Saturday night, race fans everywhere got to see something they had never seen before.
During Saturday night’s telecast of the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR on Fox analyst Larry McReynolds showed to the fans watching at home the often-talked-about but never-before-seen pit road scoring monitors.
McReynolds demonstrated how they work. When a car comes onto pit road and passes through a segment, a speed for that car in that particular segment appears on the monitor. If the car is above the 5-mile per hour grace period NASCAR gives for drivers who go over the pit road speed limit, the background of that car’s speed for that segment appears red.
My description of the monitor and how it works is probably as complicated as NASCAR describing why Jimmie Johnson didn’t have to restart at the tail-end of the longest line after a penalty in Martinsville, but to actually see the monitor at work was a sight to behold.
When the NASCAR on Fox crew showed the monitor registering Tony Stewart’s speed when he got busted for speeding in segment 1, it looked legit, because we actually got to see a computer scoring device flash numbers onto a screen with a color-coated background.
Even if you don’t want to buy into the monitor’s legitimacy, it sure still beats the tar out of hearing Mike Joy say, “NASCAR says Tony Stewart was too fast entering pit road,” and being forced to believe it. If NASCAR could allow the networks to display that information up on the television screen as it happens, it would do two things.
First, it would allow fans to follow their favorite driver down pit road, and watch as he either gains or loses time to his competitors on pit road. That way, even if the network couldn’t keep up with his stop, the fans could still keep up with it at home.
And second, flashing that information up on the television screen as it develops would bring more legitimacy to the so-called “speeding penalties” that NASCAR dishes out, but some fans don’t buy into.
There really isn’t any reason why NASCAR shouldn’t allow these speeds to become public. After all, it would give the fans yet another thing to follow along with, while giving NASCAR a little more transparency in an area that has been riddled with questions for quite sometime.
So come on, NASCAR! Display the speeds so everyone can see them. Doing so would benefit all parties involved. Unless, of course, you’re trying to hide something…