Steve O’Donnel finally sat down to answer the questions we’ve all had over the past few days.
It seems like all of this happened so fast. A week before the first race of the Chase, NASCAR officials came out with the news of ramping up their penalties and rules for the Chase.
In the officials eyes, they see it as something that’s more exciting. Since the cars are being pushed to their complete limits, officials want to make sure that everything is fair. But it’s turning out to be a huge bummer in the eyes of the NASCAR community.
Many fans complaints are the same- just let them race! The excitement seems to be completely gone thanks to all of the rules and chances to be penalized.
So, the executive vice president and chief racing development officer, Steve O’Donnell sat down with Sirius XM NASCAR to give us their side of the story. Their reasoning behind the post-race laser inspections and ramping up the penalties for the Chase.
Here’s what O’Donnell said specifically about Laser Inspection Station:
“It’s really certain parts. We’ve got various stages of inspection that we do throughout he weekend. This is one as we look to implement newer technologies and look at skew and a number of different aspects on the car. We use it to set up the beginning of the race weekend, make sure it’s right and then look at tolerances and work with the race teams throughout the weekend to make sure they’re within tolerances. It’s something that everybody passes, obviously, before the race and we’ve got to look at it to make sure we’re as fair as possible postface.”
Then O’Donnell took some time to explain their reasoning behind ramping the rules and penalties up for the Chase:
“It’s something that we worked with the teams prior to the Chase even starting to make the LIS part of postrace inspection, so we’ve had that as part of post race for this year. Then we looked at potentially ramping up the penalties as we headed into the Chase. We want to talk about the great competition on the track, winning cars moving on to the next round. In this case we wanted to make sure the penalties we had in place for the first 26 races really matched those in the Chase, but if someone were to go way outside the boundaries we would have to react and potentially make that an encumbered win. In both cases, the 78 and the 48, that wasn’t the case in terms of what their numbers were on the LIS postrace machine. We’re still going to look at that. Got to give a look at what happened at Richmond and now in Chicago. So still some discussions going on with our group. Again, it’s unfortunate we want to be talking about what’s taking place on the racetrack.”
O’Donnell says he wishes people would focus on the action not eh track rather than all of the post race drama with inspections, but how else are we supposed to take our focus off of that stuff when it’s such a huge part of all of this? In our eyes, it definitely effects the way these guys race.
What do you guys think? Is what O’Donnell said a good enough reason to practically change the entire sport’s demeanor?