May 15, 2007

Dale Jr. docked 100 points and his crew chief suspended six races: for what NASCAR says was obviously intentional cheating.

posted by olelefthander to auto racing at 11:02 PM - 17 comments

Makes you wonder... I doubt it was intentional, but placing better in races does help his "Free Agency" status. The better the finish, the bigger the payday right? Too severe a penalty though.

posted by dlopez916 at 11:05 PM on May 15, 2007

The problem is that NASCAR is never consistent with it's penalties. A fine this severe should only be handed down if the infraction is found in post-race tech inspection. If he had benefitted in a race from using the brackets, then dock him 100 and put the crew chief on the beach. If it's found in a pre-race check, there still needs to be a penalty assessed, but not something that harsh. It just seems like a bunch of officials go sit in a trailer and say, "Well, whaddya think, boys? It's Dale Jr., and if we don't go hard on him everyone'll say we're playing favorites." There needs to be clear cut penalties for these infractions, and the teams and drivers should know going in exactly how bad the penalty is if they get caught cheating. I've said this before, the cheating will not stop until entire teams are told to pack up and leave the track. It sure as hell works that way in F1, and it gets the attention of the sponsors, too. The possibility of losing major sponsors due to the cars not being on the track would probably be the most effective way to stop this stuff.

posted by eccsport78 at 12:47 AM on May 16, 2007

100 points seems accessive ,has there ever been a similar case I wonder?

posted by bri2 at 02:37 AM on May 16, 2007

This article contains two telling points: The car in question was a brand new car for the No. 8 team and the brackets that were found to be nonconforming were built as test pieces before the final design was established by NASCAR," the statement said. "They should not have been on the car and with Tony Eury Jr. away from the track Thursday during inspection, the error was not caught. We do not question the infraction which is clearly spelled out in the NASCAR rule book. (Statement from DEI) NASCAR warned teams prior to the season that unapproved changes to the CoT would be severely penalized. eccsport78, I think the lack of consistency might be because this is the first case of cheating with the Car of Tomorrow, and NASCAR is setting a precedent as it applies to penalties for illegal modifications. I do agree with your idea of kicking the whole damn team out of the race; that would damn sure get some people's attention, wouldn't it?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:35 AM on May 16, 2007

i like Dale Jr. , having said that i agree with the penalty. Nascar has a zero tolerance rule in effect. The brackets had been modified after the initial inspection. Therefore, it was done with malicious intent. Good call by Nascar.

posted by texasred at 05:38 AM on May 16, 2007

I dont think the most popular racer in NASCAR needs to "position himself" for free agency.

posted by Godzilla82 at 08:55 AM on May 16, 2007

It seems a little suspicious to me. Wasn't Jr just complaining that he can't get the car to turn? Now he is found with illegal brackets that attach the spoiler, a part that greatly affects the aerodynamics/downforce and therefore the handling. It seems like a reasonable penalty to me.

posted by MrFrisby at 09:20 AM on May 16, 2007

Juniors (and his current teams) entire 2007 season is slowly turning into a disaster. I don't see much good coming out of this situation for the remainder of the year. Hopefully he moves on, brings together a great team, and he finally lives up to all the hype. All the Dale Sr. fans who jumped on Jr.s bandwagon after his tragic death are probably getting a little restless. I agree with Godzilla that as NASCARs most popular driver he won't have to work to hard to find or develop a team, but if he didn't have Earnhardt for a last name, things would be entirely different. It still is, and always will ultimately be about winning.

posted by dyams at 09:59 AM on May 16, 2007

Nascar is never consistant with thier penalties. Look at Jimmy Johnson cheating before Daytona last year. No points docked from him. This Year Michael Waltrip before Daytona, points docked and fined. Dale Jr. docked and fined for cursing on TV and then for his crews actions this year. Nascar needs to establish a consistent rule book and penalties for violations.

posted by twgibsr at 10:42 AM on May 16, 2007

If other teams had discovered the illegal brackets and yet Dale Jr. made it through inspection without so much as a word you all would be gripping that he is getting preferential treatment. Get a life. He was trying to use a part that was out of spec. He got caught. He got penalized. See ya at the track Jr. best of luck with your new team. Oh yeah. One last thought. Sponsors want to be associated wiht the Earnhardt name. It's Dale not Theresa.

posted by Ironhead at 11:31 AM on May 16, 2007

I liked the way that TEI spun it "They (brackets) should not have been on the car and with Tony Eury Jr. away from the track Thursday during inspection, the error was not caught." Translated that says: If Junior would not have made his announcement Thursday morning and caused Tony Jr to be away from the track... Again another show of class by Teresa and Max.

posted by hoytie at 12:40 PM on May 16, 2007

NASCAR continues to lose fans left and right. This is part of it, so is the obvious dirty driving, horrible broadcaster teams, 24/7 over exposure, and simply an inferior product (type of racing). Ticket sales are down and TV ratings are down. They had their day in the sun, but that past and they are on the road downhill.

posted by vipers-pit at 12:41 PM on May 16, 2007

On the road downhill? Only if it has left turns... This past weekend, NASCAR Live aired on Speed. Then the race was rained out. So what did Speed do? Air ANOTHER LIVE VERSION on Sunday of the same fucking program, and moved the GP2 coverage to gone midnight eastern time. I agree with entirely Viper. Driving standards are pitiful. The broadcasters are horrible. Speed used to be a good network and has now thoroughly gone to hell with constant NASCAR, and as you say, inferior racing. It's racing for people with a simplistic view of racing. Let's not forget the dubious yellows to group the cars up etc... I'll stick to real racing. Le Mans 24 Hour in a few weeks. WOO!

posted by Drood at 03:06 PM on May 16, 2007

One last thought. Sponsors want to be associated wiht the Earnhardt name. It's Dale not Theresa. Sponsors also want to see the 8 out on the track. And regardless of the penalty, the 8 car will be racing this weekend. That's the real problem that NASCAR has. Nobody has the balls to tell a team like DEI to take the next couple of races off. Imagine the financial hit a team takes for a penalty like that. It'll end cheating, that's for sure. Race teams don't fear lost points, suspensions, and fines as much as a phone call from their sponsors. As loyal as a company like Bud is to Dale Jr., if they've got clients and execs in the stands and don't see their car out there, it has an impact.

posted by eccsport78 at 03:53 PM on May 16, 2007

It's racing for people with a simplistic view of racing. Must you always insult NASCAR fans in these threads? Every time there's a thread and you're involved in it, you take some cheap shot at NASCAR fans. Enough, already! You feel superior! You've proven it time and time again! Why is this any different from some troglodyte busting into a soccer thread and yelling about girlymen in short pants? That's not tolerated, and rightly so, but you can dump all over me and anybody else who likes the sport whenever you damn well feel like it? I'm a NASCAR fan, and I'm not some simple backwoods buffoon. I'd kindly ask you to comport yourself with a little more respect for other sports fans. I don't bag on you for your sporting choices, don't do it to me, please. I can understand your displeasure with, and disdain for, the sport, but stop making it personal.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:40 PM on May 16, 2007

Well said TBH. The trend seems to be for open wheel racers wanting to come to NASCAR, and they often struggle to succeed when they do, not the other way around. But they seem to be OK with trying to keep up with all those rednecks that don't understand what real racing is all about.

posted by 1959Giants at 05:08 PM on May 16, 2007

Viper and Drood all I can say is if you don't like NASCAR on Speed then switch the channel. It is a simple case of supply and demand. A large majority of the racing fans in the United States don't give a rip if F1 is on or not, that would include NHRA fans that could also care less about NASCAR. Fox is in the business of making money and right now the money is with the post 2-18-2001 NASCAR fan. I guess what I am saying is unless you can come up with the money that the entire NASCAR crowd spends then you might as well get used to the programing that is on Speed now and enjoy staying up until Midnight to watch the F1 and Grand Prix races. RMPL

posted by hoytie at 07:25 PM on May 16, 2007

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