The article details an interview with the outspoken Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage who is talking about NASCAR start and park cars. In the interview, Gossage said the so-called start-and-park teams in each NASCAR race are "stealing money" and steps should be taken to stop them.
"The start-and-parkers are simply stealing," Gossage said Saturday. "I don't blame them for finding the loophole, but they are going to steal a half a million dollars here tomorrow [in the Samsung Mobile 500] of our money.My first thoughts had to be finally a person that doesn't like start and parks teams, calls them for what they are they are "stealing" and isn't defending them like Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond on FOX and SPEED have done in the past.
"They add nothing to the show, not one darn thing. They're stealing. I want real racers, but they're not racing."
Gossage pointed specifically at the #66 Toyota owned by Phil Parsons who has start and parked five of the first six races of the season finishing 41st or worse in those races.
"NASCAR has an obligation to the fans to not allow this," Gossage said. "People are stealing in broad daylight in front of 150,000 fans in the grandstands and millions of people watching at home."
Gossage went on to suggest that NASCAR should reduce the Cup Series field from 43 to 36 cars or change the way the pirse money is distributed. Did you know that the 43rd place finisher will get $85,000.
Despite his strong feelings on the issue, Gossage said it's not his biggest concern. And that he likes the changes NASCAR has made so far.
I have talked about start and park teams for over a year now and I squarely point the figure towards Prism Motorsports with its two-car team. Two start and park cars out of one organization, now that's taking advantage of a loophole that NASCAR needs to close.
But it isn't enough that we simply talk about start and park cars, but offer suggestions on how to fix the problem. Some believe reducing the fields from 43 to 36 cars. The only issue there is there are teams in NASCAR that are coming to the track to race every week and you don't want to shut them out in the process.
Another is change the money payout, that could be something, but that's up to NASCAR. However NASCAR could make every team check in on Friday with documentation of purchasing tires, having sponsorship, having a crew chief, crew and the necessary equipment (racecar, pit box, gas can and etc.) to run the entire weekend including the race.
Or if anything else, limit a team to six races as a start and park car. This would work like a championship provisional, you have six provisionals and once your out, your out. But in this case if you use up you six S/P's, your disqualified. This way a team that has a few holes in their schedule can still complete full-time while at the same time those teams that are just there are a paycheck will get paid 6 times without doing anything.
Whatever the case or solution, there has to be a solution, because right now this is an issue in NASCAR, but like Gossage said as well, start and park cars isn't the biggest issue in NASCAR, but it is something that needs to be addressed.
- How do you get a moral victory if you’re a NASCAR start and park team?
- NASCAR needs to police the start and park cars starting with Prism Motorsports.
- There is no place in NASCAR for start and park cars.