Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Breakin' Out The Ol' Laser Eyes

Warning for language content!


Mike Stefanik is a very successful, long time old school racer who has won a ton of races and championships. He had worked his way to the front of the feature race for the Whelen Modified Tour - the opener of the final night of racing at the UNOH Battle of The Beach event at Daytona, showcasing three different classes of racers under the auspices of NASCAR.

And, as in every other class's feature race, he got punted at the end. In any other venue other than NASCAR, Steve Park would have been put at the end of the line for aggressive driving.

But this was expected. This set of races was for prestige and money only. The track itself is temporary - using part of the backstretch and infield up against Lake Charles. A flattened paperclip shape with wide corners and no banking made this a rather unique short track. The eyes of the world were on these races, since they are now part of the opening events at the Daytona 500, and all the NASCAR movers and shakers are there watching.

So, for a couple of up and coming young guns like C.E. Falk and Kyle Larson (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing development driver and K&N Pro Series East Champion), this was a big deal. Both East and West K&N division drivers were invited.

And what a race it was between those two at the end of their feature. Falk had the lead, Larson wanted it. Larson got Falk on the inside, Falk put a slide job on Larson and got it back. Several times. But as the race drew to a close, it was clear that Falk either was taking a line away from Larson, or Larson's car had faded. Kyle couldn't keep his nose under Falk in those wide corners.

So, Kyle came burning in and used C.E. as a bumper, trying to knock him out of the way. He failed the first time, but he burned in again even harder and spun Falk out, going on to the win, to a chorus of boos. Twitter was apparently 80/20% in condemning Larson.Of course it was the topic du jour on the SiriusXM NASCAR channel. Most thought the action was wrong, but one thing was agreed upon. (Video here)

That last night would be more of the same, and all because of NASCAR's policy.

Seems Big Bill France didn't think people who had spent hours under the hot sun watching races, and go home thinking they had seen who had won, only to find out in the paper the next day that they had not. Some administrative decision taking away a win would drive people away from the sport. So, NASCAR might fine people, take points away, or whatever, but they will not take away a win.

You can see just what Mike Stefanik thinks about that kind of thinking. Good thing Big Bill is six feet under - that gaze would cut him in two.

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