The lane changing rule busted Martin Truex Jr at Kansas Speedway
Martin Truex Jr was in violation at Kansas Speedway. Of what? Of a brand new rule that was introduced via the pre-race drivers meeting.
The rule was that you couldn’t go below the white line on restarts. It caused confusion, for many. But, the lead car was the one hit with a penalty. Why? Because he was the first one to do it. For this rule, followers get a free pass.
But, the night before… Furniture Row Racing lost one of the family. Jim Watson, age 55, died at a go kart place the night before. In the drivers meeting the next morning, the driver and crew had admittedly tuned out the details of the meeting.
How often does NASCAR make a rule change on the fly?
“It doesn’t happen very much,” Justin Alexander states to Kenny Wallace via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“Like never?,” asks Kenny Wallace.
“Yeah, that’s one of the first times, that I can think of in my 3-4 years of doing this that, that has happened. Maybe one other time for some other random thing.”
“Usually, they’re reminders. Usually, in the drivers meeting, they’re reminders. Like at Talladega, ‘Don’t go below the yellow line to pass.’ and a couple other things.”
“Rarely, do they say anything about a new rule in the drivers meeting. Honestly, I didn’t catch it, in the drivers meeting, either, on Sunday.”
“You’re so preoccupied with the race and with so many things going on in the drivers meeting. You don’t really expect to hear something like that in there. But, that’s why we have those meetings.”
“That’s out job and that’s why we go to those things. Ultimately, that’s on us.”
NASCAR Drivers’ Meeting
Kenny Wallace makes a strong argument against the way the new rule was introduced. He explains…
“NASCAR is listening right now,” Kenny Wallace states.
“Let me say this… I raced 905 NASCAR races. I am at the race track every week. So, I’m in the game. I know what’s going on.”
Kenny Wallace continues to explain the tasks of the modern NASCAR driver. They are endless; scheduled interviews, un-scheduled interviews, autograph sessions, sponsor appearances and oh by the way there’s ‘usually’ mundane drivers meeting to cap it all off.
“The driver has a shit ton of responsibilities. I’m hear to tell you what’s going on in the drivers brain. Ok, this is gunna sound sad. And I know one of the NASCAR executives listening to me right now is gunna go, ‘Well, Herman you’re wrong. The driver better get his shit together.’ ”
“I’m here to say this, ‘That ain’t the way it works. You might think it works that way but it doesn’t.’ ”
“99% of the time the meetings are what we would call ‘mundane’ ok? The real reason of a meeting is to give the sponsors a shout out. Do not call bullshit on me. I know what the hell I’m talkin’ about.”
Typically, the drivers’ meeting is a great time for a driver to take a quick nap. Why do you think they all wear sunglasses to the drivers meeting? I’m only partially kidding.
“What’s very rare about a drivers meeting…,” Kenny Wallace continues. “They mundanely go, ‘Ok gentlemen, today when they drop the green flag you cannot go below the white line.’ If you say that normally, nothing’s gunna happen. Nobody’s gunna hear it.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr mirrors those thoughts. “I don’t pay attention in the drivers’ meetin’ so I don’t know if they said that,” he spoke of the Kansas drivers’ meeting on his Dale Jr Download podcast.
“I like to text Steve O’Donnell and Mike Helton, during the drivers meeting. I just like to text them and see them get their phone out of their pocket,” Dale Earnhardt Jr speaks on drivers’ meeting shenanigans.
What kinda thing does he text? Dale Earnhardt Jr recalls, “Uh, the videos a little loud.” on things he texts the NASCAR executives. “They told me why they leave it that loud cause it gets everybody’s attention and makes everybody sit down.”
If you’re going to announce a rule change [at the drivers meeting] there needs to be like red sirens going off.
“If you’re going to announce a rule change [at the drivers meeting] there needs to be like red sirens going off, email blasts. You know, emails are big,” Kenny Wallace concludes.
+1 on red sirens!