The Frontstretch: NAPA's "No No" Reminds Us "Spingate" Still Spinning Out Of Control by Thomas Bowles -- Thursday September 19, 2013

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NAPA's "No No" Reminds Us "Spingate" Still Spinning Out Of Control

Thomas Bowles · Thursday September 19, 2013

 

While a mountain of articles, in recent days has been written about NASCAR “Spingate,” from letting Gordon in the Chase to chasing away any modern sense of competitive integrity I took a small period to stand quiet. After 13 years of writing, from anywhere to the smallest of hobby sites to getting on the front page of cnn.com I took a deep breath, waited, and let everyone else do the talking – at least about this issue exclusively.

NAPA’s decision to leave the No. 56 car, after 2013 will have far-reaching consequences beyond just Michael Waltrip and Martin Truex, Jr.

Why? There’s two reasons. The first one is simple: it’s been hard to pen how disastrous I feel this scandal really is, the long-term personal impacts to a sport in which the ones who love it want to never let go – yet see the potential of a Titanic-like, iceberg moment in front of them. Think I’m being melodramatic? Ask anyone, off the record who has an ounce of understanding on life outside the “NASCAR bubble” how the past two weeks have made them feel about their sport’s short-term future. Ask those whose income derives exclusively from it, like those at Michael Waltrip Racing or investors in the media, cars, tracks who have dedicated a small fortune on the gamble of future success. I guarantee, no matter how lengthy their answer you’ll at least hear this word uttered once during the conversation: “nervous.” From some of them, willing to be more forward the answers change to “petrified,” “disgusted,” and – in some cases – “exit plan.”

Over the weekend, I was at various events covering other sports, from baseball to college football. And you know the first question I get asked from non-fans? “What’s the deal with this NASCAR thing? Is it dying?” “Why is your sport filled with cheaters?” (Keep in mind that NBC News led Friday with a story about if the sport of stock car racing is rigged. For millions of Americans, including those with money to hypothetically invest in its future that’s the small, lasting impression they now have). Perhaps it’s this jarring question, though that becomes the most damning: “Why did NASCAR need to tell their drivers to _try?_”

In essence, when breaking down what happened Saturday that’s exactly what NASCAR CEO Brian France, President Mike Helton and the rest of the Daytona Beach brass told these guys to do. It was a double whammy of micromanaging, combined with the awkward reality that the best 43 race drivers in the world were doing the equivalent of coming in late, dozing off on their desk and forgetting to file TPS Reports. “You’re not giving 100 percent, and fans can see it,” was the call from above. “And if you don’t… we’re going to penalize you.”

Think for a second about how sad that statement is. Certainly, throughout a lifetime of sports we’ve seen athletes take quarters, innings, rounds “off” during the regular season. But when it comes to winning a championship… LeBron James has a fire in his eye like no other. So did Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus with golfing majors, and Joe Montana in the midst of a Super Bowl. It’s their desire to give 110 percent that comes naturally, during the most important times that brings fans to the edge of their seats. It’s those moments that help sports grow another level.

These 43 drivers? Come Saturday, the “best in their craft” were branded as completely the opposite. NASCAR essentially said, through their words and actions they’ve been stroking it, resorting to the use of strategy and manipulation to get their “championship bid” while collecting checks, relaxing on private jets and taking their position in the sport for granted. Some of this single-file racing, for sure has been out of their control; aerodynamic dependency, combined with the multi-car team dynamic and the “Chase” for the championship has pushed a philosophy to “stay in line.” But the reality of the situation is here, a concern about a level of weekly competition so stark NASCAR had to have a private meeting to point it out. And what’s worse, with the 100 percent “rule” they’ll now be using subjectivity to dole out punishments surrounding it. “Jeff Gordon, you didn’t pass for fourth place in the No. 24 to save your points! We saw that! It’s a ten-point penalty and a $50,000 fine.” In a mind-boggling move, they’re opting to broadcast to the public, including those they want to follow the sport someday how their athletes are occasionally not racing worth a damn.

With NAPA now bailing, what will the other major “Spingate” sponsor in the spotlight – 5-Hour Energy – choose to do?

Which brings me to the second reason I’ve waited, brought to light by an announcement from NAPA Auto Parts today: it doesn’t matter a bit what this scribe thinks about the future. Nor does it matter, to a certain degree what the fans think. Yes, if thousands didn’t show up in protest, making the Chase a ten-race cluster of empty seats a point gets proven. But, come 2015 the sport is set to make $750+ million a year for their TV deal alone. They’re not going to wither on the vine anytime soon.

But what will force someone’s hand, in this age of outrageous expenses to stay involved in stock car racing is corporate America. Thursday morning, we learned NAPA Know How was saying a big “no no” to staying with Michael Waltrip Racing, terminating their contract effective December 31st. Their reasoning? Cheating, which has likely invoked a morality clause making it a piece of cake to end a long-term extension after year one.

NAPA believes in fair play and does not condone actions such as those that led to the penalties assessed by NASCAR,” the company said in a statement. “We remain supportive of the millions of NASCAR fans and will evaluate our future position in motorsports.”

With that type of statement, leaving the accused “cheaters” on the vine it’s likely 5-Hour Energy, the backer of “Spingate” centerpiece Clint Bowyer will soon follow suit. Those companies spend upwards of $30 million to keep cars on-track, combined with an extensive television presence that reaches well outside the three-hour Cup race. It makes them two of the most recognizable NASCAR connections. And now? The message being sent, loud and clear to those barely paying attention to the sport is, “We can’t spend our money… at least, not with this team. Because what we saw unfold in this sport was cheating.”

That means, over the next days and weeks how NAPA chooses to conduct its business has far-reaching consequences. Will they stay involved, aligning with another organizations to send a message they still believe in NASCAR itself? That proves critical; otherwise, they’re saying after two decades, it’s time to bail completely. And in this copycat age of instant scandal, their stage-setting threatens to open the floodgates. All of a sudden, tons of multi-billion dollar corporations have opportunities to save themselves a seven, in some cases eight-figure expense on a race team through morality clauses. The excuse becomes, “if one company bails, well then why am I going to spend money on a sport that’s not completely legit?” A domino effect begins, one that would threaten even the seemingly untouchable superpowers of Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Roush Fenway Racing. Best case, it becomes a major roadblock in convincing future companies to dole out $10-million plus for the hood. After all, NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. remains without a sponsor for some races in 2014 (and some races in 2013). How much harder did selling that high-dollar backing just become?

Through the sport’s unprecedented growth, running a race car really has become a business, mixed in with competitive sport. You can’t just show up, anymore with a dollar and a dream to run these races; that’s why filling a 43-car grid, in recent years has become so difficult. And no matter how much money NASCAR has in their own bank account, filtering in through various deals and agreements you can’t make money on a sport if enough cars don’t have the sponsorship to go out and race – preferably against each other, on different teams instead of being on a various plateau within two or three multi-car giants.

The risk to tilt in that direction is there, today more than ever before. You can’t just have Hendrick and Roush and Gibbs and Penske and Childress, their chassis and investment money supporting every team that wants to race. It won’t work. So it’s not about Truex anymore, or Bowyer or the future of the Chase. It’s about the sport’s long-term health financially.

What are Brian France and Company going to do now?

Connect with Tom!

Contact Tom Bowles

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JP
09/19/2013 12:39 PM
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There is SO much to discuss here….it’s mind boggling to realize the state of Nascar under the current leadership.

Many fools will point solely to MWR. But it is SO much more than that. Look, even the mighty ‘dega race has been losing fans in the seats the last two seasons. It’s hard to keep swallowing this Nascar mess and trying to pay for going to races while we’re all living in The Great Recession.

As for myself, I will be writing a letter to NAPA this weekend. Perhaps they will sponsor Jr. next season? Or Danica? Hey, I can’t blame them.

Bill B
09/19/2013 12:40 PM
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All very good points Tom. I never thought that any sponsor could use this incident to get out of their contract because the sport itself is being questioned.

I also didn’t realize Jr didn’t have a sponsor signed yet. I thought I had read that he did. That raises an interesting question: Is it possible that NAPA used this incident to get out of their contract with MWR so they could sponsor Jr. That might sound like black helicopter stuff but it will be interesting to see how things shake out.

babydufus
09/19/2013 12:50 PM
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interesting thoughts.

i certainly agree that the money and business situation is negatively effecting the level of competition more than ever.

as far as the Frances, i don’t imagine the usual strong arm tactics are going to be much good in this case.

the 100% rule made me laugh out loud at first. from the outside it certainly looks like an indicator that the top of the organization thinks they are either immune to any ill effects of their decisions or are completely out of touch with the actual workings of their own organization.

and yes, it’s really really hard to walk away from this entertainment venue that used to be a sport.

Upstate24fan
09/19/2013 12:55 PM
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I’m sorry for Truex, the 56 and the employees in the shop that had nothing to do with the actions at Richmond. However, NAPA bailing on MWR will send a clearer message against “team orders” than any NASCAR penalty would.

That being said, the economic model of the sport just isn’t working in this economy. It shouldn’t cost as much as it does to run these teams. However, I think a step back from the ledge might be needed. Look at Nationwide, sure they are leaving behind series sponsorship, but they also said they are going to invest more at the Cup level (i.e. team sponsorship). And, its not like the other major sports don’t have their issues (PEDs, concussions, player arrests, etc.)

Managing Editor
09/19/2013 01:01 PM
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Bill B,

Just to clarify, I’ve altered my wording a bit regarding Junior as I can see how it could be misread. He doesn’t have a sponsor to fill some races in 2014 — certainly, he’ll have the National Guard continuing to back him for the majority of races on the schedule. But that long-awaited “second sponsor” to replace the races where Mountain Dew scaled back never really happened. All we’ve seen is Time Warner Cable added…

Carl D.
09/19/2013 01:17 PM
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Tom…

Thanks for this very insightful column. You bring up a very good point that JP echoed above… this is bigger than MWR. This is about the future of Nascar.

On a personal level, I’ve tried to put this whole nasty mess aside and just enjoy the rest of the season, but that’s hard to do when every day or so there’s another shoe that falls. For a lot of us longtime fans, sometimes derided as “complainers”, it’s hard not to say “I told you so”. We’ve seen this sport so mismanaged for so long that none of this “spingate” fallout is particularly shocking. That said, there’s nothing I’d love more than for us all to be proved wrong; I’d love to see the sport bounce back and see it’s credibility and integrity restored, but I have to say it doesn’t look promising. The same guy that was CEO of Nascar two weeks ago is still CEO today and I don’t see that changing.

phil h
09/19/2013 01:36 PM
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Michael Waltrip.

I never thought his name could possibly be the downfall of sponsorship in Nascar.

Many fans of Nascar grumble how they hate to hear his brother Darrell Waltrip cover and commentate races.

Darrell loves this sport,but his brother has brought a huge scar and black mark to our beloved sport!

Michael should be Gone with the Wind!!

kb
09/19/2013 01:53 PM
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Ah, the law of unintended consequences. Good article. I for one am boycotting Napa. MWR is not the bad guy in all this, Nascar is. This type of racing has been brewing since the inception of The Chase. Nascar is also using this event to steer away from its inept management. This is sad for the fans. And I am not blaming MWR. Remember people all you folks screaming from the puplit of perfectness, this could happen to your team and driver. Sheep.

allisong
09/19/2013 02:18 PM
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It’s interesting that so many seem to be fixated on the “100%” quote from that meeting and misinterpreting it so badly. What I took from that was that, even in the age of multi-car teams, once the race starts, for instance the 15 team should be focused 100% on the 15 team, and not taking actions or making decisions on what’s best for any other team but the 15 team. Nothing more than that.

Anyone with any common sense knows your ridiculous hypothetical about penalizing someone who didn’t make a pass for 4th would never even cross NASCAR’s radar.

It seems that one’s view of the events of the past week or so very much depend on one’s predetermined opinion of NASCAR. Those who already hold an anti-NASCAR bias view everything through that prism. Those without that bias can see the blame for the whole thing lies with the teams, most specifically MWR.

midasmicah
09/19/2013 02:37 PM
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Wow!!! It’s only taken the Brian France a little more than ten years to destroy all the good will that took decades to attain from the fans. When you combine the stench of cheating, Multi car teams, the chase (which discourages trying to win), a generation of pretty boy drivers with no connection to the fans, this is the very toxic result. This organization is dying from self-inflicted wounds.

midasmicah
09/19/2013 02:45 PM
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I forgot to mention the main culprit that started this whole mess. Michael Waltrip. He’s always reminded me of a shady car salesman who’ll do anything to shill a product. This isn’t his first rodeo as far as cheating goes. Brother Darrel has to be cringing from the association with his brother. Darrel is a shill too, but he’s always earnest about it. Mikey has to go.

Jeremy
09/19/2013 03:03 PM
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Consistency… Can someone with inside insight to the workings of NASCAR explain to me why there was such a hateful witch hunt in the media AND with NASCAR brass over MWR’s actions at Richmond, and nary a whisper about Penske/Front Row doing the same thing MWR was penalized for (which was collusion to bag and give up positions, and NOT Boyer’s spin)? That has really been (and still is) bothering me. I’m not saying MWR was right, or that they shouldn’t have been punished. But if the penalty was for collusion and bagging to give up spots and manipulate the running order, then Penske/Front Row should have the same exact penalty given to them, and the points should have fallen where they may in regards to whether Gordon made the chase or not. THAT would have been consistent and fair.

I also think complacency is fair to say. There’s no reward for risking it all racing for the win, or showing some personality by being true to who they are, and they have everything to lose if they wreck or say the wrong thing in the interview. Most are making really good money regardless of whether they finish 1st or 43rd. There’s no discomfort in “stroking” it to collect the paycheck. Gone are the days when drivers HAD to win or score high enough that the purse money would pay back their debtors and maybe an entry for next weeks race. Also gone are the days when “colorful”, passionate (sometimes volatile) personalities were an accepted and welcome part of racing.

Ho hum, just another day in the (insert 20 sponsor names) Chevrolet/Ford/Toyota. We’ll get ‘em next week.

Maybe.

Carl D.
09/19/2013 03:06 PM
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allisong…

Someone can be biased based on past history. Yeah, Nascar has issued a ruling that on paper sounds good. Their history in enforcing the rules fairly and consistently leads me to conclude that all they’ve done is opened yet another can of worms. But then again I’m biased.

Ken
09/19/2013 03:12 PM
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I don’t blame NAPA for booting MWR. I wonder how much bonus money NAPA would have had to pay for making the Chase. It’s stealing from your employer and being fired is the punishment.

Carl D.
09/19/2013 03:13 PM
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Let me just add that while I stand by my assertion that this is Nascar’s mess, MWR is guilty as hell for what they did and they deserve both the punishment and the sponsorship fallout for their actions.

Greg
09/19/2013 03:25 PM
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Looks like Mikey’s NAPA KNOW HOW back fired on him and it could not happen to a more deserrving person.

I feel sorry for the MWR people that this fall out can hurt job wise as well as Martin Truex as I feel he knew nothing of the BS going on at the end of that race.
JD in NC
09/19/2013 03:46 PM
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I think Truex and NAPA would make a nice package deal for another race team. Maybe FRR to replace Kurt Busch and inject a little more cash into the self sponsored team? I do feel sorry for the MWR employees that could possibly lose their jobs over this. Their only transgression was working for an idiot owner.

Doug
09/19/2013 03:57 PM
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Well NAPA has lost yet another customer. MWR did the same thing teams have been doing for years. Let me hold back and let my teammate lead a lap so that he can get points. That too is manipulating the points. Why wasn’t they penalized and fined?

Josie
09/19/2013 04:06 PM
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I guess I’m not on the Debbie Downer Train…not that I see much good coming from all this…but that I’m hoping it will be a new start for NASCAR. I think we all have to ride out the rest of the season..then step back and be ready to start 2014 with a clean slate. There’s alot to look forward to in 2014… Stewarts return and his new team mates..Newman at RCR..how will Furniture Row do sans Busch..will AJ help the 47…will Truex want to or get to stay at MWR…and many more stories. No…we can’t undo whats happened … It happens in ALL sports…but you can add murder, dog fighting, steroids, and an assorted list of other felonies..to a large number of the other sports. To me it’s the die hard fans..and their reactions to whats happened who will designate what happens to NASCAR. I would bet a big reason NAPA will leave MWR was fan reaction..and the same fan reaction may bring in other sponsors. Hopefully the drivers, teams, owners, AND NASCAR itself has got the message and ALL will give 100% to our sport whether they are on the track or in the officials headquarters.

Tim
09/19/2013 04:08 PM
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This could possibly be the best thing for NASCAR! NASCAR has consistently ignored the fans and ruled from the ivory tower. You’re seeing lower attendance and a lowered profile in the mainstream as the result of inconsistent calls, arbitrary “everything”, and a general perception that the sport is being reduced to a WWE-like show. For anything to improve, it had to come from the outside. The lifeblood of any racing is sponsorship, and the real power is wielded by money. Money just spoke.

Max
09/19/2013 04:22 PM
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What comes to my mind about this whole issue is that the words “cheating” and “sleazy” are very strong words for describing Nascar racing.

However, when I sit back and think about Big Bill and Little Bill and how Nascar got started, I don’t think it is far-fetched to say that things have been done over the many years that we fans would find questionable at best, blatant cheating at worst.
If fact, I have never really thought seriously about “race-fixing” until now, even through the years that Gordon was winning everything. They might have found something, just like Sr. and Jr. had something going on at Talladega, but I never thought about Nascar truly manipulating races.

Nascar stepped in it big-time by allowing multi-car teams, something that should have never been considered ever, and a “points system” to award consistency, which should not be adapted to auto-racing, as this encourages ‘sand-bagging” and race manipulation.
You like that, Nascar?
Auto-racing is about winning – period, and anything else is to cater to TV ($$$)and ratings.
At the end of the day, and most of my older race buddies agree, nobody cares who wins the “championship” it is who won the most races this year.

buddybardwell
09/19/2013 04:27 PM
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NASCAR brought this problem on itself when it combined a race-team structure with the Chase point system. For years NASCAR has tolerated lots of team-first behavior, especially at the restrictor plate tracks. This tolerance included obvious point manipulations like allowing a teammate to lead a lap or not passing a teammate who needed the extra spot more than you. A point is a point, whether gained at Richmond in September or Las Vegas in March.

Allowing the start-and-park teams also plays into the same culture. They don’t even make a pretense that they are racing. If you’re going to tolerate that kind of behavior at the back of the field, why not the front?

Overa88ted
09/19/2013 04:42 PM
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Cheating in Na$CRAP? Oh yeah! Michigan June 20008 – Dale jr. passing the pace car 3 times and allowed to win. NG sponsorship for the 88 is no lock in 2014. Drivers ordered to give 100%, guess that explains why Dale Jr. has only won 1 legal race in nearly 8 years.

Robert Eastman
09/19/2013 04:56 PM
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I believe it’s only the beginning of a NASCAR sponsorship collapse! With Nationwide and NAPA announcing in the same week that they will be exiting their respective sponsorship positions, will Sprint’s new Japanese ownership, a nationality always concerned about “face-saving and appearance,” be comfortable with NASCAR’s incompetent leadership going forward?
Even though the blame for NAPA’s departure falls squarely on MWR’s shoulders… the way in which NASCAR handled the Richmond debacle… AND their Cup Championship format, which pressures teams into “less than ethical behavior” is a disaster!
Companies’ CEO’s may start taking their Psychiatrists’ and PR Directors’ advice… “It’s best to terminate all relationships with Psychopaths!”
Could “booting NASCAR” be the safe/sane choice for maintaining Corporate Credibility?

kb
09/19/2013 05:00 PM
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Again, I find the moral outrage extremely hypocritical. What the heck do you people think you are watching (if you watch at all) week in and week out? This is much ado about nothing. I dare wonder how Nascar is going to police all strategies played out 1000 times a race and deem by dictorial decree which is cheating and which is not, when before Richmond it was business as usual for ALL TEAMS. Guess who is going to come out smelling like a rose as usual. The pitchfork and torches crowd should be this vocal about demanding positive change in our country..Kardashian momemts abound in this fiasco. No No Napa for me.

JER
09/19/2013 05:02 PM
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When NASCAR called out MWR for artificially altering the outcome of a race I just had to LOL since it was a classic case of “The Pot Calling The Kettle Black”. What in the heck has NASCAR been doing all these years with their mysterious cautions.

Tim you are right about the sponsorship money and money just spoke. However, NASCAR really doesn’t care about the what NAPA or any of the team sponsors do or don’t do. You want to get NASCAR´s attention! Let the TV networks and Sprint do the same thing NAPA just did.

Steven
09/19/2013 05:19 PM
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Ah yes, multi-car teams. The bane of NASCAR since 1955. Isn’t that right, fellow Anybody-But-Kiekhaefer fans?

kb
09/19/2013 05:47 PM
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100% correct JER.

Sue Rarick
09/19/2013 06:05 PM
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I love the fact that some of the people asking about Nascar and who aren’t Nascar fans seem to have no problem with athletes shooting up steroids or spending 4 years in college and still are barely literate. No mention about the innate corruption in the progression from high school to college to pro, where getting an education is an after thought as long as they have star potential.
Pot meet Kettle.

dmann
09/19/2013 06:54 PM
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The worst part of all of this is na$crap has been adjusting races for years is anyone suprised that the teams started doing this now ???????????????????

Rusty
09/19/2013 08:07 PM
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We might be missing the boat on what really happened here. How can we be sure it was team orders handed down from MWR management? Could it have originated from an overzealous TRD rep, perhaps a TRD rep with his own office at MWR bent on packing the Chase field with as many Toyotas as they can get in. Might have helped smooth over that earlier and somewhat embarrassing lightweight connecting rods deal only they got caught again. What’s more, the Japanese culture is highly regarded for honor, integrity and ethics and one just wonders in amazement how did all of this manage to happen?

Dennis
09/19/2013 08:53 PM
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NASCAR has brought so much of this upon themselves. Giving a bonus point for leading a lap encourages manipulation. Having the 2 “wild card” spots played a role in Richmond’s chicanery. Then, there is NASCAR’s direct manipulation of races by throwing those mystery debris cautions late in the race to bunch up the pack. Suddenly, a driver who was cruising to victory can find himself running 5th at the end or, worse, crashed out.

Why is it Ok for NASCAR to manipulate the race and not other teams?

Richard
09/19/2013 09:16 PM
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I for one am not to sure that what MWR did was so wrong. Is not NAPA an associate sponsor of the 15 and 55. Would it not have benefited NAPA of Truex was in the chase? If there was a rule against it NASCAR would not have had to use their catch 22. Anyway what is done is done. I for one will not shop at NAPA. Had the media not made such a fuss, would NASCAR have penalized MWR. Or better question had it been Jr that was trying to get in and Gordon and Johnson helping would there had been such an uproar about it?

I would not be surprised to see NAPA as the title sponsor for the Nationwide series when they leave after the 2014 season.

Bill B
09/19/2013 09:52 PM
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Just for all those talking about everybody does it. When it comes to allowing a teammate to pass or dropping a couple of positions to help a teammate, I will stop short of saying that I am OK with it but I accept it as a loophole or flaw in the whole points system.

Where I draw the line is the spinout to purposely bring out the caution. NASCAR didn’t have the balls to call it like we all saw it… an intentional spin. There will never be enough proof to say it definitely was intentional but I know what I saw and apparently a lot of other folks feel the same way. (and it was obvious Menard did it a couple of years ago to give Harvick a crack at getting another 3 points before the chase started). So just be clear here, in most people’s eyes it was the spin that crossed the line. And yes the stupid chase does make people do things they don’t want to do (Jarrett 2004).

And yes NASCAR is the top dog at manipulating races with bogus debris cautions to foster “better television” at the expense of better racing. I hate it but the only recourse to penalize them is to stop watching. In due time. I am only watching now out of loyalty to the 24 team, any loyalty I had to NASCAR “the sport” has been slowly evaporating with each year that Brian’s reign of terror continues.

Russ
09/19/2013 10:12 PM
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Most of us who have watched Nascar for a long time knew that some of these shenanigans were going on.And while not really comfortable with it, unless it benefited your guy of course, we by and large looked the other way. After all its hard to believe that something that you have invested a lot, emotionally as well as financially, is merely a facade. But now the very technology that Nascar was counting on to connect them to a new younger market of people willing to hand over their money, has exposed the sport for the corrupt old boys club that we secretly knew it to be. Corporate America has a decision to make just like we did. Do they accept it as it is and continue to finance the “show”? Or, do they move on to other things? I suspect I know the answer.

Dot
09/19/2013 10:32 PM
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I think if MW had fired Ty Norris on the spot, NAPA may not have left. But no, he chose to stand behind him which pretty much says that cheating is OK.

And what a comedy of errors that whole plan was. The least they should’ve done was had a team meeting before the race and discussed the scenarios.

I’d like to think that other sponsors don’t believe their drivers/teams cheat. Or, if they do, they’re clever about it ;)

How fortuitous for Mark Martin to be driving for SHR right now.

Leo
09/20/2013 01:51 AM
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NAPA is leaving because MWR cheats stupid and their tagline is Know-How. Jet fuel and spinning on the track is amateur hour.

If they cheated like Hendrick with crabbing cars, magic shocks, movable windows, ie innovative solutions to the grey area of the rule book, NAPA would be slapping them on the wrist in public and high-fiving each other in private.

The Waltrips have always been clowns and NAPA finally realized that works great in commercials but not in the boardroom.

You guys talk as if big businesses don’t look for every exploit in their own rulebooks. Pot met kettle and realized it was just a better kitchen implement. No more, no less.

Leo
09/20/2013 01:56 AM
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And when a football fan-boy asked me about Nascar and WWE I asked him about steroids, beating up women, and shooting people.

And the point was not to put down football but to point out one shouldn’t throw rocks in a glass house.

Too much drama over this controversy. WAY TOO MUCH.

Mr.ED
09/20/2013 08:38 AM
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I posted the day this happened that Napa would leave mwr and that they would go to a gov motors car Rick the fomer FELON Hendrick was where I said or one of his satellite teams Steward hass Chips team.With dodge coming back The Zero whats Toyota out so dodge can get a good team.Watch was starts to happen to JGR next

Jerome
09/20/2013 08:42 AM
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What a mess. I feel so sorry for Truex but NAPA did the right thing. NASCAR should have gone further in their punichment. Waltrip should have been suspended from coming to the track for the rest of the year; Boyer should have been suspended for the year;if not suspend Boyer then force him to forfeit his earnings to a charity. Finally, Fox Sports needs to let M. Waltrip go. How can they continue to allow him to be associated with their telecasts given his history of cheating?
Jerome

JD in NC
09/20/2013 03:12 PM
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Dot, I think if Michael had fired Ty Norris on the spot, Ty would’ve sued him because I suspect the plan came from higher up i.e. MW himself. Norris and Bowyer were probably only doing what they were told to do. That still doesn’t make it ok, but I think Michael knew if he fired Norris, he’d lose a couple million dollars in a law suit and everything would be exposed.

Dot
09/21/2013 02:50 AM
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To JD in NC, I based what I wrote from what I read after this debacle happened. Maybe Ty is the scapegoat, and that’s why he’s still with MWR?

I don’t think MW/MWR has to worry about a lawsuit from Ty Norris, but they might with Martin Truex Jr. This scandal just screwed him out of a ride. Who knows, Bowyer & Vickers (2014) could be rideless too.

 

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