This week has been a mess for all NASCAR fans.
First it was Michael Waltrip Racing, who's driver Clint Bowyer spun out intentionally to cause a caution. Then NASCAR also found evidence about Brian Vickers coming down pit road. All three MWR teams were fined 50 points prior to the Chase and Martin Truex Jr was removed from the Chase and Ryan Newman became the second wild card driver. At the time NASCAR said they couldn't put Jeff Gordon in the Chase because they couldn't control the ripple down effect. It made perfect sense.
Then came the news that the teams of Joey Logano and David Gilliland struck a deal to let Logano by and get an extra point. Logano finished just one point ahead of Jeff Gordon to finish tenth in the standings, giving him the last points position in the Chase.
Brian France said in a press conference Friday that nothing conclusive was found in the Logano and Gilliland situation, however, he still decided that Gordon would be added to the Chase, adding a 13th driver. It's almost comical how NASCAR has made the Chase a joke. Martin Truex Jr did nothing wrong and was taken out of the Chase because NASCAR couldn't add a 13th driver, because it would have been ridiculous.
Then Brian France put his fingers in it. France's quotes all but showed that he had the final determination on the Gordon situation. Sure the Jeff Gordon fans are happy that their driver has an outside chance at a fifth championship. Of course they would be happy, there is no doubt that Jeff Gordon fans will watch the Chase with more interest than they would have before the penalty.
Not one time in this article I have mentioned racing, which is something NASCAR has gotten away from. Instead of focusing on the wide open Chase that NASCAR has in front of them for the first time in years, Brian France makes the unthinkable move of adding a 13th Chase driver just two days before the race, moving all the attention to that. You have to wonder what goes through his mind.
Sure there is the saying that no publicity is bad publicity but that is false. When the people outside the sport are looking at NASCAR as a joke, it's a frustrating thing for people who want the sport to thrive and want to help promote the sport to new fans. How can I tell my friends to watch this when there is all this craziness about the Chase. It's confusing and frustrating.
It didn't need to be. There was no conclusive evidence found on the Logano/Gilliland situation. You can't prove that Gilliland let Logano by on purpose.
When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fires their engines on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET it will be a relief. That's when all the attention will be focused on one thing, racing, just like it used to be!
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