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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NASCAR sent the wrong teams home from Sonoma on Friday
DAVID POOLE | THATSRACIN.COM OPINION
By DAVID POOLE - The Charlotte Observer

SONOMA, Calif. – Understand that NASCAR absolutely did prohibit two cars from participating in Sunday’s Toyota Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

But not the two cars that failed to pass inspection Friday. Jeff Gordon starts 41st and Jimmie Johnson starts 42nd despite being barred from Friday’s practice and qualifying because of “body modifications” NASCAR deemed unacceptable.

Sending them to the back of the field complicates their chances for a good finish. But Ward Burton and Scott Riggs have NO chance for a decent result Sunday. They were the last two cars bumped from the 43-car field, so they’re out of here.

It’s Gordon and Johnson, though, who should be.

It doesn’t matter, not one bit, how hard NASCAR comes down on the No. 24 and No. 48 teams in subsequent penalties likely to be announced in the days to come.

The No. 8 team was penalized 100 points for a car of tomorrow rules violation at Darlington, and if NASCAR matches that for this weekend’s miscreants, then it might seem like a major penalty.

But Gordon is first in the standings and Johnson is fourth, and neither seems to be in significant danger of not making this year’s Chase for the Nextel Cup. If they do, their points totals will be reset to 5,000 points plus 10 for every race won in the first 26 events.

Unless NASCAR penalizes Gordon and Johnson enough points to put their Chase chances in jeopardy, and it won’t, points penalties are inconsequential. So, too, will be any kind of monetary fine, even if the current record of $100,000 should be broken.

Tony Eury Jr. was suspended six races for his Darlington violation, and it seems likely that Gordon’s crew chief, Steve Letarte, and Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, will get at least that many weekends off.

That might stunt the momentum that has allowed the 24 and 48 to win a combined eight races this year. Or, it might give Letarte and Knaus time at home to get their teams’ best race cars lined up and ready to go for the Chase for the Nextel Cup, when the momentum really matters.

Gordon or Johnson will race Sunday in the same cars they came here planning to run.

How can that be?

NASCAR has confiscated cars before when it didn’t like what teams had done to them. Why not do that in this case, too, and force the teams to bring out backups – provided they weren’t tricked up, too.

The teams’ defense is that they were working in “gray areas” between points where templates meet the body of the car of tomorrow. It’s the same lame argument that pollutes the mentality of this sport, that unless a rule strictly prohibits something then it’s OK.

The rulebook might not specifically say a team can’t weld gun turrets to its car between template points, but it should be fairly obvious that’s not allowed.

Dale Inman was walking with Richard Petty’s wife, Lynda, through the team’s shop one day when she saw a car getting ready to be loaded up to go to that week’s race. “Why would you take a wrecked car to the race?” she asked.

The bodies on the cars being phased out after this year are twisted like pretzels as teams figured out ways to make them fit the templates but still produce more downforce.

NASCAR feels that is has made it clear to teams that they’re not going to let that happen with the new car. Apparently, though, Letarte and Knaus didn’t get that message.

Maybe Knaus is simply the Zodiac Cheater, a serial offender in the black art of “pushing the envelope” who has indoctrinated Letarte, with whom he shares a shop.

Maybe the Hendrick folks believe that despite their COT success so far, with five wins in six tries, they have to keep working to find secrets to stay ahead of the competition. If that’s true, though, don’t Kyle Busch and Casey Mears merit having cars with the same “evolution?”

Or maybe it’s just that Hendrick Motorsports decided to once more test NASCAR’s right to set down rules of fair competition and its courage to fairly enforce those rules.

Knowing, full well, that NASCAR would fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JJ48Fan said:
1Bob29 said:
KK3869 said:
I find it funny that there wasn't much outcry to see the 8 parked at Darlington
Because Jooyner nation probably wouldve killed someone. :doh:
And Gordon fans wouldn't? Just ask Blacker on that...
Opps.. forgot about him lol.... other than him, I dont know that many violent Gordo fans.
 

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Vengence is Mine
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Actually I would have loved to see Gordon not even show up for the weekend.
100 points, 200 points ... who cares? What is his points lead now? 270? 300? points?
He will lose it all when the chase starts anyways. I say take a break, sit out a race or two.

Personally, I do not care, but watching Ward and Scott cruise around battling each other for 33rd spot really does not do much for me. :-D
 

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Blast from the past
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Lets see here....Junior gets fined, loses points, crew cheif suspended.....Gordon/Johnson....get parked for a practice and quals....More to come maybe...How many times has Knaus been caught cheating and fined and suspended and Nascar not do anything about that? It seems like they go harsher on the other teams then these three. NASCAR knows if they parked Junior/Gordon/Johnson/Stewart/Hamlin they would probably be sued...or worse lose all of their sponsors for not being allowed to be in the race....Why not do this....pull Johnson from his car make him drive Wards and let Ward drive the 48....theres an idea....or better yet punish the ones who deserve it like Knaus...ban him for 15 races he's a repeat offender. Let the entire crew of team (track and shop) sit out for 2 races. Punish those who touch the cars not the ones who drive them. Losing what makes them win would be a bigger impact then money fines and points on the driver. Hell make Knaus go work for Bill Davis for 8 races....I say punish Rick Hendrick....He's the one okaying them cheating or trying too. But yet Nascar wants to punish AT&T for buying Cingular....that isn't fair either. Member also Junior may not be at HMS yet but he will be...Stop bitching bout his special treatment.....
 

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Very well said TA. I expect Knaus and Letarte to get suspended for 6 races just like Eury Jr was. I also am expecting the 100 point fine and the $100,000 fine. Although I thought I read somewhere that the penalties started at that and then they increase so maybe it will be more severe?
 

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Blast from the past
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I doubt it will be much more servere. If I were in charge then Knaus would be out until Feb. 08...Latarte would be out 6 races...Money and points same as Junior for Gordon....Johnson however disqualify the 48s points from Sanoma fine an extra 100 points and 100,000 on Johnson/Hendrick and say 200,000 on Kanaus. But that wouldn't happen...Then 3 of their premeir teams are down in the points. Its like saying we want fairness but we have to have the fans coming too see these drivers...The chase would "suck" if Gordon Junior and Johnson missed it...if the chase was Stewart, Hamlin, Harvick, Burton and someone like Kenseth it wouldn't survive if they were the top teir guys...at least not in Nascars money hungry mind.
 

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Vengence is Mine
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No body in their right mind is going to pretend that Ward and JR are both equally valuable to this sport, are they?

Ward is nice and and everyone loves him, but he didn't make the race this weekend becuase he was not fast enough. If the only way you can get in to a race is by having two other drivers forced out, then you do not belong there.

If Ward's fans walk because Ward doesn't get the star treatment of JR, nobody is going to miss it. If JR's fans walk, NASCAR hurts. Anyone putting on a race, that told Gordon and Johnson to go home, we would rather have Ward Burton and Scott Riggs around is not going to have a show to put on for long.

The rules are the same for everyone, certain people cry fairness, but really want everything titled for their own personal point of view. The people out here crying everyweek really seem to want nothing more than to bash everything that does not go their way. Of course, they pick the most convoluted and silly point of view which has no chance but to be discarded. They will never be happy with anything less than the banning of a certain driver at all costs. You have long ago given up any thing close to unbiased perspective, we all know it, and although it is entertaining at time, no one even takes them seriously anymore. Anyone? :moon:
 

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Ward means more to me than Dale Jr. does :p lol. Ward could've made the race if didn't mess up his lap. But with MMM equipment... no way he would've finished the race.
 
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