This I Believe

Allyson - Kissimmee, Florida
Entered on August 22, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe NASCAR is taking the sport out of racing. I’ve been an avid NASCAR fan since I was a toddler, and I went to my first race when I was 5 years old in 1991. Back then, rubbing was racing. Drivers could bump each other and not get scolded by NASCAR.

Just this past weekend, there was an incident that happened on the track between Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Dale Jr. spun Carl out with two laps to go, and Carl retaliated when the race was over by driving his wrecked car back onto the track and body slamming Dale Jr. Then Carl went to victory lane to have a talk with Earnhardt Jr. just to let him know how he felt. Nothing serious happened, but NASCAR felt the need to call both drivers to the hauler to have a “talk” with them about controlling their tempers. Come on! The fans love it when drivers let the others know how they’re feeling.

NASCAR has issued all kinds of new rule changes, such as the way the point’s race is set up. Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship in 2003, and he only won one race that year. Other drivers in the past have done that, but the “new” NASCAR thought it wasn’t fair that he was being consistent with his finishes; they thought drivers with more wins should be in the points lead. They decided to change the rules (again) by making it a ten race chase to the Nextel Cup. Anyone within 400 points or in the top ten is eligible to be in the chase. Plus, after all that hard work the drivers did earning points and increasing their points lead, NASCAR decided to separate the drivers by 5 point increments, making sure that anyone in eleventh place and down had no chance of winning the championship.

There is a commitment cone at the beginning of pit road that the drivers must drive to the inside of if they’re making a pit stop. No more faking out other drivers to try and get them to accidentally pit.

At super speedways, such as Talladega and Daytona, drivers can no long pass below the yellow line.

At short tracks, the only way to pass is called the “bump and run” maneuver. If a driver does it too many times, it’s considered rough driving. The penalty for rough driving is to make a pit stop and go down a lap. Where’s the fun it that? Has it gotten to the point where NASCAR needs to treat the drivers like children?

I remember my Dad telling me a story about the first race to be broadcast on television. It was the 1979 Daytona 500. On the last lap, Cale Yarborough and Donne Allison got together coming to the checkered flag and wrecked, giving the win to Richard Petty. Both drivers got out of their cars and began throwing punches at each other. Back then, NASCAR just let them have at it. No one stopped them, and no one punished them for fighting. Today, both drivers would have been suspended for a few races for expressing their opinions.

There is no racing in racing anymore. Bring back the good old days where rubbing was racing, beating and banging was allowed, and drivers had the chance to voice their opinions.