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August 2011
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cheating present participle of cheat (Verb)

Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination.

In any game or competition that I have ever seen there is always one who wants to cheat, to gain that unfair advantage. Why? God only knows, but it happens. What do they gain? Nothing, nothing at all, because like all the lessons you were taught as a kid “cheaters never win …. and winners never cheat” still hold true.

In over 30+ years of racing I have seen all forms of cheating, both the blatant kind and the subtle kind either way it is still cheating, how many drivers out there have trophies sitting on shelves that they know they were illegal when they won, does it make it right because they were not caught? Does that make the win special? Not in my book.

There has always been people who cheat, and there has always been ways to battle cheating. Such as inspections, especially in auto racing. Pre-race technical inspections, post-race inspections, protest, all created to battle the one’s who insist on cheating.

In auto racing on a local level, cheating is rampant, and the only way to battle it is to file a protest, where one person approaches the staff of a track and points out the infractions of another. Some times this requires a fee, put up by the person who is filing the protest, and should the accused be found guilty the person who filed the protest will get his money back, but should the accused be found legal, then the one who filed the protest does not get his money back it goes to the one who was protested, to off set the cost of putting his equipment back together. Is this system perfect? No it is a long way from it, BUT it is the best system that can be used cost wise for all involved.

Recently there was a protest at North Georgia Speedway in the crate class, one driver felt that, the car who finished in front of him was not legal, so a protest was filed, when the winner who had been protested found out he had been protested he, in turn, protested the one who started the initial protest. So here we have 2 cars accused of not being legal, is that cheating? Well yeah and no, being accused does not make it so. But in this case both engines were taken out of the cars and impounded until a inspector could be brought in to inspect them.

Well let’s look at this story, a little deeper, Jeff Smith and TEAM17 won the race, as he has done almost every time the green flag flies at NGS in crates, Craig Burrows in the 23 car protested him, Burrows who finished second could not believe that he had gotten beat. So he felt the engine in the 17S car was illegal. He paid the money and protested the 17S car, who in turn protested the car who had just protested him. And he was within his rights to do so according to the rules.

The engines from both cars were impounded and taken to the Ellis’ race shop, which was a neutral place to wait for the inspector. On Sunday morning the management of NGS brought in Tim Sims who is head Technical inspector for Crate USA and Nesmith crate series to perform the inspection. It was done at the shop of the Ellis’ and with the tech man from NGS and the owners of both engines there. The engine of the 17 car was found to be legal, while the other engine of Burrows was to be NOT LEGAL, it had UN-approved parts and UN-approved work done to the engine making it NOT LEGAL. The 17S car was awarded the win, and the protest fee’s. Proving that the win was not tainted with an illegal engine. He just flat out drove the 23 car of Burrows.

Now I tried to get in touch with Craig Burrows to hear his side of this and he had “no comment” but Randall Hill and Mr. Ellis both talked to me about this, and here is some of what they had to say.

When I asked Mr. Ellis about the way the protest was handled this is what he had to say “We as racers know what is involved in all of this and we wanted everything above board, and done in a professional manner so that everything was out in the open and there was no back door stuff done” he continued “ this is how all protest will be handled in the future here at NGS, we want things done in a professional manner and out in the open, no engine builder will be doing the inspections, only a tech man who that’s all he does, such as Mr Sims “ . and when I talked to Randall Hill he said that he was impressed with the way the track had handled the issue and that things were done in a professional manner. “I want to thank the track and the Ellis’ family for the professional way they handled this and they opened their shop to all parties involved and that everything was done in a professional manner” said Mr Hill, who owns the 17S of Jeff Smith. Mr. Hill also wanted to thank everyone involved with the process in getting his engine back together, “Eric Cables at Racetek done a great job putting our motor together and making sure we were legal” said Mr Hill. “We were legal in this protest, and we have always been legal, Fatback and Jeff work very hard to put the best car on the track each and every week, it ain’t loaded with cheated up parts, it is loaded with hard work.” Mr Hill also said “if anyone wants to look at anything on our car, put up the money and you can see it, we got nothing to hide, we race clean and legal.”

This is just one protest at one track but this happens all over the USA at tracks big and small, and some are done the right way , some are not. But to keep the integrity of the sport intact this is how they should be done. To involve each party involved and make sure things are done above board.

Why would a driver cheat, when they know that the price, if caught, will be disqualification, but some still do it over and over again.

There is a small gray area in all rule books that leave a small area that could be open to creative interpretation. Drivers and teams who use this to gain an advantage are often called cheaters, but are they? I know of a team a few years ago who, when they read the rule book, it said, “no angle plug heads” which was placed in the rules to prevent the use of the “Bow-tie” head, well one team took a set of rough casting bow-tie heads and had the plugs machined in straight up, not angled, they were caught, and protested, the tech man was in a quandary, the engine was to the book, not to the spirit of the law but to the book. The next season the rule was changed to say “ No bow-tie heads”. Lesson learned.

Like when someone show’s up to the track “knowing” they re not legal but race anyway, and then get mad when they get caught, what kind of logic is that?

Should these teams be commended or condemned?

That is for you to decide.

What I can’t understand is why cheat if you know your wrong? Is winning that important to you? If so you need to find a different way to get your thrills, cheaters NEVER win! Even if they get the checkered flag.

I welcome all comments to this post away on here or if you want to keep it private


the dr.



1 Comment

  1. Holly says:

    Like I always say “YOU CAN’T WIN WHEN YOU GET DQ’ED”!!! End of story!!!

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