Thursday, March 22, 2007

NASCAR Inspections vs Practice

Why does Dale Jarrett look so concerned? (These pix were taken from the Neon Garage at the Vegas race.)

He was intently watching the action on the track. The track was busy with his fellow competitors who are already out on the track for practice. DJ's car was still in the inspection bay.

I remember a few years ago, Hermie Sadler complained that the 'back burners' (my term, not his) were always struggling to get through inspection while the other cars had a full use of the practice session. It was always ironic that those who needed the practice most were not able to utilize the full session. Most fans did not take notice of that situation when Hermie said it. After all, it was someone who was not a regular to the series, and one who traditionally did not run up front.

This year, we have some name drivers that are now being hampered by the inspection process cutting into practice time. There will soon be a few name drivers who will discover that being at the back of the line is going to hurt them.

To be fair, this situation usually only happens the first few races of the year, as the teams usually get the cars in better shape before heading into inspection later in the season. And this year, due to the Car of Tomorrow, the inspections will be open for a full day before the first practice both for Bristol and for Martinsville. NASCAR says that in this case they want plenty of time to work with the teams on the new car.

Now, should NASCAR create longer or earlier inspection times for the rest of the races? In my opinion, no!

This process has been in place for quite awhile. A few years ago, when we were having problems filling the field, there were no problems getting the cars through tech in plenty of time. The situation this year is made larger due to the huge entry lists. NASCAR should not be adjusting their rules based on something that will cycle out.

And if NASCAR were to make that large of an adjustment, then the howling would begin that it was made to help some of the 'big names' that are low in the points. Send up the black helicopters again!

1 comment:

racefan57 said...

yeah...the inspection process is pathetic

nice pics of dale...i wish that he could actually qualify

have a good day