The Cup Series garage was just as busy after the Michigan 400 as it was before.
Sunday afternoon following the race as many as 16 teams were removing engines for NASCAR. The sanctioning body was temporarily confiscating the powerplants to bring back to the Research and Development center in Concord, North Carolina. Various manufacturers and teams were targeted so an accurate cross section was represented.
Managing Director of Competition for the Cup Series John Darby described the large effort as part of an annual inspection NASCAR conducts to determine whether a particular team or make has an advantage. NASCAR prefers to keep the competition as even as possible.
This was the largest engine amount the officials have taken after a race. The engines belonging to Whitney Motorsports and Prism Motorsports were confiscated on Friday after entries from each team failed to qualify for the race. Those two from cars driven by J.J. Yeley and Dave Blaney.
Several weeks of work are ahead for NASCAR in order to test all the equipment. Each engine needs to be plumbed, have electrical systems wired, and run on a dynamometer. This machine will measure horsepower at varying RPM ranges and determine which engines have advantages or disadvantages over the rest. Possible rule changes could then be ordered keeping the engine power for each team close in the name of parody.
And also punishing successful engine programs.
Or rewarding unsuccessful programs.
I believe in random inspections to determine legality of any parts. Every organization is supposed to operate within the same rulebook. Anyone could try to take advantage of a rule if they knew a component or tolerance was not going to be checked.
I do not believe in measuring a performance aspect, with all things being legal, and handicapping someone whom simply did a better job. The “level playing field” excuse falls flat.
The “level playing field” is the rulebook. If all teams are falling under the guidelines set up by NASCAR then let the teams that have earned an advantage have it. The ones who have not done as good of a job need to do better.
This is NASCAR Cup Series racing. It is not children playing sports where no score is kept. Where everyone gets a trophy and a snow cone simply for showing up. That in itself does the children a disservice. The real world does not work like that. This is professional sports, where advantages are supposed to be sought. Isn’t that the whole idea?
I cannot imagine a tennis player complaining an opponent’s backhand is better than his so the officials need to handicap the better player in the name of a competitive match. A better basketball player has to weigh heavier shoes? A better boxer needs to tie one hand behind his back?
Ones that excel should not be brought down. It is the job of the ones behind to make up the gap and improve.
(Patrick Reynolds is a former NASCAR team mechanic who hosts "Motorweek Live" Thursdays at 9pm ET. Listen at www.racersreunionradio.com)
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