What’s good for the goose…

is good for the gander! But “only if the gander doesn’t have a history of being aggressive”… er… I mean…”only if the gander “felt really bad about his actions”… I mean… er… “only if the gander is on any other team but Penske, who hands out his own brand of justice and therefore renders penalties by the series unnecessary”
Really IndyCar? Really?

Yes, that was the gist of the official explanation (hilariously called “When consistency counts”) as to the perceived UNobjective handing out of penalties this past weekend in Long Beach. I say perceived because apparently we are all WRONG. And by “we” I mean everyone who wasn’t in race control on Sunday afternoon.

Even by using the word “consistency” they are highlighting their double standard. Apparently Tracy’s “consistency” with aggressive driving (we call it “Racing” out here in racefanviewerland) lead to the IHJ (™Pressdog) (*actually I’m not sure about that ™, but I credit him with everything else, so it’s just a safe bet*)

Yet Helio’s “consistency”, driving with his head up his ass since the season started, gives him the benefit of the doubt, leniency for a few more events “just to be absolutely sure” his are just “honest mistakes” and not, oh I don’t know AGGRESSIVE DRIVING!

Funny part is we saw replay after replay of all of Helio’s tomfoolery all race, but nary a flash of Tracy’s apparent egregious driving melee. Yet we’re supposed to just accept that Tracy’s penalty was warranted based on what… a suggestion from race control that Turn 11 wasn’t a passing zone. (we have specific passing zones in IndyCar now? Really? I thought the point was to race?) I don’t remember reading “you will be penalized if you attempt a pass here”… Oh, but I do remember seeing the phrase “chrome horn” written in there. “if you are involved in questionable contact or use the chrome horn, there will be consequences for avoidable contact”

A little foreshadowing perhaps? A little predetermined penalizing, before any crime has been committed? So, just so we’re clear, if you’re PT, any thing you do is questionable, penalizable (my word) and chrome horn-ish. (that is HIS phrase afterall)

Oh, no wait, there was mention by Al Jr. of his “past history”. Yes, and by past, we have to go way back as he hasn’t had a PT like incident for years! The guy gets a handful of rides a season, you think he’s going to risk one of them by being PT?? No.  Yet oddly enough you only have to go back one race, then another race to see Helio’s buffoonery. Guess those weren’t “questionable” enough…

and no, this is not just a PT thing with me. I’m FINE with him getting a penalty for taking out another driver, if those are the rules that are lay down for EVERYONE. I’m NOT fine with the double standard of singling out certain drivers and turning a blind eye to others. Penalize them all, or penalize no one, and let them duke it out on track. Period.

@marshallpruett, who I had the great pleasure of finally meeting face to face finally  in St. Pete’s, brilliantly questioned the rational behind the decision on Speed.com. If you haven’t already read it, you must (as his asides or “thought bubbles” are basically what the majority of us are thinking)

Then more of bloggerville weighed in (basically click on any link in my sidebar and you’ll find an opinion on this topic, better written and likely more well thought out than mine.  Better yet, you should follow @indyraceplace and you’ll get most of the daily links concerning whatever the hot topics are. (I say most of the links, as I pretty much never make the cut LOL!) And by follow, I mean on twitter. Not on twitter yet? WHAT’S YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM?? You don’t LIKE being in the know? Getting all of the latest information and opinions AS IT HAPPENS?? well ok then… your loss. Anyhoo…

There were the usual apologists citing the “difficulty of the job of making the call”, and the “it’s their job, so I give them the benefit of the doubt” crowd chimed in too. Fair enough. Everyone has a right to their opinion, no matter how misguided. hehe… I keed, I keed!

The most telling commentary in this whole thing has actually been from the drivers themselves. From immediately following the race, to quotes in various post race articles, to a flurry of commentary on twitter Wednesday following the explanation being posted on the main IndyCar website. They were pretty much in line with the majority. A whole lot of “what the fuck??” and passing around of the metaphorical shovel to dig out from under the pile of shit dropped on them by the officials. Particularly peeved off were the victims of Helio’s “oopsie-daisy, silly me” antics, @scottdixon9 and @justinwilson22, and another of the “gooses”, @ryanhunterreay, who was penalized for that pesky “avoidable contact”. Again, I’m not questioning his penalty, but I do wonder how his is any more valid than any of Helio’s “accidents’ this year.

I think in their attempt to ‘explain’ they actually dug themselves into a deeper hole. (I heard this the entire time) I think in the face of the realization that only about 12 people actually watched the race on Sunday, the last thing they need to be doing is PISSING OFF the people who actually DO watch and actually DO care about this series and this type of racing. This is a shitshow (™ me!!) of epic proportions now. IndyCar has been flinging it at us since the season came out of the gate. Turn on the fans and the fans will turn on you. You know what happens when the shit hits the fan? it flies right back atcha with epic velocity and it spreads out…
*holy double entendres batman!*

I know for a fact that NardDog (™@Pressdog, this one I’m sure of) is aware of how NOT good this situation is. (thanks to an email I received yesterday ;-) ) Does that mean anything in the grand scheme of things? Probably not. It doesn’t change the events of the last 3 races. It doesn’t alleviate the double standard. And it certainly doesn’t erase the undercurrent of resentment coursing through the driver field right now. The blessing and breathing room for Randy et al, is that there is a break in the schedule this weekend, giving everyone time to calm the fuck down and perhaps move on to the next controversy.

Cause I’m thinking, were there a race this weekend, and were I a driver, there would be a lot of “questionable” driving in defiance of the rules, and Mr. Castroneves would likely be the answer to those questions. (wow, I’m deep this morning)

Ok… that is my brain purged… off to read what everyone else has to say.

3 responses to “What’s good for the goose…

  1. It’s time for R Bernard to bust a move. As for nobody watching, it looks like it’s going to be a long season on Versus and I have no idea what they can do about it.

    As far as Twitter, I just don’t get it. But then, I didn’t have a cell phone until 2003.

  2. Thanks for the plug! And we sure hope Paper.li will integrate some editorial controls for the daily newspaper. We don’t always agree with what’s included/excluded, or what they use to determine “top stories.” We’d like some say over that. For now, we can only curate the list of tweeps it draws from…

    We’ve got two thumb way up for this post. This has been a cringe-worthy episode for race control. :(

  3. It just doesn’t make any sense to judge a driver on their career history. They should only do that if the driver is on probation, and they should only be on probation after ‘three strikes’ or something like that.
    At all other times it should be a rule, break the rule and you get a penalty. That’s it.
    I don’t even know why I’m writing this, its so obvious.

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