The Frontstretch: Scanner Static : Michigan Was A Pleasant Surprise by Jess Nicholas -- Wednesday August 23, 2006

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Scanner Static : Michigan Was A Pleasant Surprise

NASCAR Fan Q & A · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday August 23, 2006

 

Q: I've noticed you and other writers have had a lot of bad things to say about Michigan's track, and you're full of crap. Both races have been strong here this year, and it's time you realize Michigan isn't going away. We'll be here a long time after some of those BS tracks in the Southeast have been turned back into cornfields and fishponds. This isn't “your” NASCAR anymore. Get with the program. Detroit Wheel

A: Michigan has definitely given us a pair of interesting races this year. Both held my attention far longer than a Michigan race typically has in recent memory. To qualify that remark, though, what made them interesting were the caution flags that kept cars bunched up and gave us a lot of restarts. A typical Michigan race finds half the field lapped by the second pit stop at the latest. That's just not fun. And I don't get the hostility towards the Southeast; some of the tracks I've stumped for dates for include Pikes Peak, a new track in the Pacific Northwest, and the Burke Lakefront Airport road course in Cleveland.

Q: I thought Elliott Sadler did a great job at Michigan and I hope that shuts up all the "HAY JERRRRMY!" freaks that think Ray Evernham was out to screw Mayfield. The 19 isn't too far away from being able to run at the front consistently again. David Y.

A: I tend to agree. Sadler is a much better driver than Mayfield at this point in their respective careers, and the Evernham organization has more resources than Yates right now. And speaking of Yates, maybe David Gilliland isn't quite ready for the next step. Whatcha think?

Q: 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 commitment 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. ShrubCutter55

A: I've thought about your comment all week, but I still think he got jobbed. His team had no way of knowing whether he beat the red light, and to my knowledge, no NASCAR official told his team. Heck, it took NBC three replays to decide whether he did or didn't; how can Roy McCauley expect to know that from his vantage point? I think NASCAR needs to develop some kind of communication up and down pit road. Until they do, decisions like this are flawed at best.

Q: 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. BobbyD

...and…

NASCAR said Busch could have driven through, but he would not have received his spot back. Therefore, he would have had to blend into the line somewhere midpack 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. Mike

A: Two excellent points that bring up the nuts and bolts of the issue. Unless Kurt had a sunroof, he couldn't see that light, because it went red as he was going under it. The blend rule would have been a slightly better option for them, but would have still penalized the team for something that wasn't really their fault.

Q: NASCAR made the only call that they could with Busch. 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. Clay

A: I'm not immediately familiar with the Gordon case, but if you're talking about Said at Sonoma in 2005, Said was still well back of the mouth of pit road when his light went red. Busch was practically at the line with no way to steer back into traffic.

Q: I've got a solution for the whole Kurt Busch thing. I say we assign Jimmy Spencer to his pit as a NASCAR official, so the next time he starts crying about a call, Spencer can just reach in the window and slap him one. BeerGoggle55

A: Jimmy would sure know how to get his point across. Remember, "Jimmy Spencer never forgets!"

Have a question or comment for this space? Be sure to email jess@frontstretch.com with what you have to say, and he won’t forget, either…your thoughts could be in this very column next week!

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Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
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