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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ryan Newman got robbed in All-Star race

From a fan's perspective, it appeared to me that Ryan Newman was trying to emulate the name of his sponsor--the tornado with its furious winds, speed, and potential devastation in the last laps of Saturday night's All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Newman was acting out the slogan from tornados--Bold is how we roll! Unfortunately, that was until NASCAR and its not-so-precise rules stopped him dead in his tracks.

Newman could smell victory. His foot had to be mashing the pedal with untold pressure as he tried to eke out every bit of horsepower from the car that seemed to have a mind of its own and had given him fits during the entire race. But in those last laps, Newman was charging toward the front. He went from seventh to fourth when Jimmy Johnson spun in front of him. There was no caution at first, so he kept charging. Then the yellow flag flew. When the field was reset, NASCAR positioned Newman in seventh position, behind Bobby Labonte, the #71.

That doesn't seem right to me, because if my memory serves me correctly, when Newman started the lap, he was behind Matt Kenseth, the #17.

Understanding the green-white checker rule, like so many of NASCAR's rules, has eluded me since it was instituted. Don't get me wrong; normally I like it. It brings excitement. But it has to be fair.

First, why did Labonte advance to his position but Newman didn't? It doesn't seem right that as the field advances, and there is a yellow flag, the entire field would revert to previous positions without restarting the entire 10-lap shootout. But that isn't what happened.

Furthermore, if the field was going to revert, why not just put Johnson back in third where he was running before he spun? Ah, because he pitted. Can we have it both ways? Johnson's current position was noted, but Newman's wasn't, even though Newman passed four spots on the last lap? Something is terribly wrong here and if anyone out there can help me understand it, I'd be real grateful.

My heartfelt congratulations to Kurt Busch on his win.

But, I will always wonder, if we could have seen another Newman/Busch finish like the one in Daytona, '08 that Newman fans will never forget.

Carol Henrichs,