Race Weekend Central

Potts’s Shots: Is Pushing Against NASCAR Rules?

Right to the Q&A again this week.

Don Eslinger, as I noted last week, asked a question about a well-known dirt stock car driver who was reportedly found dead in his road car. As I also noted, I was researching it.

Well, Don, I suspect you’re thinking about Muriel Jackson Boggs, also known as Black Jack Boggs, of Grayson, Ky. Boggs was found dead in his truck in early 2000 and had been shot to death. There are quite a few rumors about it, but I’m not going into those. Another man from the same area, Carson Dailey, was found guilty of the murder and sentenced to 20 years. This is the only case I’ve found which fits your question.

He was an amazing driver, and I had the pleasure of watching him several times back in the day. Jack Boggs was posthumously inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame in 2001.

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And our friend Sally Baker writes again, saying:

Great response to my question (and I loved your personal experience), but it doesn’t really answer my question. Jr was plastered against J.J.’s bumper across the line. We all know that a car without a ‘pusher’ loses ground fast. Isn’t that an assist? Which reminds me of another reason to hate the ‘two-car tango’ at the plate tracks these days.

With the need of a two-car hookup, there are basically only half the cars in the field with a shot at the win. Junior told J.J. they were faster with him pushing (I assume because J.J.’s car wasn’t fast enough to stay tight to Jr.’s bumper). Therefore, he basically accepted that he would not go for the win because he had to push J.J. across the line. That sucks.

Sally, I have to agree with you. The whole situation sucks. As I said in the last column, I don’t like this chain racing without chains, either. As far as I know, the rule says a car must be under power on its own when it crosses the finish line on the last lap. Does the fact that another car is “plastered” up against it when that happens matter? It’s happened many times in the past, even without the two-car draft situation we have prevailing today at Daytona and Talladega.

NASCAR’s rules mean whatever NASCAR says they mean. And there are times when some very interesting rule interpretations are applied. I’ve told this story before, but I think it’s worth retelling in this context.

It was when I was with the first K&K Insurance Dodge crew at Daytona in 1966, where we learned how they did things firsthand. I had just finished taking the window cranks for the quarter-glass out of our 1965 Dodge, and putting some very nice sheetmetal covers over them. They were rolled up, of course.

Norris Friel, then NASCAR’s chief inspector, came along, stuck his head in the driver’s window and told me he wanted the sheetmetal removed and the cranks reinstalled. He said, “I want you to be able to raise and lower the quarter-glass in this car with the window cranks.”

I got out of the car and looked at the car next to us in the garage. It was a Ray Nichels-prepared Charger. There were no window cranks in the back of that one, either. Harry Hyde walked up about then and asked what the problem was. Mr. Friel told him the same thing he had told me.

I said, “Mr. Friel, there’s no window cranks in the back of that Charger. They can’t roll those windows up and down.” Before Harry could protest, Mr. Friel said, “I’m not inspecting THAT car, I’m inspecting THIS one.”

I put the cranks back in. I tried to keep tabs on what was going on and as far as I know, we had the only Mopar product in the Daytona 500 that year with operating window cranks.

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