Dale Earnhardt Jr: “You can’t have referees high fivin’ coaches on the sideline.”
At Texas Motor Speedway, a tire rolled out of the pit stall for Kevin Harvick. The rule is it has to be within arms reach. It was close to a borderline call but in the end it was certainly suppose to be a penalty.
At this point, Kevin Harvick had already fought his way back to the front from a loose wheel due to failed air guns. It was late in the race and Harvick was the only car in the field that had anything for Kyle Busch. That only made the fist-bump look a little worse.
Harvick’s crew received word of the no call. Robert Smith the car chief for the #4 who’s also known as “Cheddar” was excited to hear this news. He reached out to give a fist-bump to a NASCAR official. It was all caught on film.
After the race, NASCAR announced that they missed the call on the uncontrolled tire. That announcement in correlation with the fist-bump drew a bit of controversy.
“It isn’t a good look. And I think the blame really lays on the official in that situation. You can’t have referees high fivin’ coaches on the sideline,” Dale Earnhardt Jr stated via the Dale Jr Download.
“If they overturn a penalty or something. You can’t have high-fivin and patting each other on the back.”
Harvick’s crew initiated the fist bump. I’m sure the official was just caught off guard and followed through not to leave him hangin’. It wasn’t like they worked up a behind the scenes deal. But, it’s still not good.
“The responsibility of being professional in that situation weighs heavier on the official than KHI’s manager or the car chief or anybody else.”
“If I’m a NASCAR official and a guy from another team puts his fist out to fist-bum me — I’m gunna feel weird about that! Especially in the middle of competition.”
“I understand why it happens and how it happens. Because of the [family] culture in our sport. I don’t think you should do that going forward.”
“That particular situation is why it bothered people. They had just not called a penalty on them. A day later their saying, ‘Hey we should have penalized them.’ And then you have video of a fist-bump going on. It just looks bad.”
“It’s just not a good look. There’s nothing to it. NASCAR’s not playing favorites. NASCAR busts everybody’s ass the same,” Dale Earnhardt Jr concluded.