Rules be rules, and the book was tossed at a number of folks after Atlanta. The biggest hit was taken by Martin Truex Jr. after a roof flap issue meant the loss of 15 points. Thanks to the appeal process, he keeps crew chief Cole Pearn for this weekend otherwise, he would be gone for a race and tagged with a $50,000 fine. Considering it is the second straight race the issue has come up, NASCAR got rather ornery.
The honchos were not happy. A.J. Allmendinger lost 10 points for issues regarding his rear wheel crush panels. Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell lost 10 each for components of the car not being kosher. Each crew chief also got to donate $15,000 to the cause.
The poobahs were not done. For failing to pass the pre-qualifying inspection after three attempts, they sent nasty notes to Jeffery Earnhardt’s people, along with the loss of 15 minutes of practice time. Uncle Dale Earnhardt Jr., along with Matt DiBenedetto, and Cole Whitt, were written up after each failed twice.
The lords of all racing even managed to hand out a $5000 penalty to an XFINITY crew chief, wrote up six others for pre-racing inspection issues, and even tagged a Camping World team for failing post-race inspection.
Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?
In the meantime, NASCAR boss Brian France came out and endorsed Donald Trump for President. To each his own, but I cannot help thinking that while the Donald might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the character and morality flaws of some of the others leave him looking like Gandhi. Yes, it is a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack.
Off to Las Vegas, our Hot 20 performers include…
1. DENNY HAMLIN – 1 WIN – 70 PTS
Still has Atlanta car, but his Daytona car is missing. It happens every darn year to somebody.
2. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 1 WIN – 70 PTS
Win a race, tie Dale Earnhardt, pretty much lock in a spot in the Chase. Check, check, and check.
3. KYLE BUSCH – 78 PTS
Won Atlanta’s XFINITY race and outran my five-month-old nephew Oscar. What a guy.
4. KEVIN HARVICK – 74 PTS
If he hopes to repeat in 2016, does that mean Harvick “peated” at Las Vegas last year?
5. CARL EDWARDS – 73 PTS
No one mentions his former friend 12919-028 anymore.
6. KURT BUSCH – 69 PTS
Will the hometown look the same as he steps down from the plane?
7. JOEY LOGANO – 64 PTS
A recent story was entitled, “Logano tries to adjust to new package.” I giggled. I am so immature.
8. MARTIN TRUEX, JR. – 60 PTS
Roof flap issues cost Truex 15 points, but the appeal retains for him his crew chief, for now.
9. ARIC ALMIROLA – 55 PTS
Some with Cuban heritage are running for President. President Almirola has a ring to it.
10. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 54 PTS
While Mr. France likes Donald Trump, Brad kind of likes the sound of President Keselowski.
11. AUSTIN DILLON – 53 PTS
When I rechecked the point standings from Tuesday, I thought I might have had another stroke.
12. MATT KENSETH – 51 PTS
In future, when the flag goes black, maybe they should get back.
13. RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. – 50 PTS
Later this season, he will truly be a Sunny Delight. I wonder if Ms. Patrick would agree?
14. KYLE LARSON – 49 PTS
A big fan of the NBA Charlotte Hornets. I like the NHL Montreal Canadiens. We both are weird.
15. KASEY KAHNE – 46 PTS
Named by Hollywood Life as a Top 10 Hottie of NASCAR. Nope. Danica is all alone.
16. DALE EARNHARDT JR. – 45 PTS
After failing pre-qualifying inspection twice, even Junior got written up on Santa’s naughty list.
17. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 44 PTS
Looked good at Atlanta, then they began the second minute of action.
18. REGAN SMITH – 40 PTS
Tommy Baldwin should be proud.
19. CHASE ELLIOTT – 38 PTS
Thanks to good, clean living and NASCAR penalties, the rookie makes the list.
20. RYAN BLANEY – 38 PTS
Some got a Charter, some did not need it.
21. RYAN NEWMAN – 38 PTS
Must have been a Childress thing, as Newman and Menard are also 10 lighter than first tallied.