Friday, November 9, 2018

Overhauling Nascar’s Penalty System: Pros and Cons

Nascar’s recent penalty of Kevin Harvick for using an unapproved spoiler setting has, as usual, set up a firestorm of criticism towards Nascar.  Oddly enough, some are claiming that Nascar was too strict in penalizing Harvick 40 points and not allowing his win to count towards playoff advancement, while some felt that Nascar didn’t go far enough.  With Nascar reportedly looking at changing its penalty system for failing inspection next season, here’s a look at the different ways the sanctioning body could go, with the associated pros and cons of each plan.

STAY THE SAME—things stay exactly as they are, with drivers being penalized points and wins not being allowed to be used for playoff advancement, while race victories stand in the record books.
Pro: A measured response allows for nuance and understanding amongst the fanb—sorry, I can’t even type it anymore.
Con: Reminds everyone of the year of encumbered wins (shudder).

GO LENIENT—wins by cars that fail inspection are still not counted for playoff advancement, but with no points being deducted, a driver in Kevin Harvick’s situation would still be able to easily “point” his way in.
Pro: Awesome when its your favorite driver who’s innovating in the gray area to gain a competitive edge.
Con: Horrible when its your most-hated driver who’s blatantly cheating to gain an unfair advantage.

GO STRICTER—wins are taken away when a car fails inspection, no exceptions.
Pro: Excitement of tuning into Nascar America on Wednesday to find out if the winning car made it through Nascar tech.
Con: Being reminded a dozen times each post-race “…now these results are unofficial”.

GO STRICTEST—if a car fails pre-race inspection, that car is not allowed to race that weekend.
Pro: Well, qualifying coverage would finally be interesting again.

Con: Just think of how angry sponsors like Tennessee Shine Co, Bully Sticks, and Dustless Blasting would be.