Another week, another victim in the NASCAR Drug Wars.
This week it’s Chris Moore, crew member for AJ Allmendinger’s #43 Best Buy/Insignia Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Moore allegedly failed a drug test on June 22nd, and has been suspended indefinitely for “actions detrimental to stock car racing”, and for “violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy”.
That’s all we know, and that’s all we’ll ever know.
Moore’s failed test isn’t a big story, and neither were the failed tests of the several other crew members who have been suspended under the policy. Thus, there is no need for Moore to make a statement to defend his honor, right?
Well, when NASCAR drivers Jeremy Mayfield and Randy LaJoie failed their tests, they got to make statements. Heck, some of them even got involved in a year-long battle with NASCAR. Yes, their stories were 10 times bigger than that of Moore’s, or any other crew member.
But that doesn’t mean crew members shouldn’t get the same respect.
Consider this: Crew members make a fraction of what drivers do. They get half the credit for a victory, and twice the blame for a loss when they make a mistake. At the very least, shouldn’t guys like Moore be able to defend their honor when plastered with such a horrible offense?
Shouldn’t they be able to tell us what they did, that it was a mistake, and that they’ll never do it again? If they failed because they were on a prescription drug, or were a possible victim of a false-positive, shouldn’t they at least be able to tell us that they didn’t do PEDs, or weed, or even crack?
Crew members are a part of a race team, just like drivers. They don’t make the same amount of money, or share the same amount of credit in a victory. And that’s alright. But they should at least be treated with the same rights as drivers when they get into a situation like Moore finds himself in right now.
Crew members should be able to defend themselves.