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Google on NASCAR Losing Streak

SPIDER RAPIDS -- Fireball Richards made NASCAR history by finishing dead last for the eighteenth consecutive week in the "ten-to-the-hundredth-power" numbered car at last Saturday's R.K. Tube Steak 500 at the Spider Rapids Speedway.

"I can't explain it," said Crew Chief Earl "Lugs" McCracken. "With the unlimited budget the sponsor has given us, the Google Ford Fusion car is an awesome machine, but it just don't seem to want get in there and swap paint to move to the front of the pack."

The Internet behemoth, best known for it's ubiquitous search engine, sponsored Richards for the 2014 Cup season as a test bed for it's Self-Driving Car development program. While Richards' "look ma, no hands" antics have been a fan favorite, his leaderboard results have been cause for growing concern up and down pit road.

"I'm telling you there is something fishy going on here," said arch rival and three-time NASCAR champion Humpy McCoy. "I think that car is packed with electronics and they're spying on us by tapping all of our telemetry."

A recent article on ESPN's Jayski's Silly Season Site accused Google of collecting fan cell phone metadata during the race and of using street view cameras mounted behind the right side windows of the car to photograph the grandstands. Jaski's speculated that the Google car's slow racing speed is necessary for facial recognition software to capture and catalog each and every fan attending the event.

Tech bloggers have theorize that programmers are having difficulty adapting driverless car algorithms, which are designed for safety on public streets and thoroughfares, to the high speeds, close drafting and car-to-car contact in the pack typical of stock car racing.

Google has not commented publicly on the race results which appear highly uncharacteristic for the hyper-competitive, market-dominating company.

Robin Pemberton, Vice President, Competition and Racing Development, said after Saturday's R.K. Tube Steak 500 that NASCAR is not aware of any rules violations or other improprieties, but that the competition committee is monitoring the situation closely.



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