NASCAR: Controversy Art Thy Name

Katrina ShankleAnalyst IJune 18, 2008

Steroids, dog fighting, million dollar lawsuits...

The world of professional sports has become an ugly place as of late.

NASCAR had quite the drama filled week. Mauricia Grant levied a $225 million discrimination / harassment lawsuit against the sport. On Friday, the organization called a meeting that gave drivers a slap on the hand for complaining too much about the COT. Somewhere in there, NASCAR managed to run a race in Michigan on Sunday. Of course, Sunday's race was packed with controversy as well. Dale Earnhardt Jr. coasted to victory on fumes.

If the rumors and assumptions that NASCAR gave him the race by not punishing him for passing the pace car could have fueled his car Junior would still be out there running laps. Brian Vickers was threatened with a black flag if he didn't surrender his position to the #8 of Mark Martin, a car he'd passed two laps earlier. Now, many are speculating this was NASCAR's way of slowing Vickers' march toward the front and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sunday's race was definitely unusual. But was it really controversial?

Not so much controversial as inconsistent, something NASCAR has always had a major issue with. Inconsistency has long plagued the sport. Choosing to enact a penalty and/or rule based on the situation occurs often. It just seems that NASCAR is accused of cheating based on the driver in the inconsistent situation. Why does the NASCAR fan base believe one driver receives favors and assistance from the higher-ups of the sport and doesn't accuse the Smith family of assisting another driver under equally unusual circumstances?

"NASCAR has given Toyota more horsepower to dominate, they don't punish Kyle Busch for his aggressive driving style, Dale Jr. should have been penalized a lap for coasting by the pace car once."  So many conpiracy theories, so little time.

Isn't the sport entertaining enough to watch without theorizing what the plotline is of every NASCAR race? It's a sport, not a soap opera.