Automobile Row

Another good race is in the can.

Good thing I’m not a gambling man. OK. Good thing I wasn’t watching the race in a gambling environment. With 2 laps to go, I would have bet the ranch against the 78. Nice job, Regan.

So we have resigned ourselves to the fact that Nascar seems satisfied that its sport is quickly becoming a combination of “Rollerball” and “Death Race 2000”. Their interpretation of the recent ratings bump must be the more shenanigans the better. The WWE, WWF and all the other WW’s have the same mindset.

Given the slaps on the wrist over the last couple years, including 2 more today (5.10.11), Nascar appears to be content with any number of 150 mph dumps, drivers exiting their cars on the track, and runaway driverless cars. Does someone have to die before Nascar takes meaningful action? Maybe not. That would probably be a ratings boost also.

Drivers – and crew members – know the risks. But when the race is over, I think they all expect those risks to be gone until the next race.

There’s really only one deterrent for these drivers. The question is, does anyone in Nascar have the fortitude to implement the “nuclear option”? A few points and anything less than a couple million dollar fine means very little to most of these drivers. Having them take a week or more off changes everything. Now we get the sponsors really involved. And I don’t mean to put the blame on the drivers. By nature they are as tough and competitive as any athlete or performer. They are going to go to – and sometimes beyond – any limit to succeed. The culture of boundaries starts at the top.

Sure, it’s hard to manage the line separating “have at it” and chaos. But that’s why they make the big bucks. It’s time Nascar started performing at the same level they expect their independent contractors to perform.

I’ve got more, but I didn’t plan to go on like this. I’ll save a few odds and ends for later.

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