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Here is the latest suggested readings from the NASCAR world that I thought were interesting. Hope you like them

Speak Your Mind: Analyzing The All-Star Race Format- Skirts and Scuffs Staff

I Like Sentiment When It’s Not Mine: Heart Gladdened By Latest Hall Inductees- By Monte Dutton for the Gaston Gazette

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Has An Offer For Bill Backing Republican- Dustin Long for USAToday.com

Five Things I Learned From My First Real Go-Kart Race- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com

Jeff Gordon Opens Up About Racing And His Other Passion: Helping Kids- Greg Bailey for News Channel 36

In the Infield, They’re Not Fans– They’re Family- David Caraviello for NASCAR.COM

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

Tony Stewart and Steve Addington at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Tony Stewart and Steve Addington discuss All-Star Set ups (Photo Credit: Blatantly stole from the Tony Stewart Facebook page- click picture to be taken to original).

On February 17th (seems like ages ago doesn’t it?) the 48 car entered in the Daytona 500 field failed it’s initial race entry inspection because of illegal C-posts.  The C-Posts were confiscated by NASCAR and the team was allowed to repair the 48 car and go back through inspection and then into practice.  First thought is where the heck is the C-Post…well I found and stole this graphic from an old article on NASCAR.com:

Click graphic to be taken to the story on NASCAR.com that it was borrowed from.

Anyway- today NASCAR announced the “punishment” for the illegal parts. They were found to be in violation of three sections of the NASCAR rulebook*:

Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-2.1E (if in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance will not be permitted – unapproved car body modifications)

Chad Knaus, crew chief of the 48, was fined $100,000 and suspended for 6 weeks. Car chief of the 48, Ron Malec, was also suspended for 6 weeks.  Jimmie Johnson was fined 25 driver points. Jeff Gordon was fined 25 owner points.

Wow…is it me or is that a little heavy handed? I posted a sentiment like that on my facebook and I guess it might just be me. But never the less I stand by my initial reaction that it’s a harsh penalty…too harsh.  I have several reasons why I think the fines are a bit much:

  1. It’s my understanding that this particular car had been used several times last season. If that is the case- why did it not fail any of those numerous inspections? (Initial inspection, post qualifying inspection, post race inspection). I mean sure I suppose the car could have been completely changed during the off season- but really?
  2. NASCAR needs to be more consistant with it’s fines.  What do I mean by this? Consider this- Clint Bowyer’s car failed post-qualifying inspection.  Yet NASCAR did not offer any fines whatsoever there- not even a mention of possible fines the whole week between qualifying and race day. Yet as soon as the 48 failed inspection on Friday- it was news and talk of heavy fines floated around the team ALL week long.  While the parts that failed inspection are apples and oranges- the end result is this- the cars were both non-standard and thus failed inspection. Yet one team was heavily penalized and the other was let go without even a slap on the wrist.  This is unfair and unequal treatment between teams. NASCAR needs to decide whether or not they are going to be heavy handed rulebook thumpers or the nice “give a team the benefit of the doubt” kind of sanctioning body. It can’t be both.
  3. Since it was the initial inspection and the team never practiced or qualified with the offending parts on the car, I don’t think it should be fined at all. Technically the team gained nothing from the offending parts because they did not USE said parts- the car never touched track.  They removed them and I assume that the car that Jimmie raced in the 500 this past Monday had no technical issues (with the exception of the big technical issue of being crashed in lap two). This, going back to the Clint Bowyer senario mentioned in 2, is really unfair because if there was something unstandard on Bowyer’s car he practiced and qualified the offending part- having gained some possible benefit from it.

Now I am sure some people will argue with “But Chad has done this before- remember when he was suspended and Darian Grubb took the helm as crew chief?” Yes, I have not forgotten this.  My thought in this- Chad and the 48 team have already paid for those mistakes…Chad was removed and fined for those issues. That issue is closed. This is a separate issue. To that arguement doesn’t make any sense. It’s like a tardy student getting expelled instead of suspended this year because they had an unexcused absence and and an additional unexcused absence five years ago, that they already served a detention for five years ago.

So there you have my three reasons I think NASCAR was heavy handed with the fines.  Misty, while agreeing with me in general that the NASCAR punishment is too harsh, also has some good albeit different points about the situation and I highly suggest that you read her post about it as well: The 48 Smackdown: Overkill.

_______________

* I want a rulebook. Just because.

Every year for the past several years (what’s it been like three at least?) the Tony Stewart Foundation raffles off a Chevy Camaro.  My excitement for these raffles were two fold:

1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Chevy Camaro. It’s a beautiful car.

2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Tony Stewart Foundation and the causes it supports.  Who doesn’t love kids? Or Animals? Or both?

This year- the Tony Stewart Foundation is raffling off  another Chevy- but they’ve mixed things up!  This year? It’s winner’s choice of  Chevy models. (The TSF pages says four chevy models: Corvette, Camaro, Traverse and Silverado…but the Rules states: Avalanche, Camaro, Corvette, Cruze, Equinox, Impala, Malibu, Silverado, Sonic, Suburban, Tahoe and Traverse).  Winner chooses the model, the color, and the upgrades (up to $50,000).

Raffle tickets this year are $100.00 but the raffle is limited to 3,000 tickets sold. You have until October 1st, 2012 to purchase your ticket.  As of this writing there were only 2912 raffle tickets left!

ADDED BONUS: Each raffle ticket purchaser before April 4th 2011 receives an autographed 2011 Championship Picture.

Remember- not only are you getting a chance to win a Chevy that is truly YOU…but you are also helping the Tony Stewart Foundation help Children, Animals, and Injured Drivers.

To purchase a raffle ticket or for more information visit:

SMOKE’S CHEVY

Office Depot Racing is giving FIVE lucky fans the chance to win a trip to Las the race in LAS VEGAS on March 11th, 2012!

Visit the Office Depot Racing I’m With Smoke website and enter in to win in the bar on the right. Five winners will receive: 2 tickets to the March 11th race (I will be there won’t you?), $750 dollars, $50 Office Depot gift card, and a 1:24 Autographed Diecast of the #14 Office Depot Chevy!

You can’t win if you don’t enter but you must enter by 2.23.2012, 11:59PM ET! Good luck!!

The winners in the BadGroove #Smokin2012 were chosen by random draw on Wednesday.

Aaron won the Tony Stewart/ SHR Sweatshirt.
Gina won the Smoke Brand T-shirt.
Mary Ann won the mystery “runner up” prize.

All prizes have been mailed (usps) as of yesterday! Congratulations winners!

So, I have been waiting for something to arrive so that I could give it away here on Badgroove and have this mega contest with FOUR Tony Stewart items to give away but that ONE item is still not here and I am getting impatient. I just can’t wait any longer to give away some goodies to you (don’t worry- when the wayward item comes in I will still have the give away for it). (more…)

I mentioned this in yesterday’s Chase Race post- but I fear that it may have gotten buried in the “YEY Tony won!” and “Look Tony went fishing” pictures and video: If you go to the I’m With Smoke Office Depot racing page you can enter to win tickets to Homestead-Miami race (along with some cash and other goodies). You only have until November 11th 2011 to do this- so enter today. FIVE people will win!! While there you can also download the I’M WITH SMOKE avatar for your Facebook/twitter accounts or the I’M WITH SMOKE Wallpaper to show your support for Tony and the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 race team!

I'm With Smoke...from the OfficeDepotRacing.com website

You also have through November 11th, 2011 to bid on the race worn Office Depot back to school paint scheme firesuit and/or a helmet of Tony’s.  Proceeds to benefit the Office Depot Foundation! Visit the Office Depot Racing Auction page for more information.

And you have until November 14th, 2011 to enter the monthly 14 for 14 contest from Office Depot Racing. This month it’s a 14 mouse pad autographed by Tony Stewart. You can’t win if you don’t enter!! Enter today!

Attention Tony Stewart Fans planning on being in Virginia on September 8th. Tony Stewart will be doing an autograph appearance at the Office Depot located in Midlothian Virginia THIS August 8th at 4:30 PM!  The address for this event is: 1230 Huguenot Road, Midlothian, VA.

You must have a wristband to get an autograph.  400 wristbands will be given out at the location starting at 8:00 am local time on September 8th.  One autograph per wristband, one wristband per person.

As always I strongly suggest getting there early- the wristbands can go quickly at some of these events. These events are always great fun. And remember if you go to remind Tony to #KeepDiggingTony! Have fun for me!