Points precedent paints NASCAR in a corner with Dale Jr. decision
Taking away points from a team after a race for a non-racing situation is crazy, but if NASCAR wants to be a considered a credible organization, it has to do something to Dale Earnhardt Jr.
As wrong as I think it is, NASCAR set the precedent by deducting points from Busch drivers Ron Hornaday and Johnny Sauter earlier this year for using inappropriate language on race broadcasts. Now, the sanctioning body must take points from Earnhardt Jr. If they don't, I want to hear the explanation.
NASCAR established the parameters. If it wants to change them next year, that's fine. But you can't change the rules in the middle of the Chase for the Championship without someone raising Cain about it.
I can't see how one person can bring down 200 people, but that's what will happen if Earnhardt Jr. winds up losing the championship. One word could rip apart Dale Earnhardt Inc. While I disagree with what NASCAR started, I will disagree more if they don't take away points from DEI. I don't care if the man's name is Earnhardt, and he's running for the championship. If you get caught speeding, you pay the price. And he got caught speeding.
I hate that our sport has come to a point that a penalty like this one could affect the outcome of the championship. Right now, I'm sure the people in Daytona are cringing because this moment could be pivotal in determining the first winner of the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Emotional outburst
Everybody knows the words that you can and can't say on television. All of us in the sport have asked what is acceptable and what's not acceptable. If Earnhardt Jr. was given a list, and he forgot about it. I'm sorry for him. If he wasn't sure, he never should have said it until he got it cleared.
On the other hand, when you grab somebody who just jumped out of the winning race car and regained the point lead after 500 miles at 200 mph, you've got to be ready and willing to accept what you get. Television has a little bit of responsibility here. If it's at all possible to have a delay with enough time to react to the word, that would have helped. Before precedent, fine — not points — appropriate
There are times when taking points away is a good thing. When something happens to your car after it has been inspected, and they take points away, I understand that penalty.
I disagree with NASCAR when it takes away points before a car goes on the race track or after a race for a non-racing incident.
I'm not saying NASCAR wouldn't be right to fine Earnhardt Jr. for what he said. I just think it's wrong to take points from him.
For now, however, Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR must suck it up and say, "The precedent has been set. Here's the penalty." Between now and next February's Daytona 500 on FOX, I hope the teams and NASCAR can get out of the corner from which these penalties have painted them.