Kenny Youngblood: If I Were King

September 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Latest News

The “problem” at Indy, or more accurately, the “HIGHT-light” of an otherwise mundane season, was the direct result of a moronic and “un-en-FORCE-able” rule in place to begin with (puns intended).

If I were King, there would be NO RULE against “team orders” or “intentionally” manipulating the outcome of a race. There would be no such rule because to make one is nothing more than foolishly attempting to bend the following un-bendable, “natural laws”:

1. You can’t legislate morality.

Whether laying down for a teammate is “right” or “wrong” is, at best, arguable.

This King’s position is that it is not only “right” to do so, but to do anything else is stupid and self defeating. In baseball it’s called a “Sacrifice Play”; in billiards, it’s called a “Safety”, and its all part of the game. Is the ball player who bunts actually “cheating”, or doing what’s in the best interest of the team?

And, what would have been accomplished had he taken out his teammate? It would have accomplished nothing, except letting his sponsors and fans down by preventing his teammate from getting to “second base”, and having a shot at the championship.

How smart was it, in a previous season, when a racer who was not in contention at all, took out his own teammate; a teammate who could very possibly have won the championship? Did that racer get an ovation for “doing the right thing”? No, no one really cared and all that remained was the obvious question, “why’d he do that?”

When such a rule is in place, aren’t those who attempt to enforce it actually guilty of breaking their own rule; of “intentionally manipulating” the outcome of a race?

No matter your personal position, attempting to legislate morality is futile.

2. The first rule of racing is: “If it’s gray it’s legal; if it’s undetectable, it’s legal”.

Team orders fall into the “undetectable” category. No matter how you slice it, it’s impossible to actually PROVE that one “intentionally” lost a race. “Intention” is an intangible, and as such is very difficult if not impossible to prove.

One of my loyal subjects suggested that allowing multi-car teams is the real problem.
This King disagrees with that as well, as again, it would be impossible to prevent independent team owners from making “deals”, and even harder to prove it if they did.

3. “Inconsistent” (as in “we’re going to look for any inconsistencies”) is a relative term, and therefore impossible to define.

When facing a teammate, is there a rule that says your tune-up has to be “consistent”? No, there is not! And if there were, exactly where would the line between “consistent” and “inconsistent” be? And, more importantly, who is the person qualified to draw that line?

And, even if there are no “inconsistencies” in the tune-up, what’s to prevent a driver from (“intentionally”) red lighting, driving out of the groove or being late? And if they did or if they were, can it be proved it was “intentional”? The answers of course, are “Nothing” and “No”.

4. “Fairness is the enemy of justice”

One of the most attractive aspects of drag racing, is the fact that it’s almost completely free of judgment calls. Once those two cars stage, and short of crossing the centerline, what happens between the start and the finish line is entirely up to just three people; the two drivers and the Lord above. That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it should be!

At Indy, the truth is there actually was no problem at all; there was just some darn good and very smart racing! The “perceived” problem was only in the minds of those who failed to take full advantage of the enforceable rules, and instead chose to give credence to one that is not; to hang their hopes on a “Pooka”!

The sanctioning body should know that including “Pookas” (un-enforceable rules defined in relative terms) in their rulebook, will only cause confusion, division and needless controversy.

If I were King, team orders would immediately be “de-criminalized”, and there would be no such prohibition in all of Nostalgia Land!

-Blood Did It

The Texas Motorplex has had the honor of having drag racing’s most prolific artist, Kenny Youngblood, create the first of a one of a kind racing t-shirt with the official “Blood Did It” signature. This shirt can be purchased online or at the Texas Motorplex Souvenir Stands at all drag racing events. Do not miss the opportunity to have this one of a kind “Blood Did It” shirt.

Reprinted courtesy of VintageFuel.com Magazine

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2 Responses to “Kenny Youngblood: If I Were King”
  1. bigblock440 says:

    I have been watching a participating in drag racing since the 1960′s. I must say what happened at Indy, when Force, in my opinion, gave up the round to Hight was disgraceful. In my books team orders should never take place in drag racing. I know it does, but it shouldn’t. You are right that it is a moriality issue and you can’t dictate that.

    As for how to control some of these problems with large teams, I think that there should be no more than 2 cars in a category per team, no matter if it is a Pro team or a Sportman team. That might just help reduce some of the team orders. It would not completely get rid of the problem, but it would help.

    Unfortunately I see Drag Racing, especially the NHRA, going more and more toward what we see in other Pro Sports where they have had personel problems for years with participants. I hate to see drag racing go in that direction. That is the main reason that I do not watch other Pro Sports on TV or go to Pro Sporting Events.

    What are we as Drag Racers showing the young people just now getting into the sport when we let team orders get in the way with true competition. Just think about that. Sportmanship!!!!

  2. Jack Mauldin says:

    I think that in the “business” of drag racing John Force did the only thing he could. He had/has the obligation to get as many of his sponsors cars into the countdown. Remember he is the leader of his team. He didn’t need one of his racers to take a dive for him to get in. I wish the rules weren’t written the way they are, making him choose to do something that looked foolish or perhaps dangerous just get Hight in.

    Tony’s comments about working for Force and “knowing what goes on” is stupid. The current rules were not even in place when he drove for Force.

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