It was the best of races, it was the worst of races. Okay….for those not familiar, I am taking liberties with Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities. My problem is, never being a huge Dicken’s fan, that is about as far as I got in A Tale of Two Cities (scary considering my degree concentration is in literature).
The big bustle about Pocono last weekend was the record number of pit road speeding penalties. And when I say record number, I mean- as in EVER in any NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series race. That is not a record to be proud of. It seems that from everything I have read NASCAR added a timing segment to pit road increasing it from 9 to 10 segments or something like that. NASCAR claim they released a new map of the timing lines, they even showed the new map on TV and said that they went up and down pit road distributing the map- of course after a majority of teams had been dinged with speeding on pit road. I mean they said on TV that the majority of the penalties were within the same timing segment. Was this the “new” segment at the end? Did it extend the overall length of what is considered “pit road?” That was my thought during the race on Sunday. It doesn’t seem really fair to ding the drivers if they extended the line and weren’t proactive about making sure the drivers/crew chiefs/spotters knew about this.
The speeding debacle made me this about last season when I mentioned that I thought it was dumb to actually post where the speed traps on pitroad actually are. My thinking is this: the pit road speed limit came into being to protect the crew members. Crew members are out there dodging around cars with helmets and carrying things like huge racing tires. They are thinking about one thing and one thing only. Getting their job done fast and correctly. They dont’ want to be worried about being hit by a competitor who decides to slide into his pit stall. That was the reason a pit road speed limit was instituted. Good. Okay then if that is the case what sense does it make to tell drivers that “Hey we are going to check your speed on pit road here, here, here and down there” which gives them the opportunity to speed inbetween the lines and thus defeats the whole purpose of the pit road speed limit. My position has always been that NASCAR shouldn’t tell the drivers where they are checking the speed. They should pick 5 or 6 places to check speed and maybe even rotate the spots within the race. That way the drivers/teams are always guessing. That way the drivers will be forced to maintain a consistent pit road speed. It seems to be the “fairest” way of doing the speeding thing. But that is just my personal two cents right there.
To me the new scoring system isn’t logical when Tony has a CRAPPY race in Dover, finishes 25th (69 laps down) and goes UP in the points standings and then has a pretty darn good finish in Pocono (3rd!!!) yet stays the same in the points. It frustrates me. Tony is still 8th in the points and is currently 75 points out of the lead.
Next race? Michigan!