NASCAR executive comments on the $50,000 fine to Bubba Wallace; A fine higher than previous cases of the same violation
On November 3, 2019 Bubba Wallace picked up a flat tire at Texas Motor Speedway. Pitting under green would have placed him several laps down.
So, Wallace took a more creative route. He spun on purpose entering the corner in an attempt to bring out a caution.
The problem was, he only half spun out and quickly regathered it on the apron. NASCAR officials didn’t bite as the green flag remained.
Off the corner, Wallace decided to spin again. This time, he spun to the inside of the track and even made light contact with the inside wall. Again, on purpose.
This time, NASCAR dropped the caution flag. That flag came at a horrible time for many cars who had just pitted.
After the race, Kyle Larson was upset as his day was ruined as a result.
Many current and former drivers spoke out on the situation. Everyone was in agreement that it was intentional. Furthurmore, Kyle Larson said he reviewed the telemetry throttle data which made it clear as day to him that it was intentional.
NASCAR attempts to avoid any judgement calls. This is one of those cases. Until a driver basically admits it…
NASCAR fines Bubba Wallace $50,000
A whole week went by, Wallace had escaped a fine thus far.
On Friday at ISM Raceway, Bubba Wallace was asked about the spin from the week prior. Was he worried?
“Until they do anything, no,” Bubba Wallace said on Friday. “I’m not the only one to do it. I’m racing for myself. Not for Larson. Not for Chevrolet at that moment. For myself and going multiple laps down.”
That comment was essentially an admission of guilt. At the same time, he was baiting officials to do something.
They did. NASCAR reacted to the comments by fined Bubba Wallace $50,000.
He was hit with a whole book of violations: Section 12.1.a (General Procedures), Section 12.8 (NASCAR Member Conduct), Section 12.8.1 (Member Conduct Guidelines) as well as Section 10.8 (In-Race Violations).
Drivers have been fined for intentionally spinning to bring out a caution in the past. However, it’s never been $50,000. Dale Earnhardt Jr was fined just $10,000 when he did it a Bristol Motor Speedway a decade ago.
Steve O’Donnell on the $50,000 fine to Bubba Wallace
“If we want to make every decision and just compare everything, not change and do everything like 2004, we can do that,” Steve O’Donnell stated via ‘The Morning Drive’ on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“I get a little frustrated sometimes, with the constant comparison to not only last year but 15 years ago, what a penalty was. Times change.”
“You gotta make basic calls, based on what’s happening out there. We’ve said, ‘Our goal is not to get involved in those judgement calls.’ “
“We got the best drivers in the world. They know what they’re doing. But, it’s difficult to make that call. And we’ve stood by that.”
“But, once a driver admits it. Then, basically asks us penalize them. Then says, ‘Until we do something, it’s going to continue.’ We’re going to react.”
“You know, we’re not going to put the sport in jeopardy. So, we did that and handled it swiftly. We talked to Bubba, the team and issued that penalty the next morning.”