Friday, November 03, 2006

Don't do The Crime, Etc.

Oh, no, not Robby! He really did it this time. His actions at Atlanta last week--throwing foam roll bar padding out of his car, to bring out a caution, and a lucky dog pass for him--are unforgiveable. There is a difference between a misjudgement in driving--such as that at Daytona in 2001, which caused a very scary wreck between Ward Burton, Tony Stewart, and Bobby Labonte, or the one in New Hampshire in 2004 which took Stewart and Jeremy Mayfield out of championship contention--and intentionally creating a situation to change the outcome of the race. Not only did he change the outcome of the race, but he meddled with the standings, and interfered with Jeff Burton, who was racing his way to gain a lap when the caution flag flew. This is outright cheating in the worst way, and though I was able to forgive him for the driving errors, The caution-for-debris issue is way too dishonest to forgive.
It isn't that I don't like Robby Gordon. I consider him one of the most talented drivers in NASCAR today. Some of my readers might remember this item I posted early in the season. However, I feel that the penalty--two $15,000 fines, 50 driver's points and 50 owner's points, plus probation for the remainder of the calander year--is not stiff enough. NASCAR has, in the past, ended drivers' careers for lesser violations--for example Curtis Turner, the Dale Earnhardt, Jr of his time in popularity, was banned from NASCAR for trying to unionize the drivers. I'm not advocating that. I don't believe NASCAR should end a driver's career unless in the case of substance abuse policy violations. In my opinion, he should have been suspended for at least one race, and his top ten finish at Atlanta revoked, because his blatent cheating resulted directly in that finish. A driver of Gordon's talant should be held accountable for such actions.
Robby Gordon has said he will appeal the penalty on the grounds that it is too harsh. He really should just accept it and count his blessings that the penalty wasn't more appropriate for his actions. The appeals board could, he should realize, impose a harsher penalty, rather than reducing the one that was handed him by NASCAR.

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