On Pit Road: NASCAR Fair Until it Involves JR.

By Joe Dunn joe@onpitroad.com

Starting with the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, NASCAR signaled that they were going to be tuff on the rules. Early in the race, they penalized eventual race winner Todd Bodine for passing below the yellow line. Later in the race, they did the same to other drivers.
On Saturday, with the Nascar Nationwide Series, they came down hard on Jason Leffler after he hit Steven Wallace, sending Wallace across the track and causing a bigger wreck. The Nascar officials in that case wasted no time in assessing Leffler a 5 Lap penalty for ‘Rough driving’.
With those two races setting the tone, it was obvious that Nascar was going to be dealing harshly with such antic in the Nascar Sprint Cup series, Daytona 500. It was obvious until Lap 124, when Brian Vickers moved down to the line to block Dale Earnhardt Jr from passing him. Both drivers were a lap down and were fighting like all drivers do hoping to grab the ‘lucky Dog’. Earnhardt was apparently not going to put up with the block as he moved up and hit Vickers, sending him across the track and bringing out the big Wreck.
Imagine my surprise when a nearly identical incident as we saw Saturday, is repeated on Sunday with far different results. As many folks and teams awaited the penalty announcement from Nascar, it never happened. That’s right NO PENALTY at all! Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that had that been Vickers wrecking Earnhardt that Vickers would not have been promptly assessed a multi-lap penalty?
I don’t care if you’re a JR fan or not, right is right, and what Nascar did was plain and simple WRONG. Of course, if it had been Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson, I would expect the same call. So much for Nascar doing the RIGHT thing.