NASCAR too quick to cancel qualifying, should be more flexible with schedule
Three drivers -- Scott Speed, Brad Keselowski and Bryan Clauson -- were going to attempt to make their first ever start in a Cup race. Also, where would the Chase contenders line up on Saturday night?
But Mother Nature stepped in, and tonight’s qualifying session was rained out.
I’m fully aware NASCAR can’t control the weather, but they miss the ball when these situations occur by immediately setting the field by points.
I see no logic in NASCAR’s mindset that qualifying can only be done at one time, and can never be postponed to the next morning. The schedule must be more flexible, as the teams that come to qualify have put a lot of time and money into their cars, and effort should be made to give them the chance to qualify. These cancellations are especially hard on the smaller, less-funded teams.
After the 2000 season, NASCAR struck a blow to these smaller teams by getting rid of second-round qualifying. Under the old format, the top 25 drivers were locked in after the first qualifying session. Then, the following day, teams were given the option to make another attempt at qualifying, and by posting an improved time they could bump out drivers who had made it on the first day.
Now, in what comes off to me as kicking the little guy when he’s down, NASCAR in recent years has completely abandoned the thought that maybe they could squeeze in qualifying the next day when rain hits. This is especially troubling when it happens at tracks where a lot of part-timers try out such as Watkins Glen, when proven talents like Boris Said are often left out of the race because their part-time status leaves them out of the lineup due to a rainout. Doing so robs the viewer of a race featuring the best and most talented drivers, and is the wrong thing to do.
Also, situations like today, where a lot of young talent is trying to make the race, are also completely ruined by NASCAR’s inflexibility with its weekend schedule. Adding insult to injury, a revised track schedule announced late Thursday gives the Nationwide drivers an early practice session Friday. That would have been a perfect time for Cup qualifying.
NASCAR has no justification for simply refusing to fudge its schedule a little bit in these situations. They owe it to the drivers, teams and fans to do everything they can to allow qualifying to happen … and it’s clear they really don’t care whether qualifying happens, which is a shame.
Drivers don't forget
Drivers often try to pass off that after a wreck, they forget about who caused it and move on. Apparently Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards don't subscribe to that theory. According to reports, Edwards left a note on Harvick's airplane "thanking" Harvick for the disparaging comments he made about Edwards' driving at Talledega, which caused a wreck that collected Harvick. According to published reports, the note sarcastically read, "I was really trying to screw up everyone's day. Love, Carl."
Once the teams arrived at the Charlotte garage, Edwards apparently went to talk to Harvick, and things got a bit heated. According to reports, Harvick tried to walk away and Edwards grabbed him and spun him around. Then, Harvick shoved Edwards. Crew members got involved to separate them and Edwards ended up in a headlock.
Considering Harvick was right about the way Edwards drove at Talladega, he really had no right to start trouble about the comments. Harvick called it like it is, and apparently Edwards doesn't like it when people speak the truth. Between this silly incident, which was clearly instigated by Edwards, and pretending he was going to hit his own teammate Matt Kenseth after an argument last year, it's no wonder Edwards doesn't appear to have too many friends in the garage area.