Matt Kenseth won Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. But here’s the catch in the giddyup – Kenseth’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota failed after the race inspection. Specifically, the car failed laser inspection.
NASCAR has not yet announced any penalties for Kenseth and The Company, but it is expected that penalties will be imposed on either Tuesday or Wednesday. Judging by the recent warnings / warnings I’m expecting a little Wednesday, but announcing on Tuesday is definitely an option.
For those of you who are new to this NASCAR game, NASCAR is not interested in removing the drivers’ winnings for violations discovered after the race. The sanctioning body wants the fans to know exactly who won the race when they leave the track, not find out that the driver they were watching takes the checkered flag and did not really win their favorite drink in the victory lane , a la the first Daytona 500. If you do not receive this reference, I recommend you check this story. But even what happened in Daytona at that time was not the result of a failed post-race inspection, but the result of questions about a photo finish.
Although the circumstances are different, I have what I think is a pretty damn good reason for the 1959 Daytona 500. Here’s why:
NASCAR does not have that much trouble figuring out which driver wins when there’s a photo finish. Gone are the days when days later a photo would show that would show NASCAR: “Hey, maybe we did it wrong.” Video is more readily available today. There is electronic Satonur. What I get here is that there are ways to determine the winners of the deal in minutes, not days like the good ol ‘days.
Just as the progress has allowed NASCAR to set tight targets, or even the specific ending order, with a precautionary measure for a “big” in the final round at Daytona or Talladega, technology advances are also allowing fans to receive NASCAR news , they thirst much faster.
The failed inspection of a driver after the race and NASCAR – Gasp – decided to rob this driver of his victory? Fans are experiencing it nowadays while they are still in traffic trying to get out of the racetrack. Granted, the “official” race winner does not have the identity that matches that of the rider fans, who are only celebrated in the victory lane, but still they still found out who really won on race day. Besides, when fans find out that a winning car failed after the race inspection, they do not feel cheated that they are just witnessing a “cheater”? Also, when it comes to fans who were present AND those who see from the couch at home, there is something that just does not seem right to celebrate a victory that someone had to cheat in order to get. If you think so, it just does not seem right, right?
Perhaps NASCAR should consider the practice of canceling victories for failed post-race inspections. I realize that we are talking about high-carat and big-time races, but I’ll say it anyway: “Local short distances can do it, why not NASCAR?”
It will not happen this week, trust me. Look for a fine and possibly a point deduction. Does fines really detract from racing teams? I tend not to thank that. Finally, I think that nascar originally decided to score points. But is a deduction in the face of a known position in comparison to the hunt for the Sprint Cup qualification format a deterrent? No.
Kenseth has two wins and is high enough in the table that a reasonable point deduction would not even come close to drop him outside the top 30. Heck, even if he’s worth the point, he would not even take out, not that I really want to take him out of Chase’s persecution; that is at least a little too hard.
Since it’s pretty much a matter of course, he’s not going to be robbed of victory, here’s an idea. How about granting a penalty for the future? Here’s what I mean – beat him with a point penalty, but not one for the moment. Even though he has won the race, he does not award bonus points for the win if the Chase field is set.
Hey, that’s something that’s been done before, so this must be an option. In fact, it was Kenseth who had previously received such a punishment. Coincidence a lot?