The Frontstretch: Scanner Static : You Can Run A Red Light by Jess Nicholas -- Wednesday August 16, 2006

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Scanner Static : You Can Run A Red Light

NASCAR Fan Q & A · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday August 16, 2006


Q: I'm not really a Kurt Busch fan, but that call was BS. Had Busch tried to get back out into traffic, he would have hit the wall or another car. And NASCAR's explanation that he could have simply driven through the pits and not pitted is hogwash, too. What if his pit had been the first one past the commit line and not the last? That call probably cost him a shot at the Chase. Donor Wagon

A: I agree. If NASCAR is going to stick hard and fast to its red light policy, then it needs to broadcast a signal to all the pit officials when the lights come on so they can hold a hand up, or find some other way of signaling the teams that pitting isn't allowed. Maybe NASCAR needs to install red lights in each pit. I don't know, but I know they can afford a better solution than the one they currently have on the books. Bottom line, Busch did get jobbed, and yes, his Chase hopes are all but over. By the way, I don't know why anyone calls themselves a “Donor Wagon,” and I'm almost scared to ask for an explanation.

Q: Robby Gordon did a fantastic job all weekend. I was there, and he put on a hell of a show. Sure, he's not the cleanest racer out there, but that's what makes him entertaining. I'm sure you're going to tell me he's evil for bumping and grinding, but I don't give a (expletive). TIP

A: Robby did do a nice job this weekend. I wasn't crazy about his move in the bus stop in the Busch race but it could have been worse, I guess. Others who did well shouldn't be overlooked, either - Kyle Busch's improbable Top 10 finish, Scott Pruett staying under control and helping the No. 40 get safe in the Top 35 in owner points, and a solid day, too, from Jeff Green, who usually struggles on road courses.

Q: The reason the lower echelon Cup teams stay in the series is the money. Yes, it is a little more expensive to field a car in the Cup series, but the last place Cup car usually takes home more money than everyone but the winner in the Busch Series. They also can receive more sponsorship money for a Cup car than they can for a Busch car. Unfortunately, fielding a racing team is much like running the series. It is all about the Benjamins. Mike

A: Yeah, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. I'm all for the little guy in racing, but if he keeps banging his head against the wall and can't make it, I think he's better served to run in the Busch Series. Heaven knows that series needs more teams dedicated to running at that level. Where I really get perturbed is when a team like the No. 37 goes to Indianapolis, runs one fast lap in qualifying, and knocks much better teams out of the race. Yes, they earned their way into the field, but there's something about the whole deal I don't care for.

Q: Just one question: Can NBC screw up the Michigan race as badly as they have Indy and Watkins Glen? Tommy L.

A: Yes. They can. Don't ask me how, exactly, but they'll find a way.

Q: Boy, did Jeremy Mayfield ever stick his foot in his mouth. Serves him right what he got, too. If I talked about my boss like that in public, I'd get (expletive)canned and quick. Who's getting in that car for the rest of the year? Makin' Magic

A: You're right and to tell you the truth, I don't get the criticism of Ray Evernham in this deal. If Evernham wasn't concerned about making his teams competitive, how did the No. 19 make the Chase the last two years, and why is the No. 9 knocking on the door of the same thing this year? And it's not like Mayfield doesn't have a track record of saying the wrong thing at the worst possible time. The bottom line is that most of us who work for a company or another person recognize that if you're getting a paycheck from that person, you answer to them. You don't get to spout off to us media just because you make a big salary or have your face in a lot of commercials. If Mayfield had a problem with Evernham, he should have taken it up in private. I would be willing to bet that he didn't. Instead, he talked about it to the media, and paid for it; Ray is a no-nonsense guy and took appropriate action. It probably didn't help Mayfield that he's not a championship-caliber driver, either. As for who drives the car the rest of the year, Elliott Sadler was officially named today, and David Gilliland will take over the seat of the No. 38 car for the rest of the year.

Thinking Jeremy Mayfield needed to be forgiven, not released, from his angry tirade? Angry fan of the No. 37 team, looking to knock some sense into Jess? Well, email him at with your comments…or address another NASCAR-related topic, and you may end up in this very space next week.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Jess Nicholas and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

J. Meyer
08/17/2006 06:11 PM

Kurt Busch did NOT get “jobbed”!
Yes, there was no time for him to avoid going down pit road, but he knew by the time he got to his pit that the pits were closed. Replay clearly shows that the light came on BEFORE he was at the committment line!
NASCAR said that had Kurt just drove on through and not pitted, they would not have levied the penalty.
Kurt and crew tried to get away with one and got busted. NASCAR did make the right call, and I’m not just saying that cause I don’t like Busch.

08/17/2006 10:47 PM

Kurt said when he went past the light he could not see it because it is high in the air. When he last saw it, it was green

08/18/2006 08:12 AM

NASCAR said he could have driven through but he would not have received his spot back. Therefore he would have had to blend into the line somewhere mid-pack or further back, and they still would have had to pit. They were jobbed because they had no way to get back into their position and avoid the penalty.

08/19/2006 12:40 AM

Nascar made the only call that they could. There is precedent in this situation. In the last year, Nascar has popped Jeff Gordon and Boris Said for exactly the same infraction. If they had not penalized him they would have been showing favoritism.


Jess no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can still read all his articles on his archive and bio page.