The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 14, 2012

NASCAR’S new dilemma

(Continued)

NORMAN —

So NASCAR relaxed at the start of the next season, using a “Boys, Have At It” policy that allowed the drivers to police themselves.

The boys tested NASCAR just four races in when Carl Edwards waited 153 laps for his crew to fix his car for the sole purpose of getting back on the track at Atlanta to wreck Brad Keselowski. Edwards’ high-speed contact sent Keselowski’s car airborne, and there were immediate calls for Edwards to be suspended.

But doing so would have been the immediate end of the policy, and Edwards instead got off with a mere three races of probation. The boys have been allowed to have at it ever since.

There has been bumping and banging, and Tony Stewart’s threats to wreck each and every driver who blocks him from now until the end of time. There’s an occasional flare-up, an intentional act or two, and NASCAR intervenes when needed.

Then came last November at Texas, when Busch blatantly put Hornaday, a championship contender, into the wall under caution.

Unlike Edwards, he absolutely deserved to be suspended.

Where NASCAR erred was in insisting that Busch had been suspended solely for the Hornaday incident when he had been out of control most of last season and arrogantly behaving as if his talent made him untouchable. In fact, Hornaday had called for Busch to be suspended for that weekend’s Cup race, an option Busch seemed to dismiss in an interview after the accident.

By suspending him the next morning, NASCAR sent a message it was in charge and Busch better start behaving.

Gordon’s decision to wreck Bowyer — he says Bowyer deserved it for a season’s worth of misdeeds — is more like the Edwards incident. Or perhaps more like another incident last season, when Brian Vickers promised retaliation against Matt Kenseth and then rode Kenseth’s back bumper until Kenseth turned into the wall. Vickers got no penalty.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

Facebook