As the 2013 season and the generation six era of NASCAR begins to reach its state of normalcy, many questions remain as to the consistency of the quality of racing fans will see on the track. Teams continue to familiarize themselves with the new car, but after a slow start to the season at the Daytona 500, Phoenix International Raceway, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, drivers and members of the media had reasons to question not only the generation six car design, but the sanctioning body itself.
The primary example of this was Denny Hamlin being critical of the generation six car at Phoenix, and as a result receiving a $25,000 fine. Despite Hamlin’s initial temptation to fight the fine, the governing body won, and freedom of speech was silenced.
Brian France reiterated his opinion on the matter in a phone interview with the Associated Press, saying that drivers would not be allowed to (criticize) “the quality of the racing product in any way, form or fashion.”
According to the NASCAR boss, driver’s opinions are invalid because all of the circumstances surrounding racing, such as setup and overall driver ability, make a drivers opinion about the rules package invalid.
From a sport whose mantra continues to be “boys have at it” this subject seems to make the France family very cautious. Fans continue to grow, but this censorship seems to continue along the lines of older fans being left by the wayside. NASCAR continues to defend its own brand, but not defend the integrity of the sport.
“Debris cautions” occur nearly every week, creating fake green-white-checkered finishes while destroying the integrity of races. The chase itself, the series biggest moneymaker, destroys the integrity of a true championship. Cookie-cutter tri-ovals riddle the circuit, while short-tracks and road courses now only make rare appearances on the schedule. Continually, the racing will take a backseat to the drama, but now NASCAR wants to restrict what type of publicity it creates. Fans need to speak out, and send a message that this is unacceptable.
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