Many of the teams will show support by displaying decals on their race cars. Exactly who, and what will be displayed is not final.
Earlier this week the Penske teams of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were assessed penalties, along with the team of Martin Truex Jr. Truex Jr's car was too low after the race, and he lost 6 championship points, along with his boss.The Penske cars passed inspections two or three times, yet the cars were pulled aside and inspected again, leading to the discovery of the rear end housing changes. Richard Petty feels "someone" told. Frankly, I agree with Richard. Penske has, of course, appealed the penalties, which include six week suspensions of seven crew members, a $200,000 fine and loss of 25 championship points.
Let's look at this a little more carefully. The Penske teams installed a part on the rear end housing that they did not previously submit to NASCAR for approval for use. That is apparently where they went wrong. Perhaps the parts would have been approved, but because they didn't ask in advance, they were penalized. NASCAR must be aware of every single item placed on every single car. They are the "Big Brother" of NASCAR, as we have seen.
But really, is it Penske? Is it Brad? Who is it that NASCAR is targeting? And more importantly, who told?
Brad took pictures with his cell phone last year while under a red flag condition, and posted them to twitter. It was hugely entertaining, and got Brad a ton more followers and fans. NASCAR banned cell phones in the cars, saying the "technology for making unapproved adjustments to the car from the electronic device" was there.
Many have said that NASCAR is "chasing fans away" rather than attracting new fans. With the events of the last week, that seems more realistic than ever.
Yes, they have come out with the new Gen6 car, and employed the "win on Sunday, buy on Monday" ads during race day again. After all, Clint Bowyer with the "She don't take no key" and Jimmie Johnson with his "love that new car smell" ads are exactly that. And they are entertaining. Will they make me run out and buy a new car? Unlikely. Will all of the drama make me tune in to NASCAR? Again, unlikely.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I tune in for the racing. If the Gen6 car does the job it has so far, and continues to provide decent racing, I will continue to tune in. I have to admit that watching NASCAR during the COT years was not as compelling as it had been in early years. The rules were stringent in the '90's, but the cars were allowed to be different, and it didn't feel like an IROC race.
Don't get me wrong! I am impressed so far this year with the racing the new car has provided. As time goes on, I'm sure there will be approved adjustments allowing for even better racing. Perhaps the grills won't be the only part of the car to offer uniqueness. Perhaps the drivers will have the opportunity to truly shine.
Practice is underway at Kansas, as I continue with this piece. Tomorrow will see two more practices. Some teams are out running mega laps, while others are only trying a handful. So far, believe it or not, Juan Pablo Montoya is the fastest, while last week's winner, Kyle Busch, is running 43rd. There is still plenty of time before the STP 400 gets underway in Kansas on Sunday and, undoubtedly, other teams will find some speed and our leaderboard will change.
I will leave you today with word that Ron Hornaday Jr. received a 25 point championship penalty, and a $25,000 fine, along with probation, for his actions during caution at Rockingham last Sunday. He was not parked for the duration of the race, not given any race suspensions. What do you think? Is NASCAR playing fair?