It’s way past time for NASCAR to clear up the controversy about its method of patrolling speeding on pit road.
NASCAR uses an electronic monitoring system on pit road consisting of scoring “loops” to determine average speed between spots on the track. If a driver exceeds the announced pit road speed plus a 4.99 mph tolerance, a computer flags the driver for speeding.
The problem has been that no one other than NASCAR officials in race control are allowed to see the computer results in real time, all the time. Competitors are shown read outs after the fact if requested.
In order to help squelch an uproar started by driver Jimmie Johnson’s complaints, NASCAR allowed a Fox TV camera in race control last weekend at Texas to show video of a speeder getting caught (in this instance Tony Stewart).
In addition, earlier in the weekend, a NASCAR official posted a picture on his Twitter account of the pit road speeding monitor screen.
Yet still NASCAR refuses to allow media or fans the ability to see every driver’s speed every time in real time.
In its effort this past week to try to defuse the controversy, NASCAR only made the situation worse. By officials posting pictures on Twitter of the screen and allowing Fox to video an instance of speeding, all NASCAR did was show it has the capability to show the results all the time.
In turn, that just begs the question: If NASCAR can show the speeding results occasionally, why can it not show them regularly?
Some sort of competitive advantage has been the usual reason cited, but NASCAR itself trounced that excuse by making exceptions to its long-standing policy this week of not showing the speeds.
The simple answer here is NASCAR doesn’t want to show the speeds.
What is still lacking is a legitimate explanation as to why.