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NASCAR makes right call by denying Spencer Gallagher waiver

TALLADEGA, AL – APRIL 28: Spencer Gallagher, driver of the #23 Allegiant Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 28, 2018 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

NASCAR already has confirmed that Spencer Gallagher will not be granted a waiver to excuse him for missed races as he serves his indefinite suspension because of a violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, discovered May 1, three days after his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Gallagher was set to be a full-time Xfinity driver this year from behind the wheel of the No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet, so, provided he remained in the top-30 of the points standings, which he most certainly would have without missing races, he would’ve gotten into the playoffs, courtesy of the Talladega win. But with missing races as a result of the suspension, Gallagher’s only chance at getting into the playoffs is a waiver that he won’t receive.

NASCAR, certainly made the right call in not offering Gallagher a waiver that would, essentially, wipe away the punishment of the suspension, even though a waiver was granted to counterbalance Cup Series driver Kurt Busch’s indefinite suspension, that turned into a three-race suspension, in 2015. NASCAR was right on that call, too, even though opposite decisions were made in each of these situations.

Here’s why:

There was never concrete proof of any wrongdoing that led to Busch’s suspension. Busch’s suspension was a product of domestic abuse allegations. Claimant Patricia Driscoll did, indeed, receive a protective order against Busch, but Busch was never charged with domestic violence, let alone convicted of such. Again, his suspension was based on an allegation of wrongdoing, an allegation that never led to a charge of such, as proof of such was never presented.

In the case of Gallagher’s suspension, while there are no legal implications, there is proof of wrongdoing. After all, there’s the failed drug test. Also, there’s Gallagher’s confession. After the announcement of the suspension, Gallagher released the following statement, an admission of guilt and an apology.

“I recently have had a positive result in a NASCAR drug screen, which has violated NASCAR’s substance abuse policy,” Gallagher said. “I want to assure everyone in the NASCAR community this one time error in judgement will never happen again. I am taking the steps to enroll in the Road to Recovery program supported by NASCAR. I would like to say that I am sorry to all of the GMS organization for my actions, especially my team and team owner, who have worked so hard this year and have put faith in me. I also want to apologize to NASCAR, Chevrolet and my fans for letting them down. I have not upheld the behavior that is expected of me. I promise you all here and now, I will do whatever it takes to make this right.”

Kind of off-topic, but related to the Gallagher issue and, more specifically, his statement, I commend Gallagher for owning up to his wrongdoing. Here’s hoping for Gallagher’s successful completion of NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery” program and a return to the driver’s seat.

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Posted by on May 2, 2018. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. 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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