Usually when NASCAR teams cheat, it’s something subtle: shaving open the holes in the restrictor plate or making an adjustment of a centimeter or two to a rear window to get aerodynamics. But not Carl Long and his crew chief Charles Swing - they decided if they were going the cheat, why not go the whole mile? So in the qualifying event for last weekend’s All-Star Race, they just went ahead and used an oversized engine.
Unfortunately for them, they had to switch engines between qualifying and the race, which triggered a NASCAR inspection of the bad engine. And as you can imagine, it didn’t take long for NASCAR to figure out that something was wrong. ESPN.COM says that NASCAR lowered the hammer on Long and Swing today, suspending them each for 12 races and fining Swing $200,000 - the largest fine in the sport’s history. They also suspended the car owner - Long’s wife Danielle - for 12 races and docked Long 200 points.
Someone call Keyboard Cat to play Long off of the NASCAR circuit. Actually, the suspension hardly changes the NASCAR points battle: Long had yet to qualify for a race this season, which means that he now has -200 points on the season. So technically, all of us are ahead of him in the NASCAR standings. In fact, he hasn’t made a Sprint Cup points race since 2006, which makes you understand why they probably thought it was worth the risk to try and pull a fast one on NASCAR.
But again, maybe they could have been somewhat less…blatant about it. This is like something that Dick Dastardly would have tried to get away with in the “Wacky Races” - the fact that Long had a dog sitting in the passenger seat that wouldn’t stop snickering probably should have been a clue. At that point, why not just put in a jet engine and be done with it?
And the cheating didn’t help: Long finished in last place in the All-Star qualifying race after his engine blew out. If they just would have had more horsepower, maybe that would have made a difference.
But if Carl Long isn’t in NASCAR, then who is going to pull stunts like this?: