I was up in the air about whether or not I should write anything about the ridiculousness that was Talladega qualifying a week ago, but I saw today that there were more comments from drivers about it, so I’m getting on my soapbox.
This one is on the teams. Period. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The qualifying procedure wasn’t that difficult to understand, and instead of just going out and putting in a decent lap in their assigned five minute session, some guys tried to outsmart everyone. Well guess what, if you try and outsmart everyone, do something stupid, and end up getting outsmarted yourself, I have no sympathy for you. The cars that went home deserved to go home. And honestly, if the 24 would have been one of those heading to the house, so be it.
In my opinion, the fastest 43 that show up to the track should be in the race. Provisionals be damned. And I don’t care what name is over the door. If you’re a big name driver with a big name team, and you get out done in qualifying, you should go home. NASCAR was built on teams coming from everywhere and participating. And sometimes that meant big names going home. Just ask Dale Jarrett. In 1994 at North Wilkesboro, Jarrett missed the race by .003 of a second driving Joe Gibbs’ #18. He didn’t go whining and crying to NASCAR about “confusion” and what was or wasn’t fair.
In the NHRA, there are no guaranteed starting positions. If you aren’t part of the fastest 16, you load up and go home. And yes, sometimes that means even the 16 time champion John Force puts his car in the box. That’s how it should be. If you want to race, be faster than the other guy. You aren’t entitled to anything. Go earn it, and stop all the whining.