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Mixed feelings about Sauter suspension

during the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway on May 3, 2019 in Dover, Delaware.

I’m having mixed feelings about the Johnny Sauter penalty from last weekend’s M&Ms 200 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton. In case you missed hit, after being parked for the last quarter or so of the race because he wrecked Austin Hill under caution, he was suspended from Saturday night’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, the former Gateway Motorsports Park. Hill admitted afterward that he wrecked Sauter on purpose, but he wasn’t penalized.

First of all, Sauter’s suspension. When you really think about it, it’s kind of a non-factor. Although, Sauter won’t be running at Gateway on Saturday night, he maintains his playoff eligibility. He secured a playoff berth earlier this season with a win at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, so no harm, no foul. Sure, he’ll miss out on running one of the Truck Series races this season, but it’s not like Sauter won’t get to race at all this weekend. He announced via Twitter on Tuesday, soon after the announcement of his suspension, that he’d race a late model in the Dick Trickle 99 at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Do I think Sauter shouldn’t have been penalized? No. Do I think he should’ve lost his playoff eligibility? No. Here’s the penalty that seems appropriate to me: the deduction of a few playoff points. I think it would be pointless to deduct regular points, considering he’s already in the playoffs. Remember, points are reset ahead of the playoffs. But a deduction of playoff points, the bonus points he’ll have going into the playoffs, would get the message across more than a pretty much non-penalty. He has eight playoff points; how about taking about three or four of them?

I didn’t expect Hill to be penalized, but should he have been? It doesn’t seem fair that one driver involved be penalized but not the other. Sauter’s intent was obvious since it happened during caution. Hill’s, not so much. Yes, he confessed his intention, and in the real world, confessions go a long way. But I think if NASCAR assesses penalties based on confession, the sanctioning body would open a can of worms it probably doesn’t want opened.

Drivers don’t always admit when they wreck another driver on purpose, so if a driver is penalized for admitting guilt while others who lie their ways out of it avoid penalty, the driver penalized is, basically, penalized for his honesty while those who lied about their intent are kind of rewarded for lying. I definitely don’t think that’s right. Of course, it doesn’t really seem right in the Sauter/Hill situation, either, when one guilty party is penalized and the other is. I hate to say it, but I guess this is a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Maybe it’s fair that Sauter’s penalty is pretty much non-existant, after all.

I’m sure glad it’s not up to me to make such decisions.

One think I am clearer on: Greg Biffle is my favorite to sub for Sauter at Gateway this weekend.

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Posted by on June 19, 2019. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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