"We'd never suspend somebody or send them home for two weeks," says Robert Lawton of Boone Speedway in Iowa. "There's no percentage in that. We all need cars, because without cars you don't have fans. We have to work with our racers. If we find something [in tech inspection] we don't like, we will usually tell the racer to have it fixed before he comes back next week. If it is a speed advantage, we will have him fix it there and come back through the line."
Fortunately, few people think cheating creates the same problems at local tracks as it does at the Nextel Cup level. For one thing, there isn't as much on the line. Also, McReynolds points out that many teams use volunteer labor to prepare the car and work on it during evenings after regular work days are over. Many teams struggle to keep their race cars properly prepared to go racing each week. There simply isn't the money or time to dream up elaborate ways to cheat.
Lawton agrees. "Of the 200 cars we get every week," he says, "we probably get a car we have a problem with maybe once every two to three weeks."
Although cheating does happen...
Although cheating does happen at the Saturday night level, many feel it isn't as prevalent as it is at the sport's top levels. Local racers typically aren't making a living at the sport, so more may be bound by honor to race "clean." Jeff Huneycutt
When it comes to cheating at any level, the response is often to initiate more rules and stiffer penalties. But Scott Bloomquist, a professional Dirt Late Model racer, feels the best way to eliminate cheating as a detriment in racing is to get rid of many of the rules that constrict the racers.
"The more rules you have, the more accusations you are going to have about everybody cheating," says Bloomquist, one of the most popular and winningest drivers in dirt racing. "In Dirt Late Model racing we have open engine rules and more horsepower than you do traction most of the time. There just isn't as much reason to cheat.
"But now you have the growing popularity of crate motor racing, and the opportunity to cheat more comes with it. When you limit the horsepower, the only thing it takes to win is more horsepower than the next guy. So if someone can come up with a way to get more power, the chances of winning are greatly increased, and that increases the chances of cheating.
"A lot of rules, the only thing they do is give the smart racers a greater advantage. That's why there is no greater racing than having more horsepower than you do traction."