Thursday, March 23, 2017

NASCAR's Image

Another week, another incident for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. This time, it was in their XFINITY series in Phoenix. Late in the race this past Saturday, Austin Dillon got hit by Cole Custer and the car suffered some bad damage. Dillon would retaliate and wreck him. Following that, both guys had to meet with officials regarding it. As far as I understand, there's not going to be any punishments issued. This comes almost two weeks ago following the Las Vegas Monster Energy Cup race with Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. Long story short, Logano got a tiny bit loose and hit Busch on the final lap. Busch thought it was deliberate and threw a punch, sparking a little brawl between him and Logano's pit crew.

Every sport has it's issues regarding certain people that are involved. Most of the time, it's just between players. A few times have had fans involved. Some examples include Ron Artest and a few other Indiana Pacer players in 2004 when a Detroit Piston fan threw a beer at him (the fan was under probation for DUI incidents. He was banned for life from going to Piston games 10 years ago). You got in hockey the incident with Tie Domi squirting water at Philadelphia Flyer fans. One of which actually fell into the penalty box. The way NASCAR has handled these two incidents is pretty bad.

Here's how I view throwing a punch in a sport. You do that, you get ejected and the possibility of fines and suspensions are imminent. The same thing can be said for doing something deliberate. Really, both Logano and Busch should have been fined for the fight. Despite my disdain for Busch, he should have suspended at least one race. Some of Logano's pit crew should have been punished as. This past weekend, Fox really promoted the incident to get people to tune in. As far as Dillon goes, there should have been at least a fine. It almost comes off as bush league.

Unfortunately, it's the heat of the battle. For these drivers, they are competing for points. Whatever place you're in makes a huge difference as the year goes on in the chances of winning a championship. It's sending a wrong message that you should be doing this whenever things don't go your way. Luckily, there's still enough drivers from the late 90s and early 2000s to know that stuff doesn't fly with them. However, as the older group ages, who is going to be that big leader to lead the way for the younger generations and beyond?

In the end, it's going to frustrate fans. Not in the sense of wanting conflict. That's never going to disappear. It's more so getting away with things scot-free. NASCAR needs to start taking some of these incidents very seriously. Otherwise, that message is going be wrong and someone will wind up needing stitches or fixing a broken arm. Stop it before it gets worse.

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