Thursday, August 25, 2011

No Role For NASCAR In Busch/Sadler Incident

In the aftermath of Wednesday’s Camping World Truck Series clash between Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler, the call is being raised in some corners for NASCAR to get involved. That call is both ill-advised and unnecessary.

Busch clearly stepped over the line Wednesday. The initial incident happened only after he crowded Sadler to the wall in an attempt to finish off one of his patented “slide jobs.” Busch said he was given the all-clear by his spotter, but admitted afterward that “maybe I was too late” in moving up the track when Sadler already had his foot in the door.

Busch’s bout with the frontstretch wall was the kind of thing that happens every day at tracks like Bristol Motor Speedway. “Driver A” misjudges a pass and crowds “Driver B” toward the fence. “Driver B” chooses not to yield – or is unable to do so -- and somebody ends up in the fence. Welcome to NASCAR, everyone. It’s a contact sport.

What happened after the initial crash, however, was something entirely different. Despite having only himself to blame, Busch decided Sadler was in need of punishment. In a fit of anger, he waited for the #24 Chevrolet and right-turned Sadler at the exit of Turn Two, sending him spinning. He then put the bulls-eye on Sadler a second time for good measure, hitting him in the left-rear corner as he spun.

By virtually any reasonable yardstick, Busch’s move was a cheap shot. Cheap shots are not unprecedented in NASCAR, however, and the sport has a long and storied history of drivers policing themselves. Stick me in the wall this week, and I’ll return the favor next week; tit for tat, an eye for an eye. Rough riding and poor sportsmanship are two-way streets, and NASCAR knows it. That’s why they washed their hands of situations like these more than a year ago, with their now-famous “Boys Have At It” decree.

Given time, situations like Wednesday’s always seem to work themselves out. A year ago, it appeared that Carl Edwards would be satisfied with nothing less than Brad Keselowski’s head on a pointed stick. They exchanged take-out moves for a number of weeks, culminating in a horrifying, upside-down pummeling of the Atlanta Motor Speedway wall by Keselowski that had many fans (and some competitors) screaming for Edwards to be suspended. NASCAR stayed out of it, allowing the two combatants to figure out – on their own – that their feud was doing nothing but destroying race cars, ruining their championship hopes and endangering their lives. Today, they race each other cleanly and with respect, with sanctions or threats from the sanctioning body.

They may not always act like it, but NASCAR drivers are adults; generally reasonable despite the occasional outbreak of ill manners in the heat of battle. Busch and Sadler can mend their own fences without NASCAR assistance.
“Boys Have At It” continues to work well.

26 comments:

  1. Then why did Kevin Harvick get suspended from a Cup race at Martinsville for actions during a Truck race at Martinsville?

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  2. Anonymous6:08 PM

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  3. Anonymous6:14 PM

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  4. Boys Have At It is not only not working it's making stupid drivers even worse. The "drivers will figure out it's self-defeating" argument works for lock-bumper superdrafts - the Firecracker weekend showed that coordinating swaps instead of actually fighting for position is self-defeating - but not for drivers wrecking one another and then doing it again. It's only encouraging stupid drivers.

    And it's done NOTHING for the sport's popularity.

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  5. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Only thing I say to that is since/if Nascar stays out of it and let's it go that Kyle punted Sadler on purpose Wednesday night then if/when Sadler decides to return the favor Nascar needs to STILL stay out of it. ~pj4jj

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  6. Brando6:33 PM

    Moody save us from the stupidity! Nothing for the sports popularity? The ratings are up, headline after headline appear on the internet when drivers 'have at it'. This year has been the greatest year in NASCAR that I can remember, wake up and appreciate what's in front of you before it's just history.

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  7. Harvick got suspended at Martinsville for parking his truck so close to the door of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series trailer that nobody could get in or out of the trailer.

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  8. Anonymous6:44 PM

    What about the expense to tha car owner. He' s paying for Kyle's temper tramdum & totally unprofessional behavior.

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  9. Someone should give Sadler a cup ride for a proper payback. Maybe killing his championship chances will give him a wake up call. At some point his actions will write check that his ass won't be able to cash. Multiple deliberate actions are NOT good for any sport let alone one that can cause serious injury.

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  10. Anonymous7:28 PM

    Bush turn Eliot drivers door to oncoming traffic accident I THINK NOT a punk and has NO reguard for other drivers

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  11. BillyDelyon3:44 AM

    Yeah, Sadler is lucky his truck moved before Kyle punched and tried to T-Bone Elliot...

    And the wreck was his fault, I thought he'd gotten a little bit of a hande on his temper, the truck races proved he can be a real LOOSE cannon...

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  12. doninwv5:59 AM

    If that's the case, then NASCAR will look the other way when someone really thumps Kyle's punk ass. Hey wait a minute- that's right, they fined Childress 150k for starting to. And the donations POURED in to help him pay his fine. IF it's true that NASCAR drivers still have their own way of working things out, then someone will soon finish what RC started and pound Kyle's ass good once and for all. He really really needs and deserves it.

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  13. Everybody likes to dog out my boy Junior, but I think its obvious Busch is their little favorite. They really want to get Toyota a championship so they wont decide to bail on Nascar, and he's their best shot. I hope Elliot dumps his ass in the NW race!! Screw Toyota!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. Anonymous8:12 AM

    I agree on the giving Sadler a cup ride and letting him dump Kyle where it will hurt him the most. I have really tried to like that guy but his rotten attitude keeps getting in the way. I think this "boys have at it" is utter nonsense when you have cherry pickers running in the series that means nothing to them except another easy notch on their belt......Cleo

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  15. mrclause8:15 AM

    Moody, what makes this different is that Mr Perfect sat in wait and intentionally wrecked Sadler and then delivered a second shot intentionally as Sadler was still spinning helplessly. This after Bush screwed the pooch with an ill timed slide job. All this from the "matured" Bush. NASCAR needs to set Bush down for a race and just get his "focus" refocused. Or maybe we just wait for him to do something like this to the diva and let her kick his baby butt. That would be great because you just have to know that, at least for next year, NASCAR won't even consider punishing her for any reason. I can see her now stomping down to take Bush on and him running away.

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  16. Kyle Busch pulls these immature stunts almost every week. If you think they will eventually work themselves out, you're loco. Nascar has allowed him free rein on the field, and he will not stop until he is the last driver on the track. At some point Nascar has to call a halt to this kind of thugish behavior.

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  17. Sorry, Dave. You are DEAD wrong on this one. It was a punk move by a driver who claims to have matured. He damaged his own truck more; damaged another driver; turned the other driver into oncoming traffic and could have caused something much more severe.
    Any other sanctioning body would have immediately pulled him from the race and, at minimum, fined him for 'actions detrimental'. But they didn't. And, just like with Edwards/Kesolowski, they are opening themselves up to something more.
    Unlike the others, however, I hope Elliott continues to display the maturity he did on Wednesday evening. THAT is what I want my kids to behave like on the track - go out and do the best with what you have left! THAT is showing a real passion for what you do - not tearing up someone's stuff in a hissy fit.

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  18. Anonymous11:52 AM

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  19. Anonymous1:14 PM

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  20. Just a reminder, everyone. I have removed a number of comments today that were inappropriate for this forum. Profanity will not be allowed at any time, and if you have nothing more to contribute than calling people (including drivers) names, save your breath. It is possible to make your point without the name-calling and profanity, and this website will NOT be allowed to degenerate into a trash-talking forum. If it continues, the comments will be disabled.

    Thanks in advance for your support.

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  21. Scott9:27 PM

    So let me get this straight. NASCAR is an organization in the business of managing races, right? Yes, I realize that does include promotion, public image, etc, but their job is to put on races, yes?

    Yet, they won't do anything to these drivers for incidents that occur during the race, am I right so far? But, someone takes umberage after the race, and they get involved, am I still right? This is managing the brand, the image, not the racing, and this is what ultimately is costing the sport fans.

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  22. Anonymous9:42 PM

    hey moody,nascar sign your checks?

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  23. As a matter of fact, "Anonymous," no. The last time I cashed a check from NASCAR was the mid-1980s, when I served as track announcer for the (then) NASCAR North Tour.

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  24. Everytime Kyle pulls these stunts it reminds me of the conversation that Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt had with Ernie Irvin. Richard and Dale were the leaders of their day. Who, in the current roster of drivers, are the leaders today? I can't think of any. Richard Childress tried it but we all know how that turned out.

    You mentioned on your show that reasonable people will work out their differences. Case in point, Carl and Brad. In my opinion, Kyle Bush is not reasonable therefore reasoning will not work. Above all, NASCAR needs to stay out of it. Ever since "boys have at it" the racing has been great. Just because there is one bad apple it doesn't mean that everyone needs to change. The biggest problem that I see is that Kyle has no respect for the other drivers but demands respect from them. It doesn't work that way. The solution is for the other drivers to race Kyle like he races them. I am not saying that they need to spin him out at every opportunity but leaning on him in a corner wouldn't be bad. After all, what's better in a turn, 4 tires or 8? Eventually, Kyle will get the message.

    I have been a NASCAR fan since the 70's and my drivers have since retired. Elliot showed me that he is a class act and I will be pulling for him to win the Nationwide championship. I am also pulling for Kevin Harvick as he is the only one that I see that is standing up to Kyle.

    Thanks for the chance to vent, Dave. I'll be listening.

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  25. Anonymous2:44 PM

    MxPhlipper here.

    So would the 'let the boys have at it' attitude still apply if Sadler got t-boned, broke a leg, and was out of the Nationwide hunt as a result? This laying in wait, take him out, and hit him again "tecnique" is not an exact science. I think KB went too far on this one. Don't think NASCAR should wait until something really bad happens to take a stand. Like the scenario above, or heaven forbid, the death of a fan from debris getting into the stands.

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  26. Do we really want NASCAR to begin ruling on "what if..." system? Using that logic, every baseball pitcher who throws on the inside half of the plate should be thrown out of the game for potentially killing the batter. NASCAR has to rule based on what happened, not what MIGHT have happened. Live in the world of "is," not the world of "if."

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