Let’s Be Honest, NASCAR Is Guilty


Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to NASCAR the fix is in, or at least that’s what a lot of fans want you to think.

The latest issue with NASCAR and “the fix” came this past weekend in Fontana. A couple of late cautions that some fans deemed questionable coupled with a non-caution on the last lap have led to an uproar from fans. The majority of these fans believe that NASCAR has rigged another race and that NASCAR has some sort of personal vendetta against Kurt Busch.

I will be the first one to stand up and tell you that NASCAR is guilty but they are not guilty of fixing anything. Not only is the sport not guilty of fixing races but they certainly don’t have hidden agendas that lead to them favoring certain drivers and punishing others.

Let’s go back to Fontana shall we? We will begin with the caution that has everyone up in arms, the one that took place prior to Kyle Larson losing the back of his car which resulted in another caution for a good reason. Below is a photo of the debris that led to that second-to-last caution.

California debris – Screen image courtesy of Brandon Pruitt via Twitter.

As you can see in the photo above, there was clearly debris on the track.

Now, let’s discuss Greg Biffle and NASCAR not throwing the caution at the end of the race which “stole” away a win from Busch. While Biffle did wreck on the last lap the thing that people need to understand is that he drove away from the wreck. Biffle didn’t collect other cars with him, he didn’t leave a field of debris on the track and he drove away well before any of the other cars would have had an issue with him. Basically NASCAR didn’t throw a caution because there was no need to throw a caution. Some will refer to Daytona this year and say that the “same thing” happened and NASCAR threw a caution then. Actually, the Daytona wreck on the last laps with Kyle Larson wasn’t the same. At Daytona NASCAR had to dispatch a safety truck to Larson because he couldn’t drive away.

Larson remained on the track and a caution was thrown whereas Biffle was able to exit the track and the race stayed green.

Then of course there is also the fact that Keselowski was going to pass Busch on that lap anyways. Heck, if Kevin Harvick had taken four tires instead of two he would have been the one winning the race this past weekend but none of that matters because it was clearly a screw job on Busch.

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The fix was not in this past weekend in Fontana much like the fix has never been in when it comes to NASCAR. The one thing that NASCAR is guilty of is trying to create a more competitive environment and better on-track action for their fans. NASCAR is guilty of making changes and trying to evolve. NASCAR making the chase after Kenseth was deemed a “boring champion” was a move made to make the product better. NASCAR constantly tweaking the rules while Johnson was winning five titles in a row was done in an effort to even out the competition. The new chase format which gives four drivers a legitimate shot to win a title every season was done to make the product more exciting for the fans.

Does NASCAR change their rules and procedures too often? Sure, they can be deemed guilty of that. However, is it fair to condemn them when these changes are made to create a better product?

The folks who sit out there and say that the sport is fixed are blind. Not only are they blind but in all honesty they are the kind of fans that NASCAR is trying to move away from and no longer needs. In 2015 and the age that we live in; if NASCAR was truly fixed don’t you think that someone out there would be talking about it besides fans? The thought that NASCAR could just fix their entire sport and not a single driver, team member, executive, owner, reporter or anyone else close to the sport would question it seems mind boggling. Those who think that NASCAR is fixed not only believe that NASCAR would jeopardize the integrity of their sport but by default they also believe that NASCAR has created one of the largest cover-ups in the history of the world.

Kurt Busch making the chase isn’t bad for the sport. If NASCAR didn’t want Busch in the chase they wouldn’t have granted him a waiver. The majority of NASCAR fans side with Busch and want him in the chase, Busch making the chase is a good story for NASCAR. You know what wasn’t a good story for NASCAR? Jimmie Johnson winning five consecutive championships. Fans don’t want to see the same driver winning a title every year. What sense would it make for NASCAR to fix races and let Johnson win five times in a row? NASCAR would have benefited far more if Johnson and four other of the sports top drivers won titles in that five year span.

In the end those who believe the conspiracy theories will never take off their tin foil hats long enough to be persuaded otherwise. Of course, one has to wonder why folks who believe so strongly in such things still watch the sport. After all this isn’t WWE where you’re told ahead of time that you’re going to be watching a highly entertaining show with predetermined outcomes. Why continue to watch a sport that lies to you and misleads you every single week? You would think that those who believe NASCAR is fixed would just go away and in the end maybe they will go away.

NASCAR is trying to evolve, NASCAR is trying to reach a younger audience. NASCAR is trying to get folks to talk about how exciting the sport is. With change comes hesitation and with change comes naysayers. NASCAR is guilty of change but that’s really all they are guilty of. The great thing about sports is that if you don’t like what you see you can stop watching. Those of you that were up in arms after the race on Sunday are obviously still watching, so what does that say?

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