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RANDY'S BLOG ON THE BLACK FLAG
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SEPT. 16, 2007

THE BLACK FLAG AS IT SHOULD BE: RANDY SAYS SO.

This blog will deal with the black flag use for rough driving and will not address the other times it is needed for safety such as smoke, lose metal, flat tires and etc.

First of all it is real important for a track to have a 2-postiton penalty flag. We use the blue w/yellow strip for a 2 -position penalty. The reason the 2-p flag is necessary so that you do not have to hold back on rough driving penalties. Tracks that only use the black tend to try not to use it because it is like the death penalty to the offending driver. And usually this driver is one of the top drivers too. In fact most tracks just continue to say "we didn't see the hit" so we can't penalize anyone. The other stock answer you will get at most tracks when they do use the black is "I didn't make the call and I'm not sure who did" then after the big run around you usually can't find anyone who will tell you yes they called it and here is the reasons for it. In Either of these 2 scenarios, you know it amounts to plain old BS.

There are some drivers that think if they get their bumper up to the other cars door then they have the lead and have the right to pick the racing line. Now, I'll tell you why this is wrong and does not work as a standing rule. The object in point is to save all the drivers money from tore up cars. So, if the track is committed to having clean door to door racing then the car that is passing and if his head is "out" in the open (this is not always the case) then he has the vision and the car that he is passing does not have as much vision but probably can hear a car on his side. Now, we all know some drivers block and lean on you when you attempt to pass. In most cases if you pass on the outside they will not lean on you as much because it's common sense that you may not get by on the outside where if you pull up on the inside you usually have the pass made before they can lean on you. BUT WHEN THEY DO LEAN you must move over and not rub them if possible. The main reason a smart driver will mover over as they make a pass like this instead of hitting or rubbing the other car is simply to keep from knocking himself out. The driver that rubs them back or hits them back is risking 2 things. First thing is it is highly likely that it would cut his own tire down. Second problem is he may get a rough driving penalty when they get to the corner and the hit becomes harder than they might really want it to be.

In rough driving penalties the flagman can not and should not even try to decide if it was on purpose or not. If the hit is really hard or spins the other car out it usually should be reason for the black flag. If its hard but does not take out the other car then a 2-p penalty would be in order. If the pass is made with a slight amount of rubbing, then you can say rubbing is racing especially if the front cars was blocking. But in no case should the passing car be allowed to just take him out for blocking. A driver that pays too much attention to blocking and not enough to his driving will be easy to pass anyway. Who ever has their bumper in front has the right of way and can pick his line to enter the corner. If the rough driving is handled this way then everyone wins. Both drivers have less body work to do next week and it saves them both money and time. If you can not race clean then you need to get you a thunder bomber and have fun or go fishing.

One more important point is my favorite tease statement: "IT ALWAYS DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ARE" This is ALWAYS the case at all tracks. Including mine. Some will try to lie to you and say it ain't so but it is ALWAYS the case. I'm the only one that will tell you the truth. I do everything in my power to be as un biased and fair as I possibly can make it.  Remember the next time it might be you that is the one being passed, you will want to to be clean too.

We will continue to use the 2-p flag and the black flag just as we hav ein the past.  Keep the driving clean at theSpeebowl and all will be happy and have fun.