The Frontstretch: Scanner Static: Finishing Orders? We Don't Need No Stinking Finishing Orders! by Matt Taliaferro -- Wednesday March 14, 2007

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Scanner Static: Finishing Orders? We Don't Need No Stinking Finishing Orders!

NASCAR Fan Q&A · Matt Taliaferro · Wednesday March 14, 2007


A record 28 lead changes at Las Vegas this past week makes it sound as if we witnessed an ultra competitive race. Yep, sounds like the new pave job really did the trick… Until you realize the 13-gallon fuel cell enabled a gaggle of different drivers to run at the point for one lap before pitting under green. When they try to sell you on Vegas' great racing next season by throwing the number ‘28' at you, keep that in mind.

I also keep hearing how Las Vegas deserves a second Cup date, and I understand from a dollars and cents standpoint it would make perfect sense. However, I'm not an SMI shareholder, so the cabbage makes no difference to me. Truth is, from a racing standpoint I was bored stiff. You better believe when the NCAA Selection Show came on I flipped over to CBS (only to see Kentucky get seeded eighth…yuck).

My point: Before you go ripping up a track that is just getting nice and seasoned, ponder for one moment what it will do to the on-track product. God knows we've had to endure California, Chicago, Homestead, Kansas, Las Vegas and Texas' "seasoning process" for eight or nine years now. Why tear them down and start over just when they were getting bearable?! And Bruton, if you are going to rebuild one of your 1.5-mile parade-makers, shave off about a mile of it so we can see some intense side-by-side racing.

Wow, I feel much better! Well, that's my only rant this week. Luckily, Atlanta is up next and that fast, multi-grooved quad-oval is as seasoned as they get. Give me a shout with a rant of your own, a question, comment or your take on any of the myriad of topics alive and well in the sport today. The address is

Q: Did you notice when the race finished the FOX broadcast did not run down the finishing order? They scrolled to 17th then went to commercial. They came back and let the ticker go to about 10th, then took it down. The broadcast ended without the full finishing order. So I went to the SPEED channel, and watched for about 15 minutes… still no finishing order (top 10 maybe, but not the entire order). Simply pathetic.

The only thing that's worse is during the last laps, having a camera shot of a driver’s wife watching the race. Yeah that’s what I tune in for: To watch somebody watching the race. Quick… pan to the crowd! — Mike Scheuerma

A: Mike, this goes back to my complaint that the networks frontload the broadcast with all sorts of fluff, but rarely give us more than 10 minutes of post-race coverage.

Daytona may have been the worst. FOX not only ran a special one hour Toyota program, they went into about an hour's worth of race hype. Upon conclusion of one of the most exciting finishes in Daytona 500 history, they cut to The Simpson's after a couple driver interviews.

I don't know what to tell you, except that I feel your pain, man. By the way, flip your radio on at the conclusion of the race. MRN or PRN most always give a full field rundown.

Q: Another race, another inconsistent call by NASCAR! Why was Jimmie Johnson not penalized when the tire rolled away during a pit stop and a NASCAR official stopped it from going out on pit road? Didn't it go out of his pit box? I guess I consider myself a new fan. I have been watching NASCAR for about five years, but I get frustrated when they make a call depending on what mood they (NASCAR) are in. — Steph19

A: Steph, I've been watching this sport for roughly 25 years and the one thing I'll clue you in on is that NASCAR, as you stated, is moody and the calls they make will vary from week to week.

With that said, yes a tire did get away from Johnson's front tire carrier and yes, it did leave the pit box only to be stopped by a NASCAR official. The scoop here is that for as long as I can remember, if a tire got away from a crewman and rolled to the NASCAR official observing the stop, it was a "no harm, no foul" situation. If not for Dr. Dick Bergren with the timely call, we'd have never known the difference.

Truth is, it happens most every week. Much like a shortstop or second baseman not necessarily touching second base while turning a double play, it is assumed that all's well. The real question here is should NASCAR re-examine this no-call situation? If they want to be treated like one of the big boy sports, it might be wise.

The questions were a little sparse this week, folks. Get in touch with your inquisitive side and give me a shout!

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