NASCAR’s ‘Have At It’ Policy Needs to be Reexamined

“And there’s a fight in the infield between Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough…”

[media-credit name=”David Yeazell” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]It’s been over thirty years since that historic day in Daytona Beach, Florida, and seemingly since then NASCAR has been attempting to recapture that entertaining magic of the 1979 Daytona 500. The larger the sport grew, the more blasé it became to long time fans, eventually culminating with NASCAR’s 2010 proclamation of the “Have At It” philosophy.

Ardent purist racing fans applauded, happy that drivers would finally have the chance to once again settle their problems on the track. Excitement grew with the knowledge that their favorite driver will once again be able to carry their emotions on their sleeve for all to see.

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Now, a little over a year after NASCAR’s announcement, we as the followers of the sport have to step back and question if the spirit of this statement is being followed.

In the past year we have had a driver feud escalate to point of sending a car careening into the catch fence at 180 miles per hour. Those same drivers were involved in an altercation in which one was spun, driver’s side, directly into the path of the entire field merely out of spite and the thirst for victory. Tonight, we had one driver purposefully send a driver-less car down a pit road full of people.

Entertaining? Perhaps. But there comes a point when enough is enough. NASCAR’s attitude on enforcing this policy is eerily similar to their stance on driver safety fifteen years ago. The thought that “As long as the product is entertaining, why should we intervene?” seems to be the driving force behind what exactly is too much emotion.

Eventually, if this continues, someone will be injured. It could be another driver, a team member or even a fan. Is that small injection of entertainment truly worth that price?

By all means, let the drivers show their emotions both on and off the track. Let them duke it out at 170 miles per hour or out back behind the haulers. There needs to be limits, however, to make sure events like tonight do not have a more tragic result.

So please, for the sake of the sport, and all of those in it, let the boys “Have At It”…  just not at the risk to others safety.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

4 COMMENTS

  1. First of all If you watched the race and the in car camera you would see that Kevin was not taking his eyes off of Kyle, he was not paying any attention to who was coming toward him he was busy looking behind. As far as the calling for help Kevin never said a word on the radio to his crew or anyone else. I was listening to his scanner and in fact if you go to his website there is a guy on there that post his scanner traffic everyweek so you are welcome to go listen to it for yourself. Kyle is going to get what is coming to him when he least expects it :)

  2. I agree with Sue…Harvick’s no-neck pit thugs were running down pit road like they were going to a fire. Kyle tried his best to stay away from Harvick after the race, but Harvick was the obvious aggressor in the situation immediatley after the race. As for Harvick, I think he learned a valuable lesson – best not leave your car if the person you are planning on immediatley punching when you get out and walk back (EVERYONE knew what was coming) is parked directly behind you. Him and the Bud crew looked like idiots all standing out there while their car was turned sideways against the wall. And I am a fan of neither driver, but Busch just made Harvick look plain foolish.

  3. Very sad that Nascar allows drivers to intentionally take others out with no penalty. Both the 42 (last week) the 18 this week should have some sort of penalty. (points not money). This is not racing. Bumping and banging – OK but intentionally taking someout is not why I watch.

  4. If Harvick had just gotten out of the car and then Busch had pushed the car I would be 100% on your side. But Harvick waited till his posse showed up and then got out of the car. That wasn’t going to be a drivers fight, but a gang beat down. While not the best option Kyle took the smart option. The only people in the immediate danger zone were members of Harvick’s posse. (I wonder if he radioed for help and waited for it to arrive?) I don’t have a dog in this fight but the only time I’ve seen Harvick have an alltercation without his crew for back-up JPM was shaking him around like a rag doll at Watkins Glenn.

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