So these are the things that have been pinging around in my brain like (pastel) lugnuts during a green flag pit stop:
1. Penalties, penalties, penalties: As expected there were penalties out of Auto Club: Kyle Busch got penalized ($10,000 and on probation through April 27th) for not reporting to the media center for post race media after the Xfinity race on Saturday. He did NOT get fined for his remarks regarding NASCAR on the radio however. Nor should he in my opinion. Although NASCAR was very forthcoming at the beginning of the semester by letting drivers and fans alike know that disparaging remarks against NASCAR or the sport would not be tolerated- they were not said to the media- they were said on the team radio. Granted the team radios are heard by the media (and fans). I admit that I am surprised he wasn’t dinged for the radio comment about the lack of a caution and NASCAR fixing the race- but I admit I am very much a free speech kind of person so I want to hear those comments, the cursing, I want to hear it all. To me it’s part of the passion of the athletes in the sport. Interestingly enough Kevin Harvick didn’t go to the media center after finishing second on Sunday but he got excused from it by NASCAR and thus did NOT get fined. Danica Patrick did get fined ($20,000 and probation for four races) for approaching the racing surface under caution during the race on Sunday. As she should have. That rule is in place for safety reasons and violating it is a disregard for personal safety or the safety of others. Now do I think she should get fined for leaving her car? No- she asked if she could get out because of the fire and her spotter or crew chief told her she could. A rule is a rule. She broke it by entering the racing surface. Do I think she had reason to be upset with Kasey Kahne? YES I definitely do. It clearly looked to me like he came down on her while she was holding her current position. Whether he “misjudged” the whole or whatnot- I can’t tell you- only Kasey can but I do think she has a reason to be upset. She does not have a reason to walk out onto the apron track- keep the gestures to after the race. Cole Pearn, Martin Truex Jr’s crew chief, did NOT get fined or penalized for his post race tweet that was a tad unkind to Joey Logano. I think the reasoning behind the lack of a fine was two fold- technically the tweet was not against NASCAR or it’s racing product, and he later apologized on twitter. Hey- who hasn’t tweeted something they regretted at some point? Most people. Again I didn’t see a need for Cole to get penalized even if he hadn’t apologized. To me that is a heat of the moment thing that shows the passion for the sport and the competition.
2. I will be reviving the Amy’s NASCAR Reading soon- I have another gorgeous coffee table book to review about muscle cars that will be coming up and I am looking forward to the new Kate Reilly racing mystery Red Flags and as soon as it downloads on my Kindle I will be reading it and then reviewing it here. Have you read any good racing related books lately? Let me know.
3. Chris Osbourne, Matt Kenseth’s spotter, will be returning to the track at Martinsville this weekend. He was out the first five races due to injuries sustained during a car accident that injured him, his wife and their son back in December. I am sure Matt Kenseth will be glad to have his regular spotter back up on the spotters stand for him!
4. Here is a good article by Tom Jensen about the people who make sure the races happen every week- the hauler drivers. They aren’t often thought about but without the people driving the equipment (both for the teams and for NASCAR) to the tracks the races wouldn’t happen.
5. If you only read one article relating to NASCAR this week it should be this article by Matt Crossman for NASCAR.Com: Lives Renewed Hmiel, Saunders Forged Friendship Through Racing, Adversity. I would also suggest you follow Eric Saunders on his social media (Facebook, Twitter) because he is extremely inspirational. Do it. Now.
6. I have been reading that many fans do not like it when cup drivers moonlight in the Truck and Xfinity series races…that’s funny because my thought is the exact opposite. It gives the drivers in those series a chance to race against the premiere series drivers, and likely fills seats during these races. I love it.
7. This week at Martinsville Brian Vickers will again be piloting the Janssen Arnie’s Army #14 Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Gratuitous Tony Stewart Pictures:
Tony Stewart the Owner:
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