potential effect before they spoke. From what I have read, Kasey K saw a large piece of debris, but Hamlin's crack about phantom debris will far outlive the facts and help perpetrate the idea of phantom debris. It would also seem to me to be a good idea for Mikey to have some idea of the facts before he opens his yap.

The press is in a fight for survival, relevance - and in my view emphasizes the negative to attract attention. I have watched the press become increasingly negative as its relevance diminished as TV coverage of NASCAR increased.

It's hard for NASCAR to protect drivers from themselves, but they can protect them from debris that could cause a wreck. Whether a piece of debris is rubber or metal might not be determinable from the control tower, but it can be picked up. If more reporters were at the races or were actually watching the races, they could watch the truck to see whether or not it picked up debris - but if a reporter is just watching on a TV, at the track or elsewhere, and TV does not show the truck, then the nature of the debris is open to speculation, and reporters often tend to speculate in the manner most likely to be unfavorable to NASCAR and attract readers.

It seems to me that many in the media are concerned about safety only when they can criticize NASCAR about it.

Yes, in Massa's case he was in an open cockpit car, but the top of his helmet was only about 6 inches or so above the body of the car and his helmet has to comply with certain impact standards. An 8 ounce spring travelling in one direction at over 100 miles per hour toward another object travelling in the opposite direction at over 100 miles per hour had an impact force of several hundred pounds from what I have read.

But what do I know. A well-known NC sports columnist, still writing, wrote several years ago that NASCAR fans are "ignorant and gullible." While I might be ignorant, I am not gullible enough to read him any more even though I note that he still writes columns about NASCAR a few times each year.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Richard,

NASCAR has done this for years and made it a game with the media.

NASCAR will never admit that a "show caution" happened, but as we all know toward the end of a race they are often monitoring various pieces of debris on a big track like MIS.

Everybody gets the pitstops done and then there is a caution.

Like Sprint Cup Series owner Michael Waltrip said, NASCAR timed it perfectly to make the ending better for the fans.

JD

Anonymous said...

I was also watching the day Massa was hurt--it was a scary thing to see. But it has nothing to do fake debris cautions. Yes, in this case (Michigan) apparently there was real debris, and yes, TNT should have shown it--I'm sure NASCAR and the TV guys can do a better job of working on that together. But there have been past incidents where no one seemed to have seen it. And no, I don't think they need to throw it for a plastic water bottle. I don't buy that it's too hard to tell what it is---these are professionals with visual equipment and I'm sure if they *wanted* to they could make that even better to see what kind of debris it is. Debris can also happen if there's a 20 car pile up because of a g/w/c. Lots of it comes off of cars that are flipping through the infield. My thinking is, why should I trust them? NASCAR has made us skeptical by a rather questionable lack of transparency....

Jonathan said...

Longtimeracefan I agree with you 100% couldnt of said it better myself! People just like to stir up something, I mean the best broadcast of the season gets overshadowed by this crap. It happens this isnt Nascar of the past and you know this... this isnt the first time this has happened and guess what it wont be the last! Nascar is about to get real good with the changes to the cars and more brand idenity so if you dont like a caution for something of the track or not well turn it off. WE always have to find something wrong with Nascar these days. its ashame the racing is just awsome but no one seems to care lets just try and bring Nascar down as much as we can!

Anonymous said...

It's crap. Nascar should be better than that

T.C. @ TNI said...

The caution at the end of the MIS race was not a phantom one. Ask Ryan Newman. It ended his day. Of course Denny Hamlin is going to be upset that a late race caution killed his big lead, and in his post race interview he's going to whine about it. I'm so sick of hearing about how NASCAR is rigged, or that the finishes are predetermined. Somebody please explain how NASCAR could fix a race? In the end, Waltrip is wrong, and races need to be played out as they progress naturally. There is no reason for a fabricated finish. Debris cautions are only controversial because TV doesn't show everyone the offending piece. When they start doing that, this will all be done.

Anonymous said...

Wall-Mouth Waltrip will say anything in order to try to get some attention.

The ""Otis Campbell of Nascar" knew that he couldn't get any on the race track unless he was bouncing off of a wall or someone else because of his extreme minor league racing skills! So he uses the only thing that will get any attention and its his Silly Mouth!

Both Mikey and his DW are prostitutes for the Daytona Ivory Tower Bubbas! They both were broke and on their way out of the sport back in 2000 but the new CEO (Faux King B. France) placed them in the spotlight to be Clowns for the New WWE Philosophy and promotional since the networks were onboard.

This is.why you see them backed by all of the Nascar owned media or Nascar partnered media.
MWR has every one of the official Nascar sponsors so his strings will be pulled to say whatever NASCAR wants.

These two low rent bros will do whatever they are told. Nascar left its original fan base long ago and the true racing left too!

Tim said...

I am surprised to read how outraged some are over the pros and cons of this issue. For several years I too was miffed about the constant NASCAR fakery.
Now it's a wonderful thing. Instead of wasting part of a Sunday watching a boring race I do other things until the last 30 laps of the race. We know that there will be at least two late cation flags and at least one green, white, checker to end the race. With 30 laps to go all of the riff raff is out of the way and one of the top 4 teams can win the race.
It would be more fun if only Hendrick, Childress, Gibbs, and Penske cars were in the race. Given that these teams basically dominate the events the rest of the cars are just a nuisance.

PammH said...

posted with some comment...A chunk of sheet metal debris stuck to the splitter of the 39 on lap 136 of 200...That's from RN's post-race report. Take it for what it's worth. It was NOT the debris w/17 laps to go..Some folks saw it on RB-I did not, but I wasn't watching 24/7, so I really can't say. But I think the NN folks really drank the Kool-Aid tonite, jmo.

RWar24 said...

New school is what has gotten Nascar in this mess. First the Chase, COT, etc. So if you're going to accept "show" cautions as part of the mix, then just keep putting dirt on it and bury it deeper.

Darcie said...

When Nascar became nothing more than glorified IROC, with their identical cars distinguishable only by the nameplate, when they change their rules to suit themselves, when they throw fake cautions to create "excitement", you no longer have a sport, but a fake reality show. Nascar has become a laugh a minute, and not in a good way. While I might disagree with how MW made his comments and his insulting Nascar fans, he does touch on a fact that fans have been complaining about for a long time, which is doing things that could affect the outcome of a race. The difference between MW's beliefs and your basic fan's is that fans don't like the phantom debris cautions, and I suspect if those silly cautions negatively affect an MWR driver, old Mikey would change his tune.

But not to worry. We no longer have real racing in Nascar anymore. Even on Sirius this morning, the announcers admitted that the racing at Michigan was pretty bad---and that a lot of the recent races have held little in the way of real excitement. Well, gee, are you media guys just figuring that out? Wanna stop boring racing? Get rid of the freakin Chase !!!! It's obvious that these guys do nothing but tool around, collecting their points and try not to screw up so they miss the Chase. There are maybe only three drivers who really push it and try and win every race, and that includes Kyle Busch.

But, in all reality, Nascar is no longer a real sport, but a money machine with fake rules, fake cautions and some might say, fake drivers and teams.

Chadderbox said...

When I can see the Debris - it's cool with me!

I do not mind the late race caution when there really IS debris on the track. If there really IS debris on the track and we see it (either on TV or on Race Buddy, etc) why are we upset with nascar?

Why are we criticizing MW for saying he likes a late race caution?

When its late in the race and debris is spotted on the track, please tell me WHEN should Nascar throw the caution - at what precise moment should Nascar throw that caution? Should Nascar NOT throw the caution because Denney Hamlin has a big lead and it would ruin his day? Should Nascar forget about the debris and just ignore it? Should Nascar just decide the debris is not large enough to be dangerous and skip the caution flag. I cant make that decision. I am basically fine with Nascars decision as long as there IS debris on the track. I don't care when it happens in the race. Debris on track throw the caution.

But, let me just say that if there is NOT debris on the track that we the TV viewers can be shown on the screen and Nascar throws a caution late in the race, well that just is not cool. That's bogus.

When I can see the Debris - it's cool with me!

Chadderbox said...

Note to TV Media: Please dedicate a camera to debris, then we either see the debris or we don't. That should help move this discussion to the next level.

annmartina said...

I listened to the author of "The Fix Is In" on the radio this morning. He mainly talked about soccer and football, but his point was about things done by sanctioning bodies, networks, leagues, etc. to manipulate a sporting event to fit the desired storyline. If it's a debris caution, then fine, show us the debris. But don't insult our intelligence when there is no debris. Otherwise you might as well just call it Sunday Afternoon RAW

Anonymous said...

Funny, it seems NASCAR can't decide between new school or old school. Cookie cutter New cars with wings right out of Fast & Furious - oops, they seem to cause lift, back to the old spoilers.

New, p.c. racing - don't breathe on the other car - oops, didn't work, have at it boys!

Now, Mikey, an unfortunate by product of new school, tells us - gasp! - there are fake cautions, and they are good for the sport.

Well, call me old school, Mikey, but managing a finish is placing not racing.

Just happened to catch the 1989 Peak Performance Race from Dover last week on ESPN2 - what a difference - the cars looked like the production cars, and they raced without all the graphics, Hollywood Hotels, etc. What a refreshing change - wish it could be that way now, but with the safety innovations included.

Anonymous said...

I really could care less what Waltrip's opinion is as he is not someone that a true race fan would listen to. The debris cautions are a joke, just like the competition yellows...and just like the "sport" at this point. The empty seats and plummeting TV ratings are proof of this, regardless of what someone with very little driving talent thinks.

Chadderbox said...

In defense of Nascar just a little...I think 10% unemployment is affecting the attendance too. How much I don't know.

Jimbacca said...

Very simple just be up front about it. Just like the All Star Race, old days of the truck racing, We are going to have a 'break' at X lap. It's so predictable now its sad.

Look at sports car racing or F1. You've got all kinds of carnage on the track and they still go for it. Even leave cars on the side track in some series. So a plastic bottle, piece of paper etc? Really??
What is ironic is during green flag stops they will hold off on a caution until the cycle is done.

The wave around really kills any need to have fake cautions. If someone is dominating then let them blow everyone out of the fn water. They deserve the right if they are that much further on their game then others that day.

Richard in N.C. said...

This is not rocket science in my opinion. I believe debris cautions are an issue because many in the media want to keep the issue alive for their personal benefit.

NASCAR either sends a truck out to find the debris or they don't - just look out the window. The truck either finds debris or it doesn't - just watch the truck.
If you cannot tell what, if anything, the truck found, just ask one of the NASCAR officials next door when the race is over. Now someone "reporting" on a race by watching it on a TV would have a problem knowing what the real story is about debris. So far I have not seen where anyone in the press was concerned enough about the facts of the late race debris to ask NASCAR what it was - facts can be inconvenient. I have seen comments by members of the press who apparently did not think the debris that Kasey Kahne saw was important since they only discussed Hamlin's statement and ran with it from there.

My understanding is that in F1 they always at least put out a local yellow flag when there is carbon fiber on the track since it will cut tires.

David said...

Firstly, not a fan of the new blog format, little more complicated to use. Sorry JD.

But Waltrip is dead wrong here. This is a categorical odds that has plagued this sport for years. People who want to mainstream the sport versus purists. Guys like MW55 want to make a comparison to a stick and ball sport of what we should do, yet when people question why when the Chase starts 31 non-factor cars are still on the track he tries to argue we aren't every other stick and ball sport. It is hypocrisy at its highest.

When you throw a caution late, your are manipulating the outcome of the finish, margin of victory, cars on lead lap, etc (all these wonderful stats NASCAR tries to throw at you to PROVE [allegedly] that the sport is more competitive now than it was years ago)

The best car and team that day more often than not gets put in a situation where they have to run a skewed gauntlet to try and hang on. It's likened very much to professional wrestling when you take a champion who wins a hard fought match, then turn right around and throw him into a handicap match immediately.

We AREN'T a stick and ball sport, therefore we should not be running this sport like it is one.

If a guy has a 10 second lead with 10 laps to go, he has a 10 second lead with 10 laps to go. Deal with it. Funny how people flocked to this sport in droves in the late 90's when races ran caution free and finishes weren't manipulated by race control, and now that the butts were in the seats they took a good thing and tried to tweak it for even more $$$.

Might as well make a rule of when your going to throw that caution IF your going to do it because at least in the stick and ball sports, they KNOW when their "TV time-out" is coming unlike NASCAR.

Jus' saying MW55.

Anonymous said...

you know what disturbed me about Michael's comments...

the caution was "well thought out"...

if you see debris and you don't know what it is, should you be spending that much time thinking about it?

Just sayin'.....