When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes the green flag Sunday for the AAA Texas 500, Matt Kenseth won’t be behind the wheel of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Instead, Erik Jones will be in the car while Kenseth sits on the sidelines, serving a two race suspension for a beef with Joey Logano that culminated in Kenseth intentionally wrecking Logano late in last weekend’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Meanwhile, though, Danica Patrick will continue on behind the wheel of her No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing, despite admitting to intentionally wrecking David Gilliland in the same race in which Kenseth wrecked Logano. Patrick was penalized, but was only hit in the proverbial pocketbook and in the points standings. She wasn’t suspended, and there’s no indication suspension was even considered in her case.
After the penalties were announced for Kenseth and Patrick, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France gave reasons for the different penalties, reasoning such as Kenseth wrecking the race leader and a Chase for the Sprint Cup competitor and Kenseth was nine laps down when he returned to the track and took out Logano.
Okay, so Patrick and Gilliland weren’t running remotely near the front, and often aren’t for that matter, and I guess they were on the same lap when the intentional contact from Patrick occurred. Still, isn’t the crime the same?
I get that the Chase is the big deal and the focus this time of year, but in all, there are 43 cars/drivers competing. I think when it comes to the competition and on-track incidents, they should be treated, or policed, equally, or at least close to equally.
There’s a big gap between Patrick’s points and fine and Kenseth’s two-race suspension. Even if the Chase is thrown into the equation, shouldn’t Patrick’s penalty, at the very least, been at least half that of Kenseth’s? Maybe my math’s a little off, but wouldn’t half a two-race suspension be a one-race suspension? Just saying.
Is NASCAR saying that Gilliland doesn’t matter, so who cars what happens to him? If I were Gilliland, I’d be insulted.
That aside, if Patrick’s going to try to exact revenge by “wrecking people back,” maybe she shouldn’t air it on the radio, and maybe should learn to do it without taking herself out.
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