February 18, 2006

Drivers, teams sound off on cheating issue at Daytona: Instead of emulating "The Fast and the Furious," some of the NASCAR Nextel Cup competitors in Sunday's 48th Daytona 500 might be better suited on an episode of "Cheaters." Now that Chad Knaus has been caught cheating several times in 2005 and now the first race of 2006, I think he deserves a more severe penalty. Like 100 driver and owner points, suspension for the next five races, and forfieture of any race winnings.

posted by usroute17 to auto racing at 07:18 AM - 22 comments

...Chad Knaus has been caught cheating several times in 2005 and now the first race of 2006... In the spirit of racing, if you can cheat and get away with it, great. But if you cheat and get caught (over and over and over) maybe you should change your strategy -- like figure out how to win by following the rules.

posted by wingnut4life at 07:29 AM on February 18, 2006

Please...the outcry over "cheating" in NASCAR is overblown, and generally harped on more by fans of the Nextel Cup, as opposed to us old warhorses who cut our teeth on the Winston Cup. It happens, it's always happened, and it's always going to happen. "It ain't cheatin' unless you get caught." ---Old NASCAR adage

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:42 AM on February 18, 2006

I agree with Black_hand. I've been following NASCAR since Pearson and the Allison Brothers were stil involved. However when one Chief or Driver continually gets caught there needs to be a line drawn. Besides they also used to say if you were dumb enough to get caught you deserve to be punished.

posted by scottypup at 08:40 AM on February 18, 2006

Okay, I agree that cheating has always been there, but to to get caught three or four times with only a slap on the wrist is ludicrous. NASCAR needs to discipline a bit more after three or four times caught. I just think that a one race suspension is only a slap on the wrist. Yeah, if you are dumb enough to get caught that many times, you deserve a bigger fine or suspension. While I'm on the NASCAR subject, I just think that the Daytona and Talledega races have become "Follow the Leader" races. They aren't like when Petty, Allison, Pearson, or Yarborough were driving. I think the restrictor plate racing sucks. Just big freight trains and follow the leader. No real racing like 25-30 years ago. Granted the cars have become more aerodynamic since those early days so without restrictor plates they probably would be going closer to 250-275. A bit dangerous, but the restrictor plates have really cut down the real racing. There's got to be a better way.

posted by usroute17 at 10:20 AM on February 18, 2006

Rusty Wallace ran a test last year at Talledega without a plate. He was running consistant 222-224. That was all alone. Most likely with drafting they would be hitting 230. While I do prefer the old racing I think there is a need to slow them down a bit on the very fast trakcs. However I do not feel plates are the way to do it. I read an interview with Mark Martin a couple of years ago and he suggested changing aero packages and a few other things that would keep the speeds down but still give them the horsepower to accelerate through trouble. It doesn't appear to me that NASCAR has ever taken a serious look at other options since the plate has been used.

posted by scottypup at 11:07 AM on February 18, 2006

What a wretched sport, where the heros are those recognized as the "best" cheaters. What am I missing?

posted by JustGuessing at 11:55 AM on February 18, 2006

He was running consistant 222-224. That was all alone. Most likely with drafting they would be hitting 230. holy schnikees, that's fast. but don't they run those speeds at indy. I don't know if it would be doable but couldn't they decrease the degree of bankage in the turns to slow the cars down and make them get on the brakes a little. i also think the plate racing is boring and they should find something else that works for the superspeedways. watching those races are pretty boring besides the fact that there is the chance for the "big one". there is not enough passing or racing in my opinion until the last few laps.

posted by erkno11 at 11:57 AM on February 18, 2006

"What a wretched sport, where the heros are those recognized as the "best" cheaters. What am I missing?" In a way you are right JustGuessing. I think that Jeffy cheated for all those years when Evernham was crew chief, either NASCAR never caught him or just overlooked all those idiosynchrisies with their car. I just think that NASCAR is doing more policing these days or catching only those that they want to catch. I think part of NASCAR is also favoritism. If you are in their good graces and are doing good, I think they tend to overlook many things, but if a driver, CC, or team are in NASCAR's doghouse, look out.

posted by usroute17 at 12:18 PM on February 18, 2006

I think that Jeffy cheated for all those years when Evernham was crew chief, either NASCAR never caught him or just overlooked all those idiosynchrisies with their car. I think Jeffy must have beat your favorite driver a lot. :o) I would have to agree with Robert Yates, gray area's are one thing but a blatant violation should be dealt with harshly not matter what team it is. :o)

posted by Steeler_Fan at 02:52 PM on February 18, 2006

What am I missing? Well, for one thing, you're missing the fact that here at SportsFilter, we try not to shit all over each other's posts. You don't like NASCAR, go read something else, m'kay? You don't get it, you don't watch it, you don't like it, great, you don't need to comment on it. Have a great day.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:22 PM on February 18, 2006

I think that knaus has realized that jj is barely an average driver, that is the only way to get him to the front. so with the crime comes the punishment, about 50 points to start.

posted by BHAWK172 at 03:47 PM on February 18, 2006

Yeah, Jeffy did beat my driver a lot, but he was also NASCAR's so-called "Golden Boy". NASCAR seem to prop him up a lot more than any other driver on the circuit for quite a few years. I think for awhile they banked on him also, meaning that because of Jeffy, NASCAR was able to bring in a larger base of fans therefore increasing their profits. So it was to NASCAR's advantage to have Jeffy win a lot of races. If it would have been more of a "good old boy" winning all those races, then the fan base wouldn't have grown nearly as fast. I think they wanted to try and compete with the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NCAA for the same fan base. NASCAR needed a young clean-cut, preppy type of guy to help bolster their image from one of good old boy, southern, backwood hicks to one of young, clean cut, english speaking, polite drivers. My two cents worth.

posted by usroute17 at 03:59 PM on February 18, 2006

Pushing the envelope of what you can get away with is not something that's exclusive to NASCAR. (For example, I'd bet this exact same discussion will be going on in a baseball thread sometime in May.) There's just a grander history of bending rules there than in some other sports. You can discourage cheating by stiffening the penalties for getting caught, but it's too much a part of the culture to think it will ever be eradicated completely. (What's a stiff enough penalty to stop people from cheating? Jail time? Guantanamo? Siberia? Bamboo shoots under the fingernails? Forced exposure to Michael Bolton?) Besides, when it comes to pumping ratings, there's no such thing as too much drama.

posted by chicobangs at 04:54 PM on February 18, 2006

In response to this thread, the penalty didnt fit the crime. Blaming Chad isnt the problem,put the onus on the guy who writes the checks. Owner pts.& driver pts. plus sit down (5) races. This just might get everybody`s attention. As long as Nascar insists on equality for car bodies,nothing is going to change.To bad its this way.

posted by old dog-2 at 05:19 PM on February 18, 2006

NASCAR turns a blind eye all the time. An example was two years ago when Jimmy Spencer and Kurt Busch got into it on the track. NASCAR suspended Spencer for the next race but did nothing to Busch. Reason? Busch was driving for Sharpie and the next race was the Sharpie 400.

posted by dandy491 at 05:23 PM on February 18, 2006

Mike Helton (now the president of NASCAR) said a few years back that NASCAR was in the business of "Entertainment". My question is "Ah, Mike, what about the racing? Doesn't that count?" I thought NASCAR stood for racing not entertainment. It's too bad that NASCAR, like all other major sports has become a business. Maybe if they concentrated on just "Racing" the fans would be attracted because the focus is on racing and not entertainment. If the fans show up, then the bottom line would take care of itself. As for NASCAR turning a blind eye, well yeah in many ways they do. Like I said before, if you are in NASCAR's good graces, are a popular driver, or your sponsor has an upcoming race, then NASCAR tends to overlook whatever you might be guilty of. Dale Earnhardt was the best example of NASCAR turning a blind eye. Granted, Dale was a great driver and could drive the wheels off a race car, even the most ill-handling race car and still win, but if any other driver pulled what he did, they would have been suspended or fined or both. He was NASCAR for all those years.

posted by usroute17 at 07:22 PM on February 18, 2006

My idea of racing would be to remove restrictor plates and let's see who can travel 500 miles the fastest

posted by Team SkidMark at 07:27 PM on February 18, 2006

I don't see how this is any different than the NFLs stance on drug use. Testing on the NFL is a joke. 99% of tests are announced beforehand, hence the leagues amazingly low infraction rate. The fans want to see fast racing and big plays, so I guess this is all a fact of life as fans we have to accept or stop watching. Guess which one i bet we all pick.

posted by wisportcheese at 09:42 PM on February 18, 2006

Hey Black Hand, nice post. I must have missed the rule that says only those who like cheaters should join this discussion. If you limit your interaction to only people who love your sport regardless of its flaws, its possible you might get a little narrow minded. What do you think? (This is where you say you're not narrow minded, its all them other crazy folks who don't agree with me that are wrong).

posted by JustGuessing at 01:52 PM on February 19, 2006

JustGuessing: Fine. Find me another sport where the top level athletes don't routinely break the rules until they get caught.

posted by rodgerd at 04:51 PM on February 19, 2006

rodgerd, That's a good question. You make a point that there are rule breakers in every sport. I guess what concerns me is how the sport itself deals with it. Some like football and baseball kind of look the other way with things like drugs, etc. But they now seem to be coming around (after congressional pressure). I don't get the same sense from stock car racing. You know what I mean? The closest thing I can think of is basketball, where they intentionally foul late in the came to gain an advantage, but the refs don't call intentional fouls unless it they are gruesomely flagerant.

posted by JustGuessing at 11:41 AM on February 20, 2006

So, NASCAR suspends the crew chief of one of the top teams in the sport for their biggest race of the season, and you don't get the feeling that the sanctioning body is doing anything? Strangely enough, I'm getting the feeling you really don't know much at all about stock car racing. You've already shat on this thread once; for the sake of consideration, just let it go. Is it really that hard for you to not participate in a thread about a sport you seem to have no interest in at all?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:16 PM on February 20, 2006

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