The Sound of Silence and the Fury

Drawing the line between fact and opinion.

Watkins Glen and Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) or Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing but we’ll turn a blind eye when the sponsors like it *wink wink* *nudge nudge*)

Posted by Justin Johnson on Monday, August 13th, 2007

Facts:
Kevin Harvick and Juan Pablo Montoya, after a lap 75 spin, had a bit of a shoving match on the runoff area of Turn 1 at Watkins Glen.

“I don’t think they were fighting,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition. “They were discussing things.” Said series director John Darby, “I thought it was cool as hell.” – ESPN, “Spins, scraps and crazy fans; Stewart wins wild Watkins Glen” by David Newton. The fight was later broken up by NASCAR officials and another driver.

Tony Stewart, after the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard a few weeks back, was fined, under section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rulebook, $25,000 and was also docked 25 driver championship points for saying the word “bullshit” on TV.

After the altercation to ESPN, Harvick stated, on air:  “I was talking about kicking his ass, because that’s how I felt about him.” However, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Harvick will not be penalized for using the word “ass” on live television. “It doesn’t violate FCC [Federal Communications Commission] regulations,” Tharp said. And Tharp doesn’t expect any penalties to come from the shoving match between the two drivers either. – NASCAR.COM, “Harvick, Montoya nearly come to blows after wreck” by Raygan Swan.

Opinions:
Let us open our copies of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rulebook to Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing).

*crickets*

You mean you don’t have copies? Me neither. As we’ve all come to know, NASCAR does not release its Rulebooks to the public. Shame.

Robin Pemberton’s an ass (*ding*). “They were discussing things.” he says. A discussion… that’s bullshit! (*bzzt* Section 12-4-A: -$25,000 and -25 points) How many discussions do you know of involve shoving? Those are called fights. Two guys had to wedge their bodies in between the two. Nice try at covering, but you just sound like an idiot. A discussion… Pshaw.

And Harvick’s little ass kicking comment… O… M… G. Are you bullshitting (*bzzt* Section 12-4-A: -$25,000 and -25 points) me? You have to be fucking (*bzzt* Section 12-4-A: -$25,000 and -25 points) crazy. *scoff* NASCAR…. what an ass (*ding*). I think that says it all.

So, now we’re left with questions: 

Can anybody explain why a Turn 1 shoving match is NOT an action detrimental to stock car racing?
Can anybody explain — FCC regulations notwithstanding — how talking about kicking another driver’s ass is NOT an action detrimental to stock car racing?

I can! THE SPONSORS LIKED IT! The big clue: “I thought it was cool as hell.” said the SERIES DIRECTOR. And who does he take his cues from? The series sponsors. If the sponsors think it was cool (and, admittedly, it was cool), then the series director will. Both Harvick and Montoya’s primary sponsors are in the same field of business (automotive products), last week we saw the battle of the beer (Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s Budweiser vs. Kurt Busch’s Miller Lite) and this week we saw the battle of oil (I guess somebody will come up with a better name). I can see the commercials now…

Final Words:
Based on the above:

  • Getting out of your cars after a wreck and shoving a colleague is not an action detrimental to stock car racing.
  • Talking about, on basic cable no less, kicking a colleagues ass is not an action detrimental to stock car racing.
  • If I were a driver, I would be out $75,000 and 75 drivers points for the sarcastic/expletive content of this post. I’d probably be on probation too. NASCAR fuckers (*bzzt* Section 12-4-A: -$25,000 and -25 points). Damn it. So much for my dream of being in The Chase.

But really, the keyword in the rule is “detrimental”. Since they aren’t expected to get penalties, their actions weren’t detrimental, right? So, therefore, it stands to reason that SOMEBODY in ‘NASCARdom’ is profiting.

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