They’ve shot themselves in the foot so many times, it’s a wonder that NASCAR hasn’t needed an amputation. Once again, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing has created the perception of favoring some drivers over others with the no-call on Jimmie Johnson’s pit stop at Charlotte.
If you enforce your own rules, how is the 48 team not penalized for having their front wheels outside the pit box? You’re not supposed to, right? How else am I supposed to read Rule 10.9.7.d? IF there is latitude granted SAY IT!
Now- to be fair- Johnson paid for the sloppy stop. He lost several positions, and really had no prayer going forward to challenge Martin Truex Jr. for the win. While not slumping in the sense we normally think of slumping, the seven-time champion just doesn’t look the part of a serious contender this year. That doesn’t matter. If someone breaks a rule, then they need to pay the consequences. It’s really not complicated.
It wouldn’t be quite so frustrating if there were a culture within the sport of loosely enforcing the rules. For example, in the NBA, it will have to be pretty egregious if traveling is going to be called. Professional soccer has much more clutching and grabbing going on than the rules would seem to allow. In baseball, the strike zone is known to be a bit of a moving target.
The problem with NASCAR is they would have you believe they are drop dead serious about the rules- especially where safety is concerned. Where the rub occurs when you have pit stops like the 48 team had Sunday. According to the letter of the law, that should have resulted in a penalty. Others may disagree, for example Larry McReynolds.
You know what this fan would like to see? Adoption of a set of rules, and having NASCAR stick to them. That’s all. A part of the frustration with this sport is the ever-changing rulebook and what appears to be the selective enforcement of them.