By Jared Turner
Stop Changing The All-Star Format
Multiple drivers – most notably Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth – left Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway scratching their heads about a confusing set of rules that resulted in major angst among participants in the popular non-points paying event. Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup Series champion who was the most outspoken of the bunch, went as far as to call it “the most screwed up All-Star Race ever.” At the center of the controversy was a mandatory green flag pit stop that jumbled up the running order, causing widespread confusion on the track and on pit road and forcing NASCAR to even later admit that it was ill-prepared to officiate the race – which was run under an all-new format, as the All-Star event so often is. Here’s a thought: Leave the format the heck alone. It’s not fair to drivers – or fans, for that matter – to have to sort through a new All-Star Race format almost every year. There’s something to be said for continuity in any sporting event, and this one is no exception. Why not apply the kiss theory – “Keep It Simple, Stupid” – to how the All-Star Race is set up, so that drivers, teams and fans don’t have to show up guessing each year? Just find a format that works and stick with it. Everyone involved will be better for it.
When Harvick Speaks, He’s Not Lying
Despite speculation and even one notably erroneous report to the contrary, Kevin Harvick has stated on numerous occasions this year his desire and intent to remain at Stewart-Haas Racing for years to come. Turns out the 2014 Sprint Cup champion wasn’t lying. Harvick signed a multi-year contract extension with SHR last week, putting to bed all the talk about him jumping ship for Hendrick Motorsports when SHR moves from Chevy to Ford in 2017. The lesson to be learned here? When Harvick speaks, take him at his word.