McReynolds and Waltrip React to NASCAR Penalties Earlier today, NASCAR handed down penalties to three Sprint Cup teams as a result of rule infractions this past weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Jeff Gordon violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) by intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer towards the end of Sunday’s race. Gordon was fined $100,000, docked 25 championship driver points and put on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick was also penalized 25 championship owner points and Gordon crew chief Alan Gustafson was placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Brian Pattie, crew chief of the Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 car, violated Sections 12-1 and 9-4A and was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. The wreck by Gordon on the track led to a fight between pit crews for both teams shortly after.
SPEED and NASCAR on FOX analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds react to the news.
Darrell Waltrip, NASCAR on FOX and SPEED Analyst: “Even with NASCAR loosening the rules on drivers retaliating against each other with "boys have at it" there are still limitations on what they will tolerate. You can't deliberately take someone out of the race under any circumstances. Jeff Gordon admitted he crossed the line. NASCAR must maintain some discipline over the competition. Fines and probation are their first line, followed by suspensions if you don't get the message. The image and integrity of the sport has to be protected and NASCAR has the responsibility to do that.”
Larry McReynolds, NASCAR on FOX and SPEED Analyst: “Well, I’m not surprised that there was a penalty handed down, but I might be that much surprised that they did not suspend Jeff Gordon for (the) Homestead-Miami Speedway race this weekend. A few years ago, when Robin Pemberton uttered the words, ‘boys, have at it,’ Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, followed it up and said, we will still maintain law and order. It’s not going to be carte blanche. We’re not going to have guys running around slinging jack handles at each other. I think once again, these guys found that line in the sand with ‘boys, have at it.’”
McReynolds on the fine to crew chief Brian Pattie: “The crew chief is the head coach and is ultimately responsible for all actions of his crew members. I don’t know if Brian Pattie was even down there when the fight broke out. He’s responsible for every crew member you see there; that’s Michael Waltrip Racing. I’m basing this off what Robin Pemberton, Vice President of Competition for NASCAR, said earlier this afternoon that they weighed in the fact of emotion - with two races to go - in their championship season.”
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