Only exist sometimes?
In the middle of last week NASCAR CEO Brian France as well as Steve O’Donnell both spoke on NASCAR retaliation penalties. In individual interviews they basically said the same thing.
The NASCAR Executives mutually stated, “NASCAR would not tolerate any on-track retaliation. Or drivers using their cars as a weapon.” This topic was brought to the surface after the Kyle Busch and Joey Logano post-race incident. A fight, on pit lane using fists instead of racecars.
4 or 5 days later, Austin Dillon was wrecked by Cole Custer as they raced for 6th place. Austin Dillon then took his mangled car on a search for Cole Custer. He found him, under caution and on the race track. Then put him in the wall, using his car as a weapon.
To the surprise of most, NASCAR didn’t penalize Austin Dillon for the Phoenix International Raceway incident.
Today, Austin Dillon spoke a bit on the incident. He discussed the meeting at the big red [green] truck. In that meeting NASCAR told Austin, “If you ever wreck a car under caution again, you’ll be suspended.”
So, what NASCAR meant early last week was, “On-track retaliation will not be tolerated. You cannot use your car as a weapon.” However, we appear to have a hidden asterick to that rule.
*Unless your name is Austin Dillon. *Unless you’re going under 30mph. *Unless it’s your first offence in awhile. *Unless we didn’t intend to direct our initial warning to you specifically. *Unless the other driver isn’t mad that you retaliated. *Unless it’s a bright sunny day.
The NASCAR rule book is cloudy. How many warnings do these NASCAR drivers get? Does each driver each get their own individual warning? Or does the next driver who does this get suspended? The rule book appears to only apply, sometimes.
Danica Patrick wants her money back. She spoke on the incident today at a press conference at Auto Club Speedway. She doesn’t understand why she was fined for an incident with Kasey Kahne yet Austin Dillon gets off free, bail set at $0.
Dale Earnhardt Jr offered his thought on Austin Dillon early in the week. This was before the window for NASCAR penalties came and went. Dale Earnhardt Jr said he should be fined and have to speak at some sort of an event to promote the sport. “Something” he described.
Tony Stewart is the team owner of the NASCAR Xfintiy Series car driven by Cole Custer. Today, Austin Dillon said he spoke to Tony Stewart ahead of the cup race at Phoenix. Tony walked over to his car, grabbed Dillon. Then stated, “Hey you wrecked my car!”
However, Tony Stewart was just yanking Austin Dillon’s chain. The part owner of Stewart-Haas Racing continued, “I’m just kidding. I probably would have done the same thing. I’m not mad at you.”
Cole Custer had a very similar reaction to the on-track retaliation. He took full blame for the initial accident with Austin Dillon. Even after getting wreck under caution, he remained apologetic.
But the rule book isn’t intended to be enforced if a team or driver got their feelings hurt. It’s suppose to be enforced if a rule was broken. Either have a rule, or don’t.
Author: Shane Walters