If there is one thing that is consistent when it comes to NASCAR penalties, is that there seems to be no consistency. At least that is the way it seems from the outside. I am sure that NASCAR actually has a very well thought out reasoned methodology to how it hands out penalties (no seriously), it's just hard for us the race fans hard to see.
Take this past week. Thirty-one cars failed pre-race inspection at Daytona because of improper roof flaps. Number of penalties handed out? Zero.
"Based upon our inspection and subsequent review, it was our determination that the functionality and safety aspects of the roof flaps were not compromised and the on track competition would not be impacted," NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said. "Moving forward we will work with the roof flap manufacturer and the race teams to evaluate and optimize the associated installation hardware, review the process in its totality and communicate in a timely manner to the garage area any revisions that we determine need to be made."
Track competition would not have been impacted? The same way a rod in an engine off weight by less than 3 grams would also not affect competition? Right Matt Kenseth?
I mean if you are cheating, you are cheating and if you are going to attempt to take down the 20 for an illegal part on an engine, they are not even allowed to touch, how can you ignore these recent infraction? Strength in numbers I guess.
Cheating is cheating, and even though they say if you ain't cheatin' you ain't trying, NASCAR will eventually find you. What happens once you step into the gray area, well I guess that depends on how many of your friends are hanging out their with you I guess.
And speaking of gray areas, lets talk about the 48, again. Jimmie Johnson will have to start at the back of the field on Sunday, because his car was too low on the right side. If only JJ had more friends in low places.
"We had some problems getting through the initial inspection process before qualifying," crew chief Chad Knaus told the media in Loudon.
"We were able to get it and got the car right, but it just wasn’t exactly right. And we weren’t going to know until after qualifying, once we started to tear it apart, what the problem was. What ended up happening is there was a dis-assembly issue with the right front, and that’s why the heights were so messed up as we were going through initial inspection. And that came back to bite us there in the end.”
So traditionally one of the strongest cars in New Hampshire will start in the back. Johnson has won three time there, but he's not the only one who has had success at the Magic Mile. Jeff Burton has four wins there and Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart also has three. Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin have two wins. Greg Biffle, Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne and Joe Nemechek each have a single win in New Hampshire.
"It's a NASCAR short track, but not a late model-style short track," said Burton. "The corners are long and flat, so handling is everything. You have corner-entry, middle of the corner and exit issues you have to worry about. When you are off a little bit at this track, it's really magnified because the corners are so long."