Monday, 28 November 2022

 

Teammates help each other out. 

It’s part of racing, and always has been.

When Jeff Gordon was trying to wrap up his first title back in the 1990s, Rick Hendrick would enter an extra car in the race just so it could drop out and guarantee Gordon another spot. When stages are about to end, drivers often don’t lap their teammates even if they are able to do so, out of respect for their overall team goals. Every team on the grid, from Hendrick to Gibbs to SHR and beyond, has told its drivers to support their teammates in one way or another, often explicitly on the radio. 

So the decision to punish Cole Custer and the 41 team for alleged improper action to help teammate Chase Briscoe at the end of the Roval race is quite dishonest in my view. This wasn’t a Clint Bowyer itchy arm situation and there was no blatant manipulation. Briscoe was going to dive bomb into that corner regardless of what Custer did, and likely make the pass anyway, so overanalyzing the 41 car’s actions is unnecessary. 

What’s most bothersome is the inconsistency. In recent years, Chase Elliott did a playoff favor for Kyle Larson by holding up Kevin Harvick, and Erik Jones was told explicitly to not pass teammate Denny Hamlin. But nobody was punished in those instances.

Let’s not get into the habit of over-policing, which is the complete opposite of “boys, have at it” and not the direction we need to go in as a sport.

Published in NASCAR

After winning the 2019 rookie-of-the-year title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Chase Briscoe will race for an Xfinity Series championship in 2020 as he returns to Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).  

Briscoe is a two-time winner in the Xfinity Series, with both of his victories coming in SHR-prepared Ford Mustangs. The 25-year-old from Mitchell, Indiana, finished fifth in the championship standings in 2019, earning a berth in the NASCAR Playoffs with a win, two poles and 13 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes in his first full season of Xfinity Series competition.

“This is the first time I’ll be able to run back-to-back, full seasons with the same team, and I couldn’t be happier to do it with Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Briscoe, a development driver with Ford Performance. “Their faith in me means a lot, and I want to reward them and Ford with more wins and a run for the championship.”

“We are thrilled to continue Chase’s development program with a second full season running the Xfinity Series for Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Chase has proven himself well so far and we’re looking forward to continuing his progression as he competes for an Xfinity Series championship for SHR and Ford.”

Published in NASCAR

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