Did NASCAR Apply The Rules Evenly?

Jeff Gordon

(WOMR file photo)

NASCAR has spoken regarding the incident between  “Mr. Four-Time”, Jeff Gordon, and Clint Bowyer last Sunday at Phoenix.  Actually, NASCAR issued more of a whisper than an edict!

NASCAR announced penalties to three teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions at Phoenix International Raceway.

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car, was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing),  altercation with another competitor on the race track during the race.  Gordon has been fined $100,000, docked 25 championship driver points, and put on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Rick Hendrick, owner of the #24 car, has also been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points.

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the #24 car, also was found to be in violation of Section 9-4A (at all events, crew chief assumes responsibility of his driver, car owner and team members).   Gustafson has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Brian Pattie, crew chief of the #15 car, violated Sections 12-1 and 9-4A, has been fined $25,000, and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 car, has been fined $25,000, placed on probation until Dec. 31 for violating Sections 12-1 and 20-6.7A (cars and drivers will not be permitted to carry onboard computers, automated electronic recording devices, electronically actuated devices, power distribution modules, power conditioners, micro-processors, recording devices, electronic digital memory chips, traction control devices, digital readout gauges and the like, even if inoperable or incomplete).  Keselowski had a cell phone in his possession onboard the race car. All of these violations occurred during the Nov. 11 event at PIR.

Statement From Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition: “Following a thorough analysis of the actions that took place during Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway, we have issued penalties based upon our review. The decisions announced today cover NASCAR’s full assessment of penalties for the incidents that occurred. There’s no doubt that a unique set of circumstances combined with a championship battle on the line resulted in raw emotions coming into play. We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them.”(NASCAR)

How many of you remember an incident between ol Kylie Busch and Ron Hornaday last November at the Texas Motor Speedway?  It was  an incident that looked a lot like the what happened last Sunday at PIR with Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer.

If I  remember correctly, NASCAR parked KyBu for the weekend last November in Texas, Busch missed both the Nationwide and the Sprint Cup races, in addition NASCAR issued some pretty hefty fines and probation, for both driver and race team.  Can someone explain the differences between that on track road rage at Texas, and “Mr. Four-Time’s” retaliation against Clint Bowyer at Phoenix.  I am really having a very difficult time trying to distinguish the differences.

Both Kyle and Jeff each retaliated by maliciously helping another car try to knock down the crash wall!  I do not see any differences in the circumstances, whatsoever.

Maybe the biggest difference is Jeff Gordon is a four-time champion of the series.  Whereas, ol Kylie is one of the noted bad boys of the series.

Does being a past champion of the series, or possibly the most popular driver, or for that matter the most disliked driver in the series, make a difference in how NASCAR dispenses justice?  Quite honestly, neither of these qualities should be enough to differ how justice is dispensed.

Is there any doctrine that NASCAR uses in applying equal justice and penalties to all parties, like our Constitution’s “equal justice under the law” doctrine?  Apparently not!  It is quite evident that the powers to be in NASCAR have failed miserably over the years in applying equal penalties to all parties for rules infractions!

It should not matter if you are Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, or Morgan Shepard, the penalties imposed by NASCAR, for rules infractions by the competitors, should be the same, period!  By not being uniform across the board in their assigning penalties and fines, NASCAR looses much credibility within the racing community.

What are your views?


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