What went down between Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon at Talladega left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Even if Trevor was “ordered” to do it by team or manufacturer orders and just left to be the patsy, I still don’t like it. Either way it makes the driver look bad and it’s going back on one’s word. I don’t like that. Not to mention the fact that it pretty much wrecked any chance at all that Jeff might have had to win the championship. Sure it may have been a long shot but he still had a chance and now he pretty much doesn’t. All because Trevor said he would work with him and then pulled away when the green flag dropped on that last run. That is nothing to be proud of, nothing at all. I liken it to those television shows, usually targeted at tweens and geeks, where the not-so-popular girl gets asked to the prom by the school’s star jock as some sort of sad joke…she dresses up as pretty as can be and ends up left at home while he is really dancing with cheerleader at the prom.
I had heard the rumblings after the race about Paul Menard purposely holding back during the start to give his teammates more of a chance to pull away into the lead. Initially I dismissed it as Tony Stewart fans being unhappy because it just didn’t work out as well as they would have liked. That was until I read this article on SBNation in which Tony Stewart says that someone in Tony’s trailer heard Paul Menard’s conversation on an alternate channel. Of course Richard Childress Racing vehemently denies these allegations- much like they did when confronted about radio communication showing that Paul Menard’s spin at Richmond to bring out a caution sounded intentional.
To quote Tony Stewart at his Q&A session at the NASCAR Hall of fame (in the above mentioned SBNATION article) on Tuesday afternoon- ”I hate team orders.” At it’s best, it can only be called unsportsmanlike. It looks bad when teams are resorting to what can only be described as lying and trickery. I sat here for ten minutes and tried to think of a nice, less inflammatory word to use but I am currently at a loss. It makes the drivers, teams, their sponsors and manufacturers all look bad. For instance- when David Gilliland told Tony that he was told not work with him by his manufacturer, while I don’t like that- I understand it. At least he told him well in advance and didn’t pretend in the last two laps that he would work with him and them dump him. I can only say it’s bad karma and we all know what they say about karma. Have they not watched those tween tv shows and movies I mentioned above? Usually the girl left behind get’s revenge somehow. Unfortunately the racing at Talladega and Daytona breeds this behavior amongst certain teams. I don’t have the answer on how to fix it unfortunately. But something needs to be done because it is making the sport that I love look bad.
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