Another day, another bad NASCAR ruling, details on how this entire process is screwed up

Hendrick Motorsports and Kaulig Racing each had the same penalty at Phoenix. L2 with $100k fine per car, 100 points taken away per driver, 10 playoff points taken away per driver and a four week suspension for each crew chief. The penalties were in response to their louvers being taken away.

The same race weekend, Denny Hamlin received a penalty for contact on track with Ross Chastain. At the time, Hamlin wasn’t penalized. NASCAR viewed it as a “racing deal.” It wasn’t until Hamlin admitted on his Podcast that he got into Chastain on purpose that they took action.

$50k fine, 25-point penalty.

All three appealed the decision and all three appeals have now been heard. All with varying degrees of outcomes.

HMS kept the $100k fine per car and four-week suspension of their crew chiefs, however, they got all their points back. Kaulig kept the fine and suspension but only got 25 points back in being penalized 75 points instead of 100.

Hamlin’s penalty wasn’t changed. What’s baffling about his infraction is, Daniel Suarez purposely ran into Alex Bowman on pit road, after the race, in front of an official and received a $50k fine but no points penalty. What?

Is it safer to wreck someone on pit road and pay the same fine but receive no points penalty?

For COTA, NASCAR loved all the on track contact even though we all felt it looked amateurish. Even the drivers agreed that the racing they put on there was embarrassing. So less on track contact between Hamlin and Chastain warrants a penalty of this magnitude but in COTA it’s okay?

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 12: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 12, 2023 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

This is all part of the problem of this appeals process and it needs drastically changed. In fact, it all starts with the first initial penalty. I don’t agree with penalizing a driver after the race ends. An umpire can’t go back and say well this player admitted he really was out so I’ll change the call. A ref can’t call a foul after the game ends. How can NASCAR?

Then once it gets to appeals, this needs an overhaul.

I get you need a third party to settle these things because you don’t want the judge and executioner being the same person, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the mess that they’re in now.

This is sloppy.

Most folks consider Hendrick Motorsports the New York Yankees of racing and feel already like they get preferential treatment. The voices grew louder last week. Think about what it’s going to be like now. They’re the only ones who won in this entire process.

This is an embarrassing moment for NASCAR. Period. It seems like they now make the rules up as they go along. This whole process needs revisited, and it needs to be done ASAP. Whether that’s a three-member panel that’s the same no matter what case is being heard, or something, anything, no matter what happens, something needs to be done and it needs to be done quickly.

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