NASCAR head fights cheating

July 24, 2007 at 3:11 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., July 24 (UPI) -- Brian France, head of Daytona Beach, Fla., based NASCAR, is fighting to clear pit stops of car modifications that fall into a gray area of the sport's rules.

France has handed down a record number of suspensions, cash fines and point deductions this season against teams found to have taken measures not spelled out in the NASCAR rulebook to speed up their cars, the Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday.

The crackdown "is a response to the demands of big-time corporate sponsors who want to know they have the same chance to be in victory lane as any other team," Jim Wright, a Florida sociologist and author of "Fixin' to Git," a memoir about NASCAR fandom, told the newspaper.

However, some say the tightening of the rules goes against the tradition and spirit of the competition.

"There's a culture in the sport that says, 'If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin',' and that's what NASCAR is fighting," David Poole, racing correspondent for the Observer newspaper in Charlotte, N.C., said to the Monitor.

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