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#NASCAR – the chase and the competition caution

I’ve droned on a bit here in favour of team orders, so you are forgiven if you think that I am in favour of races being manipulated, but doing it within a team is one thing, the organisers doing it is another.

When I go to the races I like to see cars and drivers race, but I understand the importance within a team of people working together. The DTM has taken this to an art form over the years, but it has been a part of motor racing since I can remember starting to follow it back in the 50s. The scenario where one driver might sacrifice themselves, or their car, to try and break the opposition is a classic example, especially in sports car racing.

That is part of team tactics and I have no problem with it; it all adds to the interest for me, but what I do object to is the organiser playing with the results.

The worst example of this for me is NASCAR’s competition caution. I someone has got themselves the best part of a lap clear after 450 miles then good luck to them I say, and to have a spurious yellow flag to bunch up the field for the last tenth of the race is tantamount to robbery. The argument that it makes things exiting sugests to me that those who are bored are not true race fans. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t watch these pointless All Star races where they run them in segments.

If NASCAR want a 50 lap races then let them run them, but if it’s a 500 miler then being able to run it and play the track and conditions is part of the skill. If you can get yourself set to win you should be able to do it without the organising body mucking up your afternoon and letting one of those teams that you have well beat to re-fettle themselves and pinch the prize from you.

This is why I also object so strongly to the Chase format. The season is the season and that should be it. Maniplulating the ending as NASCAR do now is the equivalent of putting out a competition caution on the season. If they want a 12 car 10 race championship then run one, but I won’t be watching it.

NASCAR, you’ve screwed up the Cup series for me, so please leave the second division and the truck series alone. If you want to make the racing better then start addressing unruly driving; cause a wreck and sit out the rest of that race plus the next. Cause another wreck within 5 races and sit out two races. Wreck on a restart in the last 20 laps and sit out three races (on top of any other penalty). That should start to wake up a few of the aggresive idiots that you have out there and we might even get to have a few good runs to the flag.


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