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Play hard, but play fair
First of all, I want to make it perfectly clear. I'm not defending either Jeff Gordon or Matt Kenseth. I'm not defending anything. I've been accused of being the master of the obvious, and in this case, here's what's obvious to me. What happens on the track is obviously between the drivers, and there's my problem. Drivers should not be allowed to take matters into their own hands. Retaliation, grudges and paybacks are all part of sports. Any sport. That's why you have officials. There's not a sanctioning body in the world that would not have action on what happened Sunday or on any Sunday as far as that goes. And that includes NASCAR. After similar actions this year, NASCAR has shown that it will do something. In a situation just like what happened on Sunday, Carl Edwards bumped my brother Michael going into Turn 3 during last month's Busch race at Daytona, and Edwards was penalized. Good grief, folks! Carl and Michael weren't even racing for the lead. It doesn't matter if you're racing for the win, fifth or 15th, you have to respect the people racing around you.
NASCAR at Chicagoland
You don't just run over people because you're faster than they are, or they're in your way. I get so sick of hearing, "Well, it's just one of those racing things. They were just racing hard." Our sports is built on hard racing and competition, but keep it clean and fair.
I love aggressive racing. I want to see guys get up on the wheel. I want to see them do everything they can to win, but I don't want to see one driver run over another driver just for the sake of knocking them out of the way so they can win the race. It's just not fair.
Not only did NASCAR penalize Carl at Daytona, they did the same thing to Clint Bowyer earlier this year at the Phoenix Busch race when he got in the back of Jason Leffler. They sent Bowyer to the back of the field. They did the same thing to Michael in the Busch race at Las Vegas in March.
Folks, I believe most drivers would agree that you've got to respect the leader of any race at any time. He didn't fall out of the sky and get in front; he did something right to get there. It's your job to race him, not wreck him. It's that way for all positions. You don't knock people out of your way just because you're faster than they are. That's not the way it works.