As the Wahta Springs 300 at Barrie Speedway got down to the final laps, Alex Tagliani had his sights set on a podium finish after staying out of trouble throughout the night. However, in the span of 30 seconds, the entire night for Tagliani fell apart.
Coming off of turn four, Joey McColm made contact with Tagliani, causing him to slow up, leaving Jeff Lapcevich nowhere to go but into the back of Tagliani. Tagliani’s No. 18 EpiPen/Diacom/CanTorque Dodge would then get sideways on the frontstretch, catching McColm and resulting in both cars heading up into the frontstretch wall, with Tagliani’s car sustaining heavy front end damage.
Following the race, Tagliani met with NASCAR to discuss whether penalties should forth come against drivers who are being too aggressive. It’s not the first time that Tagliani has visited with series officials as he met with them on a couple occasions earlier this year for the same reason as this marks the fifth time this year that Tagliani has finished the race with a wrecked racecar.
“We went there the first time that we got taken out in the season, the second time, third time and said it’d be quite nice if you could be more aggressive and strict with the drivers, and demand a certain level of respect on the track,” Tagliani explained. “We went there again and begged for them to do it again, and they didn’t do anything. Tonight, we purposely drove a race that was staying out of trouble, that was like let people go by on purpose so we don’t get taken out and in the last moment of the race, when everyone lost control, we got taken out again, and we went to see them to see if they were going to do something. It came out as if they didn’t see it, conveniently, so I feel that its just wrong.”
Tagliani went on to say that if the series does what they need to do, the drivers are going to behave accordingly moving forward. However, with lack of penalties, it becomes a series where you can “basically do whatever you want”.
“I think its wrong,” he added. “From my standpoint, if they want to get cleaner races and not so much damage, they could do it by penalizing people and showing that they won’t let things fly, but they never do it. At the end of the day, you have to prepare to retaliate and do your thing – and maybe that’s what’s going to need to happen. If you never do anything and you have to retaliate, maybe you fix things in your own hands.
“I don’t know what the solution is with the way they want to arbitrate or run the series. If you leave it wide open like this, it’s basically never going to stop. But if you do something wrong and get penalized, do it a second time and get penalized, you get tired of getting penalized that you end up behaving. It’s not because you learned – but because they’re consequences.”
As a result of the series of events that have happened throughout the season, Tagliani is contemplating whether he will continue to be involved with the series with one race remaining this year.
“We told them to give penalties to deserve penalties and without it, driving like this is going to happen again. I can’t be part of that,” Tagliani commented. “I can’t come here, work, spend money, advertise the series, sponsors and the series accepts everybody to run like that. It is not what I believe in.”