Over the last year and some change, the lack of respect amongst drivers as well as the eroding of driver etiquette has been a hot button issue for the sport. Some of the more outspoken drivers such as Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick have all pointed their fingers at the younger talent and have called NASCAR to address the issue.
If NASCAR’s Vice President of Competition has anything to say about it, though, action will not be taken by the governing body. To him, it’s just the way it is. It’s in the DNA of the sport.
You Need To Know:
- The overly aggressive way some drivers compete in NASCAR stems directly from the “Boys, have at it” slogan penned in 2010. This motto came after NASCAR received a lot of criticism from fans and drivers alike in regards to NASCAR’s then-tendency to over police their drivers. Taking a step back, NASCAR decided to allow the drivers to police themselves and form their own driver etiquette modeled after the behaviors of all-time greats like Mark Martin and Bill Elliott.
- Some of the older drivers still competing in the sport view many of the young up-and-coming drivers as disrespectful, feeling they blatantly ignore the driver etiquette that was followed so many years prior. Aggressive driving has and always will be a part of the NASCAR sport. That’s part of the appeal. But many drivers see a distinction between aggressive driving and just plowing a car into the corner and hoping for the best. This has brought up the age old question: When and how should NASCAR step in? Based on these comments today, it doesn’t seem as if NASCAR is too keen on intervening anyway.
- This issue has a lot of NASCAR fans split. While many adored the aggressive driving tendencies of Dale Earnhardt back in the 90s and Kyle Busch a little more recently, there is still a fraction of the fanbase that enjoys aggressive, tight racing – but do not want to see a wreck fest with 20 GWC attempts at the end of every race. Others view it as the way it has always been, siding with the VP of Competition. It’s a fairly even split, though the edge might just be granted to the former group.
The Main Characters
Denny Hamlin has been a key part of this issue from the beginning with his rivalry with Ross Chastain. Hamlin certainly feels differently with this snarky response to the original interview.
Justin Marks has long had his drivers backs, which includes Ross Chastain, often applauding his aggressive driving. Speaking to SiriusXM, he discusses the confrontation between his two drivers, Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, after the two tangled together during one of the many attempts at a green white checkered finish.
In The Stands
Daniel Priest questions the VP’s doubling down on the issue.
Alex Kerner thinks NASCAR fans (and drivers, for that matter) are making too big of a deal out of this, commenting on its entertainment value.
Greg believes that the race on Sunday (specifically at the end) was an embarrassment.
Bill Mahaffey calls for a new ideology when it comes to NASCAR. Maybe it’s time to evolve.
The NASCAR Shill doing their NASCAR Shill thing in this hilarious Tweet. As you know, NASCAR is perfect and always right!
Zach posts this image with no context at all…
SB-130 wants rough driving penalties to return. That can be a slippery slope but something must be done!
David Morris is firm in his belief that Hamlin wouldn’t even be that upset if he hadn’t admitted publicly to taking out Ross Chastain.
a person (I’m tired) points out the event that made NASCAR explode into the national conversation was at Daytona when the two leaders wrecked themselves. That’s aggressive driving for sure…but isn’t there a distinction somewhere?
On Your Screen
Daily Downforce partner, Jaret Lundberg (aka The Iceberg on YouTube) calls for NASCAR to regain control of their sport.
From The Pressbox
Steve Benko believes that Hamlin might have a strong case in his appeal after this foolish interview.
As this story continues to develop in the coming weeks (and, most likely, throughout the rest of the year) we at the Daily Downforce have got you covered. What do you think about the VPs comments? Were they justifiable or are you on the side of the drivers? Let’s discuss.