Following the Joey Logano mess, the rule might change for 2018
Joey Logano served a rather unique penalty over the weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Not unique in it’s style, but in it’s duration.
After failing pre-qualifying inspection 4 times, NASCAR slapped Team Penske will a loss of practice time. Not only did the team never make it past inspection and onto track for qualifying. They also failed tech a record number of times, netting a record duration of missed practice time.
The rule is that a driver must suit up and wait at the end of pit road to serve his penalty. This was the first time a team would miss an entire practice round due to the stack of missed inspection. So, Joey Logano was forced to suit up, as if he would be heading to the track, when instead he would be forced to sit there, basically for nothing.
“I had time for a lot of thoughts in there,” Logano said. “Mainly that it’s a total joke. I don’t know why it has to be on pit road. There’s no reason to sit out there. It’s dumb.”
Related: NASCAR put Joey Logano in timeout
When an NHL player is handed a penalty that will last longer than the period, he doesn’t sit in the penalty box. He goes to the locker room. Why isn’t that same theory applied to NASCAR penalties?
“Fair question. So, this was the first time we’ve ever had an entire practice,” Steve O’Donnell refers to the Joey Logano penalty via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“So, they reason the driver was part of that is just to have some teeth in the penalty. If the driver’s not part of that we felt like teams may purposely continue to fail. It’s an entire team penalty, we wanted everyone to be part of that.”
NASCAR has penalized many teams this year. Aside from days when an overwhelming number of cars are parked for practice, it hasn’t been much of a story. This weekend, it certainly was. Mostly, that was because it was the first time that a team was placed in the penalty box for the entire duration of practice.
Additionally, the story was magnified by Joey Logano’s rather comical use of social media. As Joey Logano sat parked on pit lane, fans posed with the driver in timeout. His wife included, a photo which Joey Logano captioned “Family visitation.”
“I think there’s some different things we can look at in the future,” Steve O’Donnell told ‘The Morning Drive’ on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Maybe not for this year because we want to be fair the rule that we’ve had in place. In 2018, you could look at the possibility of a driver going out to start practice and then being pulled off the track. Black flagged, if it’s a 20 minute penalty.
It’s one of those things, where until it happens in totality of practice, it becomes more of a story. It think it’s fair for us to take a look at that going forward.
Author: Shane Walters