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Problem: ‘dumb’ penalties, solution: pass inspection

As the result of multiple failures in pre-qualifying inspection at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday that kept Joey Logano from making a lap in qualifying for Sunday’s ISM Connect 300, Logano sat in his car on pit road for the entire 50-minute Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice session Saturday. That was the penalty he received from NASCAR for his car having such difficulty getting through pre-qualifying inspection.

Logano considered his punishment “a joke” and “dumb.”

“I had time for a lot of thoughts in there, mainly that it’s a total joke,” Logano said. “I don’t know why (the car) has to be out on pit road. A penalty is a penalty; that’s fine, but there’s no reason to sit out there. I think it’s dumb, but that’s coming from a guy that just sat in a car for an hour sweating. That may not be the best thing to say, but it’s true.”

It may be worth noting that Logano’s not a part of this season’s playoffs, despite posting a win earlier this season at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. That’s because that win was classified as “encumbered” because his car failed post-race inspection.

So, Logano thinks his punishment in New Hampshire was a dumb joke? Maybe he should convince his team to not commit the crime if he doesn’t want to do the time, so to speak. Punishments aren’t supposed to be pleasant fun and games. That would defeat the purpose.

Maybe Logano thinks he should have missed time on track during practice but not sat in his car in sweltering heat on pit road. My guess if he was just kept off the track and his team away from the car, the practice wouldn’t have been a total loss for Logano and his team, negating the effect of the punishment. They probably would’ve gathered in the comfy confines of the team hauler and discussed their car setup and plans for Sunday’s race. After all, they got time on the track Saturday morning, and Friday afternoon, for that matter.

Really, considering all the practice time they didn’t miss out on, the final-practice penalty maybe wasn’t tough enough. Maybe that was the “joke” to Logano regarding his “dumb” penalty; he was barely punished at all.

Logano’s stance has its supporters, both in the garage and among the fanbase. I even so one opinion that referred to the punishment as “unprofessional.” Are all these teams repeatedly needing several times to get through inspection unprofessional, because they have such a hard time playing within the rules?

Again, don’t want to do the time? Then, don’t commit the crime.

And to those criticizing the sanctioning body for all these failed inspections — it’s not as if NASCAR has specific measurement that cars have to hit exactly, on the spot. These teams have tolerances to work within. Granted, they’re small tolerances. But if the competitors are given bigger tolerances, they’ll just go to the edge of that tolerance and, accidentally or not, go over that tolerance, too. As the old saying goes, give them and inch, and they’ll take a mile.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on September 23, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. 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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