Your Turn: Relief for ailing drivers?
Our experts get to have their say every Tuesday, debating the week's burning questions in our Turn 4 wrangle.
Now it's Your Turn.
We're selecting one hot-button topic each week and letting y'all have at it. We invite you to cast your vote in the accompanying poll and then steer down to the Conversations section below and tell us why you voted the way you did.
Prefer Twitter? You can tweet your response using the hashtag #ESPNYourTurn.
We will collect the top tweets and most engaging comments and publish them below. Check back throughout the day to see if yours get posted.
This week's question: In the case of medically documented serious injuries, should NASCAR allow substitute drivers to accumulate points on behalf of the injured driver?
Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed the Charlotte race on Saturday night and will sit out Sunday's event at Kansas with a concussion. If his fill-in driver, Regan Smith, could earn points on Junior's behalf, NASCAR's most popular driver still may have a shot -- albeit a long one -- at a Cup championship.
So what say you, NASCAR Nation? Should NASCAR make this happen?
Now have at it
The best from Twitter (#ESPNYourTurn)
#ESPNYourTurn the evidence is in, a career of concussive trauma is harmful. Athletes should be encouraged to sit when it's not safe.— SomeThingVeryXtreme (@StvX) October 17, 2012
#espnyourturn Easy solution, combine confusing Drivers/Owners titles to 1 TEAM title. Puts pressure on drivers & teams all season long!— Martin Feigen (@huskypals) October 17, 2012
The best from ESPN Conversations
• bobmanbroncofan -- Really? A replacement getting points for you? Does a guy who is going for a batting title get to use hits his replacement gets if he gets hurt? How about a running back in football who hurts his knee just 2 touchdowns from a season record, if the guy who replaces him gets 2 touchdowns would you apply that toward the record? Of course not. Your not in the car = you dont get any points.
• billipsj -- I think Nascar has resolved this issue with owner points. The driver needs to be racing the car to get driver points. The start and swap thing is silly to me but you do pay the time penalty it takes to swap drivers so I get it and can accept it. If a driver is to hurt or to ill to race he doesn't deserve points.
Mark Garrow talks about more concussion tests for Dale Earnhardt Jr.as Greg Biffle praises Junior’s decision. Plus, NASCAR makes big rule changes for 2013.
• Spade Racing -- Unfortunately there's no good way to solve this problem. If you keep things at the status-quo you'll still have drivers competing with broken bones (or worse) just to stay in championship contention. But lets say that drivers are allowed to have substitutes and still accumulate championship points--how long till that right gets abused? What's to stop, say, Matt Kenseth from coming down with "the flu" a few days before Watkins Glen, and having Boris Said jump in his car? What if a team owner is trying to remove his current driver, so he tries to have him declared "medically unfit", so he can find a replacement and still stay in Chase contention? I think that a mitigating factor to keep things the way they are now is that the best of the best drivers tend to have very long careers (especially compared to stick-and-ball athletes). For the best-of-the-best, its still terrible to have to drop out of championship contention due to injury, but most can come back the following year to contend again ...
• firstname.lastname@example.org -- NASCAR is the only sport where an individual can't miss an event. Doesn't make sense.
• phishphan70 -- Driver points are driver points. If Miguel Cabrerra got injured this past season, would the MLB let his replacement rack up hits, HRs and RBIs for him? Not a chance. Owner points are a totally different argument. Driver points are personal, owner points are for your team. I am baffeled that so many people disagree with me. Might it have to do with who is actually injured this time ...
• txtechjmacattack -- The only way that would work is if driver's points were completely done away with and the owner's championship was all that mattered. That would mean drivers -- and their substitutes -- could be likened to starting and backup QBs on a football team. Otherwise, there are just too many loopholes that could be taken advantage of. What if a driver feigned injury at the two road courses so that a road racing ace could take his place? And what if a driver won the championship even though he missed a race or two, when his closest competitors started every event? I like the safety reasoning behind the idea, but the competiveness and fairness aspects just don't make a lick of sense ...
• taylor999991 -- NASCAR should let the driver throw out 2 races from the regular season and 1 from the chase, whether they are involved in a wreck or don't race due to injuries.
• More on ESPN Conversations.