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And Another Thing

Associated Press

NASCAR shows its OCD side

Hey, I get this NASCAR biz. Got all the signature lines down cold.

Here's one: Rubbin's racin'.

(And so is what NASCAR calls "blocking," no matter what NASCAR says. You want to see blocking? Watch the duel between Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber in Bahrain on Sunday. Some of the best racing I've seen in a long time -- and all because both guys were trying to "block" the other, which basically means neither was willing to just pull over and let the other guy pass).

Here's another signature line: If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'.

And here's one I just made up: Sometimes cheatin' ain't really cheatin'.

Which brings us to Matt Kenseth, who won at Kansas on Sunday and got docked 50 points Wednesday because his engine failed a secondary inspection. And why did it fail?

No, not because it was generating a huge amount of horsepower in comparison to the competition. Because one connecting rod in said engine came in ... wait for it ... three grams too light.

One connecting rod. Three grams.

And if you're asking here how such a miniscule thing could have possibly given Kenseth some unfair edge, you're asking the right question. Yet this is exactly what NASCAR is implying by docking the guy 50 points, which drops him from eighth in the standings to a tie for 14th. Besides that, Kenseth's crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, was fined $200,000 and suspended for six races, and team owner Joe Gibbs was docked 50 owner's points.

All over three grams.

Can you say draconian?

Sure you can. It's pronounced "NASCAR."

Ben Smith's blog.