Woody: Mechanical Malpractice In The Sprint Cup Garages?
Larry Woody | Senior Writer
Let’s see if I’ve got this straight:
Hendrick Motorsports supplies Tony Stewart with the engines that Tony uses to beat Hendrick Motorsports’ drivers.
Stewart sits atop the Sprint Cup standings and is a lock for the Chase, which means he’ll be a major threat – maybe THE major threat — to Jimmie Johnson’s bid for a record fourth-straight championship.
Stewart also regularly battles Hendrick’s three other drivers, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin, for choice finishes.
When he beats them, he does it thanks in part to a Hendrick-built motor.
I know racing is a business and I realize that Hendrick Motorsports has supplied a lot of motors for a lot of teams over the years.
But it still seems odd to aid the competition. It smacks of mechanical malpractice.
In racing, a fast car is a critical part of the equation. It’s not like football or baseball or basketball where all the teams use the same kind of ball.
Gaining a mechanical edge is part of the challenge in racing, yet having gained that edge, Hendrick Motorsports turns around and peddles it to the opposition.
I don’t know of any other sport in which one team so blatantly assists the team(s) it is trying to beat.
I used to consider stock car drivers the most competitive, victory-obsessed athletes in all of sport. I’m not so sure any more.
Remember when drivers allowed rivals to make a pass to get back on the lead lap? Now we see a driver allowing another driver to take the lead in order to get five bonus points (a teammate, granted, but a rival nevertheless.)
Seems to me these racing relationship are getting a bit too cozy.
Its fine for drivers to be best buds when the race is over, but out on the track it should be every man for himself.
I’ll never understand giving an opponent a helping hand – or, in the case of Hendrick, a helping motor.
If Stewart edges out Johnson – or Gordon or Martin – for the championship, wonder how boss Rick Hendrick will feel? Will he share the crushing disappointment of his driver, or will he praise the great job that Stewart did, thanks to his powerful Hendrick engine?
– Larry Woody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments