So NASCAR has spoken to Michael Waltrip Racing. No one deliberately messes with the Race or the Chase or you will be penalized. The sport is supposed to be fun not controversial. See this from USA Today for the penalties and fines.
NASCAR President Mike Helton said,
“… But I think the biggest thing is to remember it’s a sport and it’s got a lot of fun attached to it. Every now and then it gets out of bounds and we have to bring it back in order to maintain credibility.”
It appears I was soft on MWR when I wrote about possible penalties and I realized that I didn’t really address what I thought about Team Orders. Since Team Orders are exactly what the fines and penalties are about we need to clarify a few things.
For me it makes perfect sense for Brian Vickers to decide to pit for whatever he wants, giving up his position on the track. Mike Joy said it best on Sirius/XM NASCAR “A driver can pit whenever he wants.” He went on to give some very implausible reasons. I’ll keep it honest and say the driver feels a vibration or tire going down but he could pit for Ice Cream if he wanted to.
The reality is, although the conversation between Brian Vickers and his crew was disrespectful to us the fans, he could pit for whatever reason he want’s. In fact all of the MWR teams could pull over into the pits if that’s what suits them. This is not much different than those Start and Park Teams we all hate.
The big problem for me is intentionally spinning on the track to cause a caution. This does not just affect the position of the spinner, it can and as we saw does affect the outcome of the race. As race fans we cannot have this. I know during some races many of us have hoped for cautions due to the lack of exciting racing on the track but deep down inside we don’t want intentional ones.
So do I agree with the penalties? Certainly! The only problem I have is the spinner, Clint Bowyer, who changed the whole race and some of the Chase did not get a penalty that carries into the Chase itself.