NASCAR Aims To Protect Integrity With New Rules Effective Today
NASCAR yesterday unveiled a "new set of rules it hopes will restore some of the trust lost by its fans and even some participants." The rules, which were presented at a closed-door meeting, take effect with today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Geico 400, the first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France said, "At the center of that meeting was what our expectations were going forward, and those expectations are that a driver and a team give 100-percent effort, their best effort, to complete a race and race as hard as they possibly can." A new rule states those found to be artificially altering a race "shall be subject to a penalty from NASCAR" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/15).
France, "on his own authority," added Jeff Gordon on Friday as a 13th competitor in this year's Chase. France: "It is an unprecedented and extraordinary thing, but it’s also an unprecedented and extraordinary set of circumstances that unfolded in multiple different ways on Saturday night. We believe this was the right outcome to protect the integrity ... of NASCAR" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/14).
The situation was covered on Friday's edition of NBC's "Nightly News" with an on-air graphic that read, "Fixed Race?" NBC's Brian Williams said NASCAR "likes to call itself the most popular spectator sport in the country," but it is "in the news now for reasons they are not entirely proud of" ("Nightly News," NBC, 9/13).