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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So much for favoritism … NASCAR puts Jr. on probation

After Dale Earnhardt Jr. played bumper cars with Casey Mears following the Phoenix race, there was discussion about whether NASCAR would penalize either driver.

The verdict came down Tuesday, and it looks like NASCAR isn’t afraid to put its most famous name on notice they’re not happy with his antics.

Both Jr. and Mears are now on probation for the next six races, and must be on their best behavior.

Before the penalty was announced, many had speculated no punishment would be handed out, in part because Jr. was one of the participants. But it appears NASCAR is not happy with drivers taking their aggressions out on each other after the race, and will punish anyone who does it … even Jr.

From my angle, I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. Unless the post-race activity puts other drivers at risk, I don’t see the need for probation. Though it may be childish, it’s just a way of letting someone know you’re not happy with what happened during the race.

I can understand imposing this kind of penalty or worse for actions during a race. For example, when David Gilliland purposely put Juan Montoya into the wall at Texas in a retaliatory move, when they were both going almost 200 mph, he deserved the penalty he received and a lot more, as he put Montoya’s life at risk with his actions.

But a little chrome horn after a race doesn’t bother me a bit. Whether it was Jr. vs. Mears or any of the other drivers on the track, I don’t think it merited a probation period. On the contrary, stuff like that is the kind of thing fans want to see. It shows their drivers care about what they’re doing.

But still, I understand what NASCAR is doing. They don’t want to start a slippery slope by allowing this type of behavior to happen. If they do, what other line will drivers try to cross?

The biggest news, though, is that all the “favoritism” claims are pretty much invalid at this point.

Jr. got the same treatment any other driver would have gotten in this situation.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody knows that probation is a big nothing. It means nothing and is less than a slap on the hand. If either one doesn anything else, they will put them on double secret probation.

April 22, 2009 at 11:08 AM 
Blogger GinaV24 said...

please, this is a joke. NASCAR had to do something to prove that they weren't just ignoring it because it was Jr, so they did the idiotic "something" and put them both on probation. It means NOTHING.

April 22, 2009 at 6:28 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch got the exact same punishment for their post-Bristol antics. It looks like NASCAR is handing out punishment with some consistency. I don't see the problem.

April 23, 2009 at 3:56 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This idea that Jr. gets special treatment above other drivers is such crap. Does anybody remember the Talladega curse word penalty, the back spoiler illegal parts penalty, and others, write about something else chief. He is not Nascars golden boy as so many like to think.

April 23, 2009 at 10:23 AM 

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