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Author Topic: Rookie vs Veterans  (Read 619 times)
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alfers
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« on: November 08, 2004, 02:49:02 PM »

Mears' promising run ends in hard crash
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Casey Mears felt a tire going down as NASCAR was
signaling one lap to go until a restart late in the Checker Auto Parts 500.
But Mears wouldn't make any breakneck moves to pit road. He was sitting in
third place behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon, and that would have
been his best career finish. Besides, Mears figured he still had a chance at
winning. So coming in to change a flat tire wasn't on Mears' agenda. "I
didn't really notice it until we were going into (Turns) 1 and 2 to restart
the race," Mears said. "All the other cars were lined up on the inside.
There really wasn't a good opportunity to get in the pits. We probably could
have, but the way I look at it is, we're 22nd in points and had a lot of bad
luck this year. I just wanted to bring the Target car home in the top five.
"I figured, 'Shoot, if we wreck, who cares? If we can finish in the top
five, that'd be great.'" He wrecked. Five laps later, on Lap 308, the
left-rear tire went completely flat, leaving Mears totally out of control
and spinning up the track and into the Turn 1 wall. The car was junk, and
Mears ended up 34th. But at this point in the season, that didn't seem to
matter. A late-season slump pushed Mears back to 22nd in points, so a bad
finish wasn't a big deal.

Had his wreck taken out a few more cars, or heaven forbid a few Chase Contenders, a whole lot of people would have cared.  
When it is obvious one has a tire going down and they ignore it I think NASCAR needs to black flag the driver and get them off the track immediately.  He knew that tire was going down before the restart and chose to stay out there knowing full well what the consequences would be.  If that doesn't fall under the heading of "Actions detremental to racing" I don't know what does.  When drivers throw caution to the wind like that, NASCAR should hold that driver repsonsible for any damages to his car and others affected by his actions.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2004, 03:29:34 PM »

Many times this year, I seem to remember several veteran drivers staying on the track after a flat tire and putting down so much debris it's caused cautions.  Sterling is one and I can't remember who the other one was (maybe Jarrett or Sadler).  Now I certainly don't agree with doing that as it shows poor sportsmanship.  If it's not your day, it's wrong to ruin it for others by bringing out the caution.  But I've heard crew chiefs tell drivers on the scanner to stay out.  Unfortunately, they all do it these days...  But in Mears' case, I feel really bad as he was in position to get his first win.  Not sure what cut his tire down, but there was speculation on MRN that it was from contact when he was passed.  

Cheryl
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alfers
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2004, 03:52:25 PM »

Regardless of who cut it, and there was more than speculation as to who did it when they went into the lead, he KNEW it was down, drivers around him saw that it was down, and he still remained on the track thinking he could go for the win with more than ten laps to go?  One has to wonder, was that also the 42's demise, an over zealous driver trying for his best finish ever?
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Vivian
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2004, 09:26:22 PM »

Alfers wrote:

Quote
When it is obvious one has a tire going down and they ignore it I think NASCAR needs to black flag the driver and get them off the track immediately. He knew that tire was going down before the restart and chose to stay out there knowing full well what the consequences would be. If that doesn't fall under the heading of "Actions detremental to racing" I don't know what does. When drivers throw caution to the wind like that, NASCAR should hold that driver repsonsible for any damages to his car and others affected by his actions.


I totally agree.  Nascar must have been aware of the situation (because of radio talk and the tv coverage) and should have blackflagged him.  I know sometimes the drivers have to depend totally on what their crew chief says (we all know they lie to the drivers) once a driver knows something is unsafe, he should pit anyway.  If they all took that attitude then what would happen?  

Cheryl wrote:

Quote
But in Mears' case, I feel really bad as he was in position to get his first win.


I was really hoping he would finish in the top five and was cheering him on; but once he made the decision to stay out, I lost a lot of respect for him and now I wonder if I can ever cheer for him again.  He put too many people in jeopardy, imo.
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