Norm Benning is susceptible for a suspension by NASCAR after doing something he definitely shouldn’t have done. Benning, a driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, had 147 Facebook friends as of 12:15 in the morning on March 31. Well, apparently Benning didn’t realize the setting wasn’t just in front of his “friends.”
This reporter saw a post on Benning’s page that was rather intriguing. Benning posted a picture of a conversation between him and a man by the name of Matt Wishart at approximately 8:30 p.m. on March 30. Included within the conversation is a racial slur which Benning used in a presumably offensive manner.
Here’s a link to the conversation which Benning posted: https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/1674_130402697147282_835322832_n.jpg
Now remember at Daytona what happened when a driver was caught say the exact same word? Yeah, Jeremy Clements, a fan favorite for how he goes about his self-owned team, alike Bennin, was suspended for using this racial slur.
“#51-Jeremy Clements, a driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Code of Conduct. On Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway, Clements was found to have violated Sections 7-5 (NASCAR’s Code of Conduct) and 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing). ‘During the course of an interview, Jeremy Clements made an intolerable and insensitive remark,’ said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. ‘NASCAR has a Code of Conduct that’s explicitly spelled out in the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book. We fully expect our entire industry to adhere to that Code,” from the official NASCAR press release.
Benning is a fan favorite in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as fans admire his effort to run each race to the full distance even without sponsors. For those who don’t know, Benning owns and operates his race team and has very limited funding, probably less than Clements has. However, this is going to cost him. If it doesn’t, it’s not too fair to Clements who was suspended for the exact same thing, and that wasn’t in the public eye to see.
While examining the conversation, it appears that Benning was involved in a conflict with what appears to be a race fan. The conflict could have been over a few things. Etither way, Benning wasn’t too smart to put it on Facebook for the world to see. Now, Benning is faced with a true controversy.
NASCAR has no option but to suspend Benning as he used the same exact wording that Clements did. The sanctioning body would receive too much criticism if they don’t take action on this immediately. For the sport to suspend any driver, it takes a lot to do so. NASCAR has eight percent of their fan base being effected by comments such as these and it effects the entire sport by saying that drivers aren’t representing the fans the way they should. They are blurting out things that shouldn’t be stated in general, and aren’t wary of it when they do. It’ll be interesting to see what NASCAR does with Benning in the coming days.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR and reached via e-mail at Joseph.Wolkin@gmail.com.