Have NASCAR drivers had enough of “Boys, have at it”?
In the hours after Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, there was a lot of discussion among NASCAR fans and media members about the fact that 900 miles of racing had been completed in back-to-back weekends without a single wreck.
There were lots of reasons offered, such as the high winds at Texas and Kansas; hard tires; aerodynamic issues; and so on. Many have been stated before. One – proffered by driver Brad Keselowski – was new.
On Twitter, Keselowski noted that drivers may be less inclined to put themselves in position to accidently run into someone because those drivers now have a “free pass” at intentional retaliation.
At first it sounds iffy. If a driver accidently gets into another one, why would that driver then want to intentionally wreck him back?
For one, whether an action on the track is intentional or not is in the eye of the beholder. Just because the driver who commits the act didn’t intend it to happen doesn’t mean the driver who was hit has to believe that.
And Keselowski is right. The “boys, have at it” mantra gives drivers an open invitation to settle things among themselves.
Has the ability and willingness of drivers to take retaliatory action now dissuaded others to not put themselves in position for it to happen in the first place?
Think about this. If only one on-track incident has been avoided in the first eight races of the season because of that reason, the entire premise of “loosening the reigns” of NASCAR’s regulatory powers has been lost.
Instead of “opening things up,” an even larger clamp will have been placed on the participants.
That’s certainly not what anyone intended.