The Unofficial Rules of Auto Racing

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by Privateer, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Privateer

    Privateer Car Chief

    Been working on these for most of a year. Pretty happy with them as they are now so putting them out there for your reading pleasure. They are meant to be tongue-in-cheek, some funny, some serious, and touch all corners of the racing world.

    The Unofficial Rules of Auto Racing

    General

    1. Auto racing is not, nor has it even been, a “fair” sport.
    2. The proper phrase for racing fans to describe other sports is “stick and ball”.
    3. European auto racing is a white-collar sport. American auto racing is a blue-collar sport. Japanese auto racing is a corporate sport.
    4. The sport revolves around money (for a candy-coated version of this truth, see the film Speed Racer). But auto racing commentators are barred from acknowledging this when discussing why certain drivers lacking talent are in the field or why a Formula One race is taking place in Azerbaijan.
    5. The cost of a component for a race car is whatever the cost would be for that component for a normal car, multiplied by 74.
    6. Age requirements to participate do not apply if you are the son of a former driver.
    7. Talent requirements to participate do not apply if you are the son of a former driver.
    8. Talent requirements do not exist at all if the driver provides funding for the car, the crew, the travel, the owner’s wife and girlfriend(s), etc.
    9. If you allow manufacturers to set the rules to their desires, they will have freedom of design innovation and creativity, but will probably withdraw from the series within a few years because expenses went up so high (see every sportscar series ever and MotoGP circa 2011).

    Formula One

    10. All Formula One teams are equal, but some Formula One teams are more equal than others.
    11. Ferrari are very equal.
    12. The top two-thirds of the grid are seriously good drivers. The back one-third of the grid are random ride buyers not much more talented than the guys they raced against back in Formula 3.
    13. The worst seasons to watch are when one team is omnipotent over the rest of the field and the #2 driver for that team is not allowed to challenge #1 (see Rubens Barrichello’s career).
    14. The only approved designer for new Formula One tracks is Hermann Tilke.
    15. Formula One race course technical approval will only be given after the organizer’s checks to the multiple Formula One financial entities clears.
    16. Americans are ineligible to participate in Formula One, unless the American can satisfy Rule 8.
    17. All Formula One tracks are required to have half a kilometer of runoff everywhere. The concept of “track limits” are banned in track design. (“Track limits” is in Formula One a pre-2000 term used to describe “track position punishment” or “car damage punishment” for the driver if he for example missed the apex of a corner and/or went off track, thereby ending up in a worse position or further behind than before as a penalty for making a driving mistake.)
    18. Rule 17 does not apply to the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, otherwise the champagne and glamour crowd would get in a huff.
    19. Following on from Rules 17 and 18, any driver that attempts an on-track pass for position at the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix will be investigated by the stewards during the race for unsafe driving practices.
    20. The year-end results and standings of European junior racing formulas are 90% irrelevant to determining the drivers that get promoted to higher auto racing series (see Rules 6, 7, and 8 ).
    21. The British Formula One press are a rabid animal unto themselves.
    22. A decent-sized minority of Formula One fans are not fans of actual racing per se.
    23. No one loves Bernie Ecclestone, not even his children.
    24. The wave around rule is beyond stupid and dumb.

    NASCAR

    25. NASCAR surpassed Indycar to become the #1 motorsport series in the United States on August 6th, 1994, when Jeff Gordon won the inaugural Brickyard 400. The victory represented everything right with NASCAR and everything wrong with CART at the time.
    26. The only acceptable phrases used by people living outside the United States to describe NASCAR racing are “Days of Thunder” and “Ricky Bobby”.
    27. The only approved owners for NASCAR Cup tracks are the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI). Tracks in violation of this rule are only allowed to host races by a grandfather clause. Any track currently not hosting a Cup event but wishing to become one needs to first be sold to either ISC or SMI for pennies on the dollar.
    28. Any time the leader of a NASCAR race gets a lead of more than 5 seconds, sit expecting a caution flag for debris to come out.
    29. Selective enforcement of when to throw a caution flag is not only in effect but actively encouraged. When one is thrown or not depends on who is winning the race, whether NASCAR wants him to win, how large a lead he has, and if throwing the yellow would really spice up the entertainment and drama factor.
    30. When looking at historical data, completely ignore everything that occurred in Richard Petty’s career after the 1984 Firecracker 400.
    31. Any time TV ratings or attendance goes down, Brian France will come up with a minor alteration to NASCAR’s Chase/Playoffs format. This will be universally praised by the TV commentators as the best thing since Sliced Bread/Joey Logano. The best thing since Sliced Bread/Joey Logano will then be altered…again…the following year.
    32. The stage format is cover so they can have two prearranged long cautions for the TV networks to do commercials.
    33. Daytona and Talladega are big clusterf***s of races that require the least driver talent to win at on the circuit. (See Michael Waltrip, Derrike Cope, Trevor Bayne, Bobby Hillin Jr., Jimmy Spencer, David Ragan, Greg Sacks, and Phil Parsons.)
    34. 10 of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 26 career wins were at Daytona and Talladega.
    35. Restrictor plates were brought in to stop cars from jumping the fence at Daytona or Talladega, going into the crowd, and NASCAR being sued out of existence from all the aggrieved family members. Restrictor plates now exist to tighten everyone up and create big crashes…which is the most likely future cause of aggrieved family members attempting to sue NASCAR out of existence.
    36. The best thing that ever happened to NASCAR was the rise of Jeff Gordon. He opened the sport up to new fans, new sponsors, and the series got larger than ever before venturing into new markets previously indifferent to stock car racing.
    37. The worst thing that ever happened to American auto racing was the rise of Jeff Gordon. He opened NASCAR up to guys getting rides in the big series simply because they were young and good looking, talent be damned (hi Casey Atwood), and suddenly the grassroots became filled with daddies spending fortunes so young Ricky Bobby could be the next Gordon and get a Cup ride at 20 years old, forcing everyone to spend to simply keep up and completely changing the grassroots, removing a lot of pathways for blue-collar racers to simply race, making the sport even more about money than it was before (see Rules 3 and 4).
    38. Kyle Busch will likely win his 201st NASCAR national series race in a Truck race with few fans in attendance and only 3 to 4 Trucks that can stay on the same straightaway as him within 10 laps. He’ll then throw a pissy fit in the media and wonder why no one cares that he beat Richard Petty’s win record.
    39. The wave around rule is beyond stupid and dumb.

    Indycar

    40. Never mention the Split.
    41. Roger Penske is smarter than you.
    42. The fanbase is split into the oval crowd and the road racing crowd. The oval crowd idolize A.J. Foyt. The road racing crowd idolize Mario Andretti. Almost all arguments about the sport revolve around this difference in the fanbase.
    43. When an Andretti has a huge lead at Indianapolis, mechanical misfortune will occur to him on the backstretch.
    44. When looking at historical data, completely ignore everything that occurred in A.J. Foyt’s career where the races were sanctioned by CART.
    45. If you attempt to take a trophy away from A.J. Foyt in Victory Lane, he will bitchslap you.
    46. Nigel Mansell is the biggest crybaby ever.
    47. John is everyone’s favorite member of the Andretti family.
    48. The fans that exist in the online community are sometimes incredibly irrational (why Rule 40 exists). For example, some did not like Danica Patrick in Indycar even though she was the series’ top fan draw because in their opinion she was not good enough to be in the series. But in a lot of cases the same fans had no problem with anonymous European ride buyer #62 that finished in the back half of the field.
    49. Scott Dixon is an absolutely phenomenal racecar driver. He is also an absolutely terrible fan draw.
    50. Will Power is the king of the one-finger salute.
    51. Everyone that is not a powerbroker in the sport agrees it is idiotic to follow up Indianapolis with a doubleheader at Belle Isle.
    52. Everyone that is not a powerbroker in the sport agrees Michigan is a better track to have a race on than Belle Isle.
    53. Why does the post-Indianapolis Belle Isle doubleheader exist then? See Rules 4 and 41.
    54. The phrase “Well you see Paul…” will be engraved on Bobby Unser’s tombstone.
    55. Rick Mears is one of the all-time greats and biggest legends in the sport. No one would hire him if he was coming up today however because he wouldn’t be considered good enough on road courses.
    56. Indycar owners can tend to be the ones most out of touch with their audience as far as understanding why the fans are fans (hi Chip Ganassi).
    57. The leader of the race is not allowed to pass the pace car on a restart.
    58. However, lapped cars can pass the pace car under caution because of the wave around rule. The wave around rule is beyond stupid and dumb.

    Sportscars

    59. If you are watching a sportscar race and sit wondering how the car owner possibly got all the money to fund his car(s), chances are he is funding the race team through criminal means.
    60. IMSA is an acronym for a sanctioning body of American sportscar racing. It has two meanings: the International Motor Sports Association, and the International Marijuana Smugglers’ Association.
    61. Technical rules are set by whichever manufacturer can strong arm the sanctioning body best via money paid and threats to leave if they don’t get their way.
    62. There is no such thing as purse money.
    63. It is almost impossible for a privateer to defeat a factory car straight up. If it does happen, the factory car should probably withdraw from the sport within the year.
    64. Privateers are the lifeblood of the sport though. If they disappear, so will the sportscar series a few years after the manufacturers inevitably pull out (see Rule 9, almost every FIA-sanctioned sportscar series ever, IMSA GTP, American Le Mans Series, the current ACO LMP1 class).
    65. Following on from Rule 64, gentleman drivers, frowned upon elsewhere, are welcomed with open arms as the only way to pay the bills for a non-factory effort, and can lean on their co-driver to even win overall races here (see Milka Duno's career).

    Other

    66. No one has any clue what ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee for the United States) is or does.
    67. It was once said that “NASCAR exists for its fans, CART exists for its sponsors, and the SCCA exists for its corner workers.” One of the three is still true.
    68. The most byzantine racing organization in North America is the SCCA.
    69. The Trans-Am Series can work, it just needs to be ran professionally.
    70. Finland are the best country in the world in producing most quality drivers per capita.
    71. The purest auto race in the world is the Baja 1000. Honorable mention to Irish motorcycle road racing.
    72. Rally racing is simply the most out-of-control fun looking racing there is out there. It’s also difficult to near impossible to televise properly.
    73. Almost every Japanese driver in a European or North American racing series is there by request of a Japanese car manufacturer, or their father owns Panasonic.
    74. The demographics of the Supercross fanbase is the most desirable of any racing series. Not too coincidentally, it’s also a series where the star riders’ bodies are normally done at 30 years old.
    75. If you ever want to start an incredibly meaningless bench racing argument that could go on for awhile, talk about what the best points system is.
    76. No actual fans of Formula E exist yet. It seems to be a series competing on Mickey Mouse track designs to allow companies to say “we do X” instead of there being any actual interest in the product. Then again, see Rule 4.
    77. In an era when the number of American TV channels has exploded, USAC racing has less national television coverage now than it did in the late 1980s.
    78. For some reason, USAC drivers can no longer race on pavement, unless it’s a Silver Crown race.
    79. Following on from Rules 77 and 78, USAC still has good racing, and they don’t have a beyond stupid and dumb wave around rule.
    80. Seriously, why does the wave around rule exist? This is completely indefensible from a competition point of view. You can go an entire lap down and it miraculously doesn’t matter when the caution flag flies? Why are we counting laps then? Watch races from 15 to 30 years ago and realize how much more boring they would be if cars early in the event going a lap down was hand-waved into nothing once the yellow flag flew. You remove almost all meaning from the first half of the race because there’s no winnowing process for who is in contention for the win outside of mechanicals and crashes. Drivers in the back half of the pack don’t race one another to try and stay away from the leader as long as possible. Otherwise you’re presented with the sorry spectacle of 25 cars on the lead lap at the end of the race and guys in the back half of that acting like “well, we had a good car, just couldn’t get track position”. Just f*** off.
    81. Following on from Rule 80, if you are a journalist that does not understand why the leader would be following cars on the tail end of the lead lap behind the pace car, auto racing is too complicated a sport for you to handle. Tell your editor, quit, and find another job. (Not to mention it was always very entertaining for the race fan to see the leader with 2nd, 3rd, and so on right on his tail try to negotiate lap traffic in tight racing quarters.)
    82. Warts and all, auto racing is still a great sport.
    83. If calling auto racing a sport upsets you, how did you make it this long through these?
     
    Acs, LouieLouie, Kiante and 3 others like this.
  2. kkfan91

    kkfan91 Taking a 10-200

    This is great.
     
  3. LouieLouie

    LouieLouie Team Owner

    This is great!
    I think these are my favorites.

    10. All Formula One teams are equal, but some Formula One teams are more equal than others.
    11. Ferrari are very equal.
    38. Kyle Busch will likely win his 201st NASCAR national series race in a Truck race with few fans in attendance and only 3 to 4 Trucks that can stay on the same straightaway as him within 10 laps. He’ll then throw a pissy fit in the media and wonder why no one cares that he beat Richard Petty’s win record.
    43. When an Andretti has a huge lead at Indianapolis, mechanical misfortune will occur to him on the backstretch.
    47. John is everyone’s favorite member of the Andretti family.
    65. Following on from Rule 64, gentleman drivers, frowned upon elsewhere, are welcomed with open arms as the only way to pay the bills for a non-factory effort, and can lean on their co-driver to even win overall races here (see Milka Duno's career).
    73. Almost every Japanese driver in a European or North American racing series is there by request of a Japanese car manufacturer, or their father owns Panasonic.
    76. No actual fans of Formula E exist yet. It seems to be a series competing on Mickey Mouse track designs to allow companies to say “we do X” instead of there being any actual interest in the product. Then again, see Rule 4.
     
  4. gone

    gone Team Owner

    Love it. From my experience here's a few more:

    • Money can beat experience, but you will need a lot of money.

    • Racing can be so addictive that you’ll spend way more money than even you admit is sane.

    • You can get away with rough driving if you put fans in the stands.

    • People who build their own parts have an advantage over people who just buy parts… but enough money can overcome that advantage.

    • A great car can make a mediocre driver look fantastic, but a fantastic driver can make a mediocre car look great.

    • A few minutes of engaging mouth before engaging brain while in the public eye can injure your future, despite what you intended.

    • Tires can cover up a multitude of chassis mistakes, but the better chassis wins the long races.

    • Don’t train a driver by giving him (or her) bad equipment – it will just teach them bad habits.

    • For every ten minutes of fun on the race track there are probably sixty minutes of work or down time off the race track.

    • Racers and promoters need each other, but usually they act like they believe the opposite.

    • Fans rarely have racing experience and often assume falsehoods about racing, but you have to deal with it and gently teach them the truth because they have the power of social media.

    • The quickest way to the back of the pack is to get to the front of the pack and then get complacent.

    • If you think a race team is too slow and dangerous on the track, help them get good enough that they’re no longer a hazard.

    • If you hang around and talk to fans in the pits after the races you’re more likely to win sponsorships than if you go home as soon as your race is over.

    • If you go to the races with a chip on your shoulder and ready to fight you’re just making winning harder for yourself.

    • Don’t get on the tech man’s bad side, even if he deserves it – it’s a battle you can’t win.

    • Becoming friends with the announcer and giving him plenty of info about your team can pay off big time.

    • New rules intended to save racers money usually actually cost them more money.
     

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