Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This just in: Blocking is not against NASCAR rules

   My two cents

   This just in: Blocking is not against the rules in NASCAR.

   Actually, it’s not ‘just in’ but with all the discussion the past two weeks over Tony Stewart’s criticism of Joey Logano’s blocking move at Auto Club Speedway, you’d think the issue somehow remained unaddressed in NASCAR.

   For as long as NASCAR has existed, there has never been anything in the NASCAR rulebook (in any of its three national series) prohibiting blocking.

   Other motorsports series do frown on the practice – notably Formula One and IndyCar – but not NASCAR.

   That doesn’t mean it may not always be “appropriate” in terms of driver etiquette.

   Now, some drivers may decide they won’t tolerate it from their competitors and vow to wreck those who do it, even though they employ the move themselves. Please see Stewart on multiple occasions during his career in regards to that example.

   Ryan Newman, on a teleconference this week, went so far as to call blocking “a chicken way of driving.” Yet he is often selected as the driver most difficult to pass by his competitors.

   The newest “big story” in NASCAR may be the use of blocking, but the bottom line is, the issue of right or wrong lies in the eyes of drivers affected.

   As long as there remain no guidelines to its use in the NASCAR rulebook, the only ramifications will be from fellow competitors.

   For 60-plus years that appears to have been enough to keep the practice in check.

   But even if it isn’t, this is still racing.
   If someone is trying to get by another driver, why would they expect to complete the pass without being fast enough to do so?

   You could always try IndyCar - it has a button you can press when you aren't fast enough to pass.

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