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Is NASCAR Getting Penalty Happy?

Todd Warshaw/Getty images

It’s safe to say that 2013 is the year of NASCAR penalties. And boy, are they flying fast and furious!

It started with Denny Hamlin being fined $25,000 for commenting about how the Gen-6 car sucked. That was March 3rd. Follow that with three teams being fined at Texas (Martin Truex, Jr, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski). Then, the biggie: Matt Kenseth’s car was found to have a connecting rod that was too light.

The Texas penalties and Kenseth’s are a bit complicated, so you can check the details of their punishments here.

None of these infractions improved the competitive edge, but that didn’t matter, the fines were some of the harshest in NASCAR history.

My big problem is that, yes, fines needed to be imposed, but this is ridiculous! Toyota built and supplied the engine for Kenseth’s team and every other Toyota team. It has now been discovered that there were more engines with light connecting rods! So anyone could’ve gotten that engine. I think it is utterly ridiculous to throw these fines at teams when the manufacturer is at fault. Yes, Toyota got fined (not enough), but Kenseth will not be eligible for the Chase if the decision stands.

The enforcer, VP of Competition Robin Pemberton, used to be a crew chief. For Rusty Wallace no less! He should know and understand some of this common sense stuff. Apparently, he does not.

I know NASCAR is freaking out a little because their fan base has dropped a bit. But if they spent their time lowering race prices and making sure there are good analysts calling the races, fans would come back and they could lay off the fines.Just my humble opinion, but I stick by it.


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