We all knew it was coming and on Tuesday afternoon, NASCAR released their penalty report from last weekend’s competition at the Kansas Speedway. Kyle Larson became the latest recipient of a L-1 penalty from NASCAR. This one, was obvious.
Larson’s rear window on his No. 42 Chevrolet was caved in. TV cameras caught it late in the race. Larson and his team blamed it as “crash damage.” Other pictures and video evidence say otherwise. There’s plenty of proof out there that the caved in part of his rear window was there BEFORE he and Ryan Blaney go into one another late in last Saturday night’s KC Masterpiece 400.
NASCAR has since said that they’re growing tired of this violation.
“This issue with the rear windows is really bad for all of us,” Scott Miller told NASCAR.com. “It’s bad for the sport, it’s bad for the broadcasters … it’s bad for the teams, and the reason why this one is so bad is the optics of it. It’s like everybody sees these things. They’re out in the open and it gets all of the negative wheels spinning in directions that we don’t need them spinning in.
“So what we plan on doing is, moving forward, any of these rear window penalties, we’re probably going to ramp it up to the high end of the L1 scale. We’ve kind of been in the middle and if we need to ramp it up further than that to where we get this under control and stop (this), then we’re prepared to go further. So yeah, we will change our stance on this because this needs to stop.”
So far this season, penalties for such violations have fallen in the middle range of the NASCAR Rule Book’s L1 guidelines, which span fines of $25,000 to $75,000, car chief suspensions from one to three races and points deductions from 10 to 40 points.
The problem is, I don’t think anything short of a unprecedented penalties are going to get the teams’ notice. They’re blatantly cheating and have no regard for consequences. They’ll live with the penalty. Well, make the penalty so severe that they feel it’s effects now.
I’m sick and tired of hearing each week how these cars being out of line aren’t to any competitive advantage. Ask anyone who’s been caught and they all say the same. It gave them no advantage over anyone. Oh really? So why are you out of line then?
I mean shame on Larson for his comments on FS1 after Saturday’s race. You really want to pin that on crash damage. Liar, liar, pants on fire. You are a father of two, a recent baby at that, and you sound as bad as the newborn. You’re lying in front of millions of people.
These crew members are going so far now that they’re making the parts fail. Seriously. They’re in compliance in inspection, but they’re failing in the race itself and they’re ensuring it happens. See the problem here. It’s not just the window braces, it’s everything. How many times are teams failing inspection at the track itself before practice or qualifying. Most of these teams have these high tech inspection systems at their shops. They can get these cars in compliance BEFORE they load up and head to the track. Instead, they’re using these systems to see how far they can get out of line and not get detected.
Which is the problem. Everyone is trying to cheat. Well, lets make it where you don’t think twice about making your car past compliance. I get that people are in the stands to see these teams race and the stars be part of the event. So, instead of sending the car and driver home, penalize them so hard that it makes it nearly impossible to make the playoffs on points. Hit the car owner with such a big monetary fine that he or she feels it. Send the crew AND car chief home for months, as in plural. Suspend them WITHOUT pay.
So, to recap, want to curb this cheating that is giving these teams an advantage, fine the team owner $500k to $1million. Suspend the crew and car chief 2 months without pay and take away 200 points. Then, and only then, will we see this stop.
Sound harsh? It should. This fan base is getting smaller and smaller. How can you make it better when teams are cheating and have no regard.