Monday, January 19, 2015

Cheating: A Nascar Retrospective

In yesterday’s AFC Championship game, the New England Patriots’ decisive win over the Indianapolis Colts was tarnished by accusations of cheating—namely that the Pats were intentionally deflating their allotment of footballs to increase catchability.  With all the allegations of cheating around the NFL (well, mostly just around the Pats, Cowboys and Saints) people may have forgotten Nascar’s occasional (well, constant) issues with cheating.  Here’s a look back at some of the more-memorable scandals that have been forgotten.

1938-1948—a group of moonshiners are caught, arrested, and serve their sentence, eventually enlisting in the military and returning to civilian life in blue-collar jobs.  The crew is roundly criticized for ruining Nascar’s narrative.

1964—Richard Petty makes a tactical error by lapping the field, bringing attention to his 853 cu. in. engine.

1972—Winston manages to promote its product through Nascar, despite it causing cancer, emphysema, and birth defects.

1981—Bobby Allison goes an entire day without cursing out anybody, resulting in a 50-point penalty (Conduct Detrimental to a Curmudgeon).

1984—Air Force One is forced to start from the back of the pack after arriving for the Firecracker 400 nearly an hour late.

1990—A not-quite-legal engine manifold causes Rick Wilson’s engine to explode in the latter stages of the Daytona 500, thus giving Derrick Cope a career.

1994—Geoff(rey) Bodine has his entire season stricken from the record books due to using Hoosier Tires on a number of race tracks located outside of Indiana.

2001—Casey Atwood is allowed to have a Cup career.

2012—Jimmie Johnson, a master of preparation and mental focus, whose professional life revolves around racing, claims to know nothing about what his crew chief is doing.