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Pedley: Stewart Showing Points System Is Half Bad

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, November 7 2011

Tony Stewart celebrates fourth Chase victory at TMS. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

The Second Day Lede

Some random thoughts on the third-to-last – and possibly most bizarre – week of the Sprint Cup season:

Tony Stewart has won half of the eight Chase races and he’s still second in points to Carl Edwards who has won zero Chase races and just one race the entire season.

So much for the current point system rewarding race victors.

Could Stewart go on to win the final two Chase races, giving him a .600 winning average in the 2011 playoffs and still not win the championship? No.

But, he could win one of the remaining two races, giving him victories in half of the 10 Chase races, and still lose to Edwards were the Roush Fenway driver to win at Phoenix or Homestead.

But, please, NASCAR, keep the napkin and pen in the drawer for a couple of years. Give everybody a chance to understand the current point system before doing any more late-night doodling.

As one of NASCAR’s rare drivers with a college education, Carl Edwards has proven highly adept with the spoken word over the years. If you can sit through his 30-second verbal commercials about his sponsors, you can usually come away with some good stuff during an interview.

But in his verbal battle with Tony Stewart, which started after the Martinsville race and continued on after Sunday’s race at Texas, Edwards has twice been sent back to his corner in need of a cut man.

Edwards’ counter-linguistics have been slow and ineffective. He seems baffled by Stewart’s warning-and-challenge tactics. But is he just playing declarative-a-dope? Ahead on points, he can use that tactic but he must be on guard against Stewart’s big round-house exclamatory.

Next up, the “Forensic in Phoenix”.

Pretty pathetic sight, that of  Kyle Busch sitting atop the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing pit box during

Kyle Busch spend his Sunday afternoon in Texas sitting on a pitbox. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

Sunday’s race: Sunglasses on, hang-dog look, hands in pockets.

The view here is that his punishment did not fit his crime. For a couple of reasons.

First, drivers have been spinning each other, wrecking each other, taking each other out of contention ever since Robin Pemberton issued that what-the-hell-does-that-mean sentence about boys having at a couple years ago.

You readers out there with good memories can count up the incidents of similar or worse important than Busch’s against Ron Hornaday Jr. for yourself.

Heck, we’ll start the ball rolling here with the incident in which Hornaday’s truck owner chased Busch around the track, and then into the pits, after the checkered flag waved at Darlington this year. That little beauty could have resulted not just in somebody’s championship being ended, but somebody in the pits life being ended.

Was Busch right to stomp on Horanday? Of course not. Horrible, inexcusable incident. But park him for Nationwide and Cup races? Absurd.

Especially when the cause of all this stuff has been created but issuing a cutesy phrase instead of firm policy.

See, in the absence of defined law, everything is legal.

More on Busch: If NASCAR really wanted to serve punitive notice that life- and championship-endangering actions will not be tolerated, it would have parked the No. 18 car.

You want to send a message to Busch and JGR and all other teams and drivers? Put the M&Ms car in the hauler and close the door. Park the sponsor.

Sponsor money runs big time auto racing these days. It runs the teams, the drivers, the shows.

Sponsors tell the sport to massage its back and the sport says: Shiatsu or Hot Stone?

One of the first tasks assigned to me by a new editor about 15 years ago was to do a piece on Jeremy Mayfield.

He was driving that wonderful Pegasus-liveried Cup car for Penske and he reshaped the image I had about NASCAR drivers. He was extremely likable, highly intelligent, uncharacteristically cooperative and overwhelmingly friendly – Mayfield, that is, not the editor.

I have been one of those who has been pulling for Mayfield during his recent personal but very public woes. I empathize and remain in that camp.

Finally…

I am so bummed about Kim and Kris are getting divorced. Mostly because of that expensive wedding gift I sent them. Here’s hoping Kim gets to keep it because I don’t think Kris would use a crock pot all that often…Congrats, Bill York on Chapman Award…Condolences to family of Big Russ…Mr. Warren, get better real quickly…Fans, be prepared to hear more than you want to hear about asphalt this week.

– Jim Pedley can be reached at jpedley@racintoday.com

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, November 7 2011
2 Comments

2 Comments »

  • carolyn says:

    What Kyle did was definitely a no-no, but was it any different than what Carl and Brad have done sending their cars flying up in the air? I don’t think Hornaday’s truck flew up in the air like those two cars did where they could have killed themselves and some of the fans.

  • lee b says:

    Kyle Bush got what he deserved. How many cars / trucks has he wrecked, spun over last several years? they talk about Edwards/ Kes, Gordon / Burton and others, But these drivers got over it and dont constanly wreck orspin other drivers like Bush does.

    You can take all ther other drivers on treck issues and add them up and still wount come close to what Klye has done.