Race Weekend Central

Voices From the Cheap Seats: NASCAR Conspiracy Theory – Are the Helicopters Really Black?

When it comes to conspiracy theories, the world is full of them. Hell, it’s been almost 50 years now and we still are a country divided on whether there was someone on the grassy knoll! Some say, though not usually people you’d take home to meet your mother, that there was not even a grassy knoll, just more of a “slight rise in the landscape…” but they are mostly crackpots.

Over the years, NASCAR has abounded with conspiracy theories. They are a dime a dozen, everything from “NASCAR favors this (or that) driver/owner” to “NASCAR faked Dale Earnhardt’s death in order to boost popularity ratings.” We, well most of us anyways, take them with a grain of salt.

Yet even though most of the population – OK, let me rephrase that, population that still possesses common sense – won’t believe the latest conspiracy theory someone may throw out there, we still sit there and wonder… how in the heck did someone come up with that! I mean, it’s become such a fascination that “they” even make television documentaries out of it, such as: our own government blew up the Twin Towers, for reasons I didn’t catch or were so absurd I’d forgotten.

At any rate, I don’t consider myself to be a “conspiracist.” Oh sure, over the years, I may have written some stuff that many have thought were “way out there” when it comes to NASCAR; but most of it, if not all, has never been proven to be untrue! Even so, thinking back to “how do these people come up with this stuff,” I’ve always felt a bit jealous that I never came up with my “own” way out there (or is it?), conspiracy theory… until now!

It is no secret that my favorite driver is Carl Edwards. In 2008, Edwards won nine of 36 races in the Cup Series. It was a banner year! Finally, there was someone who might challenge Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus. But what has happened since? He’s gone winless in 50 starts, while his organization, Roush Fenway Racing, hasn’t won since Talladega last fall.

What’s the problem? Everyone’s scratching their heads; but while perusing our Frontstretch forums the other day, someone brought up the point that, since the “testing ban” imposed by NASCAR at the end of 2008, the entire Jack Roush organization has been lacking a bit. The reason, it seems, not just on our forums but others as well, was that Jack had taken the testing ban “to the letter,” and had/has resorted to a more “digital” approach, relying on technology and simulators.

Now, no one can deny that the RFR teams of Edwards, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth have not really lived up to expectations of the last year and a half, but the blame has seemed to be placed squarely on Jack’s shoulders – all for following the “letter of NASCAR’s law” and foregoing actual testing altogether.

But wait! There is another element that is at play here… and that is Goodyear!

Someone on our forums, while commenting on the RFR downturn, happened to mention the fact that, just a few years ago when testing was allowed, Goodyear had a hard time finding teams that would actually do a “public” tire test, just because obviously, since it would involve competing organizations, the knowledge would not be “privileged” to any one team! It was at that moment, when I read that, my own conspiracy theory began to take shape.

Now what I am about to say, I classify a conspiracy theory for a couple of reasons. One, I could be totally off base and just been drinking too much lately. Two, having said that, if I am right, well, you heard it here first! Remember, this is just something to mull over in your mind whilst sitting on the throne in the morning (or whenever). I will print it as I first wrote it on our forums, or as it occurred to me, so it may come off as a bit crude… in other words, right to the point!

“Consider this… could it be that NASCAR implemented the ‘no testing’ rule (however it reads) just to help out their longtime butt buddy, Goodyear?”

“I mean, everyone, from the media to the fans to the drivers, wanted Goodyear’s head on a platter just a couple of years ago (or less) because of the total POS CRAPPY tires they were providing! Perhaps it was meant, in reality, to “save” Goodyear money and Goodyear’s ass… thereby saving one of NASCAR’s biggest pocket liners! I mean, how much did Goodyear pay to be the only tire allowed on the track at their last renegotiation? And didn’t that renegotiation and the ban all take place about the same time???”

The black helicopters are circling!!!!!”

For the record, I’m not necessarily a true believer of my own conspiracy theory, but it was sort of an epiphany at the time! It all seemed to gel.

You may believe what you want. I’m just throwing possible scenarios out there, but I have been told one thing for a fact concerning my theory… the helicopters are not black. They are midnight blue!

At least we got that straight!

Stay off the wall (and off the “net”… no… wait, well read this bit anyway!)

Jeff Meyer

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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