Is NASCAR Really Behind The "Start and Park" Teams?

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst IMarch 11, 2009

NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton has promised to go after alleged "start and park" teams in NASCAR's premier series.

It's being done, apparently, to maintain the competition level in the Sprint Cup Series, which is already seriously lacking due to the C.O.T. and the lead car's advantage.

"We owe it to the garage area [to make sure] that everybody is on the up-and-up," Pemberton said at Atlanta this past weekend.

"When they call [they’re] out, we will continue to look at what put those cars at. What we’re going to encourage at this level here is that people participate and do what they can do to race. What we want to prevent is someone legitimately trying to do a race setup and getting bumped out by somebody that may have gone above and beyond what the spirit of the rules are."

However, new allegations say that the sanctioning body itself is to blame for the problem.

An unnamed source told "NASCAR came to me and said they wanted more cars, they wanted to park," said the owner/driver. "[So] we were going to go out there (Fontana) and do a start and park…for NASCAR."

The Camping World Truck Series owner/driver declined NASCAR's offer.

With a weak economy, some were worried that the sport would struggle filling the fields. So far, it hasn't been a problem.

While starting and parking a car is nothing new-- Kirk Shelmerdine made eighteen races in 2004, never finished one of them and still came home with over a million dollars in his pocket.

Pemberton admitted this past weekend that there "will be a little more leniency" when it comes to the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series.

"There’s people that aren’t top-10 cars but they compete against other people that are 25th through 35th," Pemberton said. "We need to encourage those guys to race each other."