NASCAR: Saturday Nights are Okay for Fighting?

Updated: October 14, 2014
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This past Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, all the drama happened after the checkered flag was flown. I’m going to let the videos tell the story, then share why I am so tired of the inconsistencies of NASCAR. I truly believe that I am TOO old school for this sport.

The beginning of the melee that ensued – driver Brad Keselowski decides to share his displeasure with driver Denny Hamlin after the checkered flag during cool-down laps on the track.

However, Brad was just getting started. He felt the need to drive his car to the garage area rather recklessly, as Hamlin followed.

Earlier, Brad hit from behind drivers Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart while on pit road. Kenseth wasn’t happy, and decided he needed to discuss this with Brad while running down a row of haulers to, as they say, ‘have at it.’ Stewart just backed up and bumped Brad (which has been done many times and a lot worse by pretty much every driver that has been in this sport). It is code for, “seriously”?

I grew up watching NASCAR on Wide World of Sports with Jim McKay (I was a very little girl). I have seen many fights, both on and off the track. It’s a part of the sport and if you don’t like it, well we’ll have to disagree.

Today, NASCAR decided to lie out the penalties. Many thought ‘Bad Brad,’ as he is called, would be fined, docked points and possibly suspended. Didn’t happen. He was fined $50,000 and put on probation.

Stewart was the other driver fined, and was the one driver who had the least offensive role in all of this.. Stewart was fined $25,000 and also placed on probation. Kenseth and Hamlin were spared the rod — even though Hamlin followed the 2 car into the garage. This shows signs of inconsistency.

Why am I engrossed with so much anger that I literally had to cool down before I wrote this OP-ED? Earlier in the year, drivers Casey Mears and Marcus Ambrose were involved in a scuffle with punches flying. They were both fined and put on probation. See the difference here? The inconsistency? Why were they penalized, yet Kenseth was not? We will never know because NASCAR does not care to tell us. They throw out statutes and basically make it up as they go, in my opinion.

Why was Stewart penalized? Easy, media outlets went on a rampage Monday morning. Most notably ABC’s Good Morning America. They set up a lynching against Stewart when they heard he was caught in a NASCAR incident. This was the type of press Stewart did not need. However, if you are a NASCAR fan your reaction to what little Stewart did was this: “Smoke is Back.”

Does Stewart have to live in a bubble on and off the track from here on out due to over exposure from media outlets that have ZERO knowledge of the sport? Must I remind you that a New York State Grand Jury did not see any reason to charge Stewart with any crime in regards to the Kevin Ward Jr. accident?

Inconsistencies are killing this sport, and I can certainly understand why the stands have been empty. If
 NASCAR wants to rescue the sport, they can do TWO things – allow the drivers to have at it after a race and while out of their cars, and don’t make crap up on the fly! That was clearly what was done today.

Mears and Ambrose, call your lawyers — you deserve your money back.

Now on to Talladega where I am truly afraid other innocent drivers will end up in someone else’s mess. Talladega is well known for wrecks that are called “the big one.” They can take out half the field in one incident. You also need a drafting partner to get up front — good luck with that Brad.


Robyn Vandenberg


Photo Cred:(Photo: Streeter Lecka, Getty Images)

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