Blurry Line

Hopefully the NASCAR marketing office in Charlotte is working on an official denture company for future sponsorship. Because the sanctioning body certainly needs more bite and a lot less bark in enforcing its rules.

Apparently the powers that be figured a five lap penalty to an already 44 lap behind Kyle Busch was harsh enough for his side swiping of Casey Mears under a red flag during last Saturday night's Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Mears and Busch made contact racing into turn one on lap 100, just as a multi-car crash was happening behind them in turn four blocking the track and bringing out the red flag.

Busch's car was badly damaged after it made contact with the wall following the brush with Mears. But the polesitter quickly fired up his machine and raced around the track to find Mears and promptly drive into the side of his car, again, under a RED FLAG!

Now flashback to last September's first "Chase for the Championship' race at New Hampshire. You remember, the one where Robby Gordon decided to go for a walk on the track and give Michael Waltrip a closer look at his helmet?

Well earlier in that race, on lap 49 to be exact, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne made contact with the Evernham Motorsports Dodge getting the worst end of the altercation and finding the wall.

Kahne decided to chase down Busch and show his unhappiness by ramming into the No. 5 Chevrolet. And what did he get for his effort?

If you guessed a five lap penalty and a turn of the head you'd be wrong.

Kahne's car was parked for the rest of the day and the following Tuesday, he was fined $25,000 and lost 25 points while car owner Ray Evernham was docked 25 owners points.

"There have been a growing number of incidents lately where drivers have taken matters into their own hands. Such unsafe and inappropriate behavior has to stop," said NASCAR President Mike Helton at the time.

"NASCAR will use whatever means necessary to stop it."

Apparently there was an expiration date on that edict.

What Busch did Saturday was exactly the same kind of retaliation that Kahne was penalized for less than eight months ago. What changed in NASCAR's eyes from then until now?

And if you throw Busch's list of prior crimes for overly aggressive driving and disregard for obeying the rules into the mix, shouldn't his actions on Saturday justify an even stiffer penalty?

The inconsistency of NASCAR's rulings over the years has raised serious issues about the sport's credibility. Yes, the officials that call a NASCAR race are no different from referees or umpires in making a judgement decision based on the situation at hand.

But other sports don't change their rules from week to week.

In baseball, for instance, a pitcher is warned when he hits a batter and then ejected from the game if he intentionally hits another. The rule doesn't become two more times after the initial warning one week and back to a single plunking to be ejected the next.

NASCAR set the precedent regarding on track retaliation with Kahne's penalties at New Hampshire last September. That should be the bottom line.

This latest non-call is strictly Busch league.




Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2006

Photos

  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites