On Saturday night the first disqualification of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car race season took place as Trey Gibson was disqualified from a win and a second place finish at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
Gibson’s car was tossed out after Greenville Pickens Speedway officials found his intake ports on the bottom of the intake to be more than seventy thousands on an inch too tall. Gibson’s team owner Randy Porter has admitted that the infraction was valid and that his team should have been disqualified.
Gibson on the other hand has said strongly that he feels like he’s being targeted by the Greenville Pickens Speedway tech officials. Gibson’s claim is supported by the fact that he was disqualified on several occasions last season including the season opening race of 2015 as well. Gibson’s contention is that his car is gone over with a fine tooth comb while other drivers seem to not be looked at as hard when they roll into the tech shed.
It was a devastating blow to Gibson’s chances of winning the championship at Greenville Pickens Speedway. Two races have now been run and he has a zero in the points standings. Gibson for his part isn’t sure he’ll return to compete at Greenville but may set his focus on running for the championship at nearby Anderson Motor Speedway, where he won the track championship last season.
I’m not advocating that Gibson is right or wrong. Clearly by his team owners admission they should have been disqualified this past weekend. Clearly he’s been disqualified more than any other driver at Greenville Pickens in the last two seasons. Clearly there’s a problem somewhere.
Where I find that there’s a problem with what went down at Greenville Pickens Speedway this past weekend didn’t necessarily happen in the tech shed. It’s playing out on social media and in water cooler talk all around the region. Many people were talking about the disqualification at Caraway Sunday during their season opening event.
People on social media fall on both sides of the issue. Some are glad to see that Greenville Pickens Speedway officials are being thorough in the tech shed. Others are in disbelief that Gibson was disqualified and question why he or anyone else goes to Greenville to race because of it.
I read all the time on Facebook and twitter how people want to see race tracks do more tech. They want them to tear the cars down and make sure everyone is legal. They often cry about traction control and favoritism. Believe me I’ve read it all but every time someone is disqualified fans go crazy on one side or the other.
Other tracks don’t disqualify anyone and fans equally cry about favoritism and bias because they don’t. Traction control is the buzz word on any driver who wins a lot of races and isn’t disqualified. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that Lee Pulliam, Philip Morris and so on has traction control. I’ve also heard it a thousand times how the tech shed at whatever track they’re running at let them away with stuff while disqualifying other people.
I’m sure you’re wondering “what’s my point?” … Well, my point is that there is definitely a double standard in the tech shed. I’m not talking about there being favoritism at Greenville Pickens. I’m not saying that Trey Gibson a cheater and I’m not saying that I think he’s whining by thinking that he’s being looked at harder than anyone else. Sure he’s being looked at more. When you win and run in the top three every race, you get looked at more often. It’s a product of being at the top of your game.
My point is that the double standard is that people can’t make up their minds what they want. Greenville Pickens is ruling the tech shed with an iron fist. Drivers, teams and fans all say that’s what they want until they get it. The same fans crying about Gibson’s disqualification are the same ones who thought that the track didn’t do enough tech in 2014 and before when Anthony Anders was winning races.
Now that Anders leads the track he’s taking an approach from a drivers perspective. Of course when he was winning everyone said he was cheating and said he too was running traction control. As a promoter he’s trying to make sure that fans, drivers and teams can’t claim that. He’s got a strong tech shed with officials that are working hard to make sure that everyone is legal because ultimately every racer wants to know that they’re not being beat by one team or another cheating.
With regards to this past weekend Gibson was illegal. He was disqualified. It’s honestly just that simple. But I will tell you that there’s no one at the race track that’s more respectful and honest and straight up than Gibson is. He’s been disqualified several times but that’s not an indictment of his character, that’s an indictment that Greenville Pickens Speedway officials are doing their jobs. And equally Gibson’s team is doing their job at pushing the envelope and bring the best piece to the race track to give him a chance to win.
I guess I just don’t get it. I’m all for the fans wanting to hate on Anthony Anders the racer but as a promoter he’s doing everything that the fans, drivers and teams say they want from a race track operator. So I guess everyone is right … there’s a double standard in the tech shed but it’s not because the track wants one driver to win and one driver not to, it’s because when they do their job everyone wants to cry foul.
And it’s not just Greenville Pickens Speedway …. everyone’s got to decide whether they want to have strong tech or if they want it to be a run-what-you-brung show. I’m confident that the racing is better and will continue to get better because of them having a tight tech department.