Jeff Meyer · Wednesday December 7, 2005
Originally published July 14, 2005
If you are reading this far, chances are you already know what 12-4-A is. For those of you who are brand-spanking new fans, or those who have simply stumbled onto this page by doing a web search for 'amazing columnists', I will explain exactly what 12-4-A is.
12-4-A is a much used, and apparently abused, rule in the NASCAR rulebook. More specifically, 12-4-A penalizes those for "actions detrimental to stock car racing". This rule is a real money maker for NASCAR, as probably not a race has been completed in the last 15 years without someone being found in violation of it! It is a very broad rule which can be violated in such ways as cussing in an interview, having a wrong part on your car (which is also a 12-4-Q), trying to run down officials, flipping someone the bird, and quite possibly by breaking wind during the driver's meeting.
On Wednesday, July 13th, lawyers representing Kentucky Speedway, LLC filed suit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation (ISC) alleging "...these defendants have violated federal antitrust laws in that they have illegally restricted the award of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, and have illegally awarded NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races to the International Speedway Corporation." Both NASCAR and ISC are controlled by the France family.
“We have alleged that NASCAR and ISC have violated the federal antitrust laws,” said Stan Chesley, a Cincinnati lawyer representing the speedway. “In my opinion, the facts clearly support a conclusion that NASCAR and ISC have colluded to exclude competition in order to financially benefit themselves. By doing so, they have harmed not only Kentucky Speedway but also all stock car racing fans nationwide. Stock car racing is the most popular spectator sport in the United States and we intend to do our best to see that fair play and fair racing is re-established.”
AMEN BROTHER! It's about time, is what I say.
On the surface, one would assume that officials at Kentucky Speedway must have a compelling argument to have filed the suit in the first place. They already host NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series races there, and there had to be some concern about losing those, should they miserably fail in this impending court battle. I have said all along that NASCAR and ISC sure appear to be a monopoly, and now we will finally get to hear if the court upholds my theory.
The speedway itself, located in Sparta, KY, does a heck of a lot better at explaining their main (ahem) complaint than I ever could, on their official website. (http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com/default.asp) Once there, you will notice that they expect alot of questions since they already have a webpage dedicated solely to questions about the lawsuit, which is barely a day old. I urge you to visit it. (http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com/newsline/2005/pdfs/lit_faq.pdf)
Time will only tell how this all works out. At the very least it will spend an awful lot of someone else's money! In the mean time, I suggest you...
Stay off the wall (but you might want to duck behind it if the fur really starts flying!)
Postscript: As of December, the case is still pending, expected to reach court sometime in 2006.
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