The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series had its ability to shine with a standalone race weekend following Saturday nights Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. With the much anticipated NASCAR national series return to Rockingham Speedway, more eyes than usual would be on the sports development series.
The race itself was very good, with highly touted driver Kyle Larson capturing his first national series win, holding off Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano. The final caution, however, stole the show. Not the wreck itself, but the events during including gritty veteran and series favorite Ron Hornaday Jr. and Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.
After making contact while racing during the closing laps, Wallace chose to show his displeasure by running Hornaday up the track, near the wall. Hornaday had enough and blatantly dumped Wallace, ending his hopes of a good run.
All NASCAR did was assign Hornaday a tail-end of the longest line penalty, and that’s all that he deserves. Hornaday knows what it takes to commit to wrecking someone under caution, as he was on the other end of a similar incident when Kyle Busch chose to enact revenge under caution at Texas Motor Speedway. That resulted in the nearly unprecedented suspension of Busch for the Sprint Cup Series race the same weekend.
Jeff Gordon, however, was not suspended for wrecking Clint Bowyer and creating a brawl, despite the severity of the situation, while ruining any slim chance Bowyer had at a Sprint Cup Championship. NASCAR attempts to be consistent in all of its rulings. What got Busch and not Gordon was the speed at which the incident occurred, the fact that he was not in the same series for points and the fact that the incident happened under caution.
So, that allows NASCAR three points of reasoning, only one which would have Hornaday suspended. The incident occurred at a far lower speed than the incident at Texas involving Busch, and Hornaday and Wallace are in the same series, allowing Wallace to settle this on his own terms, as the “boys have at it” term intends.
So, what does the rookie do? Will revenge against the respected veteran come soon, if at all? Certainly, Wallace cannot ever race Hornaday with the same respect he once did. For now though, Hornaday will have a small target on his back, at least if NASCAR doesn’t intervene.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486