After taking some time to mull over NASCAR’s assessment of what transpired at the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, in my opinion they made some progress in trying to right the wrongs caused by Michael Waltrip Racing, but they didn’t finish the job. The penalties handed out were a basic slap on the wrist, and instead of MWR controlling the outcome, NASCAR controlled it.
NASCAR president Mike Helton summed it up in a statement following the investigation on Monday evening.
”We penalize to ask for it to not happen again,” NASCAR President Mike Helton said. ”It’s a message from the league or the sanctioning body saying ‘You can’t do this.”’
Although Martin Truex Jr, and Brian Vickers were deemed to be part of the conspiracy, and fined 50 points each, the main offender was Clint Bowyer. Clint Bowyer allegedly created a spin while Ryan Newman was leading the race, why does his 50 point deduction not affect his Chase position. I agree with Jeff Gordon’s tweet:
Feel bad for Truex. He got in under controversy now out due to it. But the guy who started all of this not effected at all??? Don’t agree!
— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) September 10, 2013
I have a real problem here with Clint Bowyers tweet following the penalties being handed out:
No rearview mirrors in life, just windshield ahead. It’s been a great year and is going to be a great chase. Time to move on!!!
— Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) September 10, 2013
If NASCAR wanted to actually get this thing right, the entire team would be disqualified from the chase, and Ryan Newman, along with Jeff Gordon would be in the chase.
The remainder of the penalties that were doled out were also a joke. Michael Waltrip Racing was fined $300,000 dollars, and all of the crew chiefs involved were put on probation until December..Whoopi!!. Michael Waltrip Racing will more than likely appeal all penalties.
I’m sure that the amount of dollars that Bass Pro Shops dumps into NASCAR had some effect on the penalties handed down on Monday evening. This is just another case of sponsor dollars controlling the sport instead of the people who run it. I have to wonder how Bill France Sr would handle such problems.
NASCAR is unique in that the Company makes the rules and dispenses justice. All other sports are considered a monopoly, and have commissioners who oversee the sport, the rules, and rulings. NASCAR, unlike Golf, The NFL, or Major League Baseball does not have a commissioner or a public rule book. It is a private corporation, and basically they can do anything they want.
And they are amazed why the fan base is quickly eroding.
You can follow Les on Twitter @Spin_47