This is one of my personal favorite things about NASCAR. It sets our sport apart from the rest in America. The “Boys,have at it.” policy NASCAR introduced. However, this policy seems to have brought out the worst in drivers since then. How about Kevin Harvick Vs. Kyle Busch at Darlington in 2011, or Kurt Busch vs. Ryan Newman’s pit crew in 2012 at Darlington? Both where rather dangerous situations, and shows it can escalate from a ‘good boy shove’ to a dangerous brawl very quickly sometimes even involving the race cars. Everyone likes a good fight in NASCAR, I know I do, but there is a fine line.
For those of you not familiar with the “Boys, have at it” Policy, it is a policy that was implied in 2010 stating that drivers are allowed to work out conflicts on their own—including physical violence. Penalties are no longer given for shoving matches and other post race antics like they used to be.
While most of these drivers seem to be using this policy to their advantage as a last resort this year, it’s hard to determine when this line is crossed when it does come into play. There is nothing that says ‘if you throw your race car into someone or reach in and punch a driver that is deemed punishable by NASCAR.’ This is considered a ‘self policing’ and it’s not written down that says what can cause repercussions and what cannot. It’s all up to NASCAR officials.
To me that says ‘it’s there but then again it’s not there.’ Is there a certain degree of damage that needs to be done in order to be benched for a few races? Can a simple shove on Pit Road that causes someone to fall and break a bone (though I have yet to see that) be punishable? I think NASCAR needs to write out an actual policy for this, seperating what is and isn’t alright.