Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Putting a Stop to Start-&-Parks Requires Help, Not Punishment

It can’t go on like this.

Something must be done.

It’s ruining our sport.

These are some of the things being said around the garage and in the grandstands about a practice that has popped up in NASCAR in the past few seasons: starting the race and parking the car early, claiming some phantom issue, and collecting the prize money for a finish that is usually somewhere between 35th and 43rd place.

Holding a Pretty Wheel: You Can’t Mandate Class – Where’s the Sportsmanship in Today’s NASCAR?

Racing is a sport of emotion. Passion runs deep, emotion often runs deeper, feelings get hurt, egos get bruised. That’s as old as the sport, and hopefully it will never change.

However, there is a fine line between racing passionately and racing without scruples. It’s a line that drivers will sometimes cross unintentionally in the heat of battle, and when they apologize and move on, can occasionally be forgiven for. But it seems like that line is being crossed quite often lately, without remorse or consequence. And NASCAR not only allows it, it seems that at times, when it suits their purposes, they condone it.

The line has a name. It’s called sportsmanship.