NASCAR just keeps on changing things in anticipation of the 2014 race season. While I may not quite be on board with the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format in its entirety, and I kind of flip-flop between “like it” and “wait and see” on the new qualifying format, the latest change is one I’m pretty sure I can totally get behind.
On Tuesday NASCAR announced and made public a rules violation/penalty structure. This is something I’m in complete support of. NASCAR has been criticized, and reasonably so, for not being consistent when it comes to handing out penalties for some rules violations. Sometimes the punishments didn’t quite seem to fit the crime and sometimes, quite frankly, it seemed like some teams just got off too easily.
According to Tuesday’s announcement, penalties involving behavioral issues will still be handled on a case-by-case basis, so we’ll see how that goes. But when it comes to illegal parts and modifications on cars and other kinds of rules violations, there’s now a list ranking types of violations by severity that also lists punishment types and severity for each level of violations.
Granted, there are still some wiggle room within the structure laid out on Tuesday. For example, specific lengths of suspensions and amounts of fines and points deductions weren’t mentioned. Of course, I guess, that may be hard to do considering how many posssible specific violations there are out there and some of them, even within the same category, are more severe than others.
But at least I get the impression that NASCAR is trying to give some validity to its penalties process with a laid-out formula. I’m sure it’s going to at least lower the volume of complaints about fairness, or lack thereof. I’m usually not anxiously waiting for someone to get busted for something, but maybe I am this year, for no other reason than to see this new formula in action — will NASCAR stick to it? Will it work?
What do you think of NASCAR’s new penalty process? Let us know on Twitter @AutoRacingDailly or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner