Word has come down from NASCAR that Brad Keselowski has avoided any major penalties for his dangerous actions following the race this past Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. According to a release by NASCAR drivers Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart will both be fined for the post race antics.
The release states that behavioural penalties will be assessed to both drivers but they will be able to keep their points. The easy translation for Keslowski is simple. Break out your chequebook but endangering other drivers, crew members, and members of the media is not worth taking points away.
Keselowski was fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events. Stewart has was fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events, Both penalties run through November 12, and are cited as violating: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. As well as Section 12-4.9: Behavioural penalty -- involved in post-race incidents.
Was it enough?
One could argue that the penalties are not enough when it comes to Keselowski following his post race rage at Charlotte. The driver rammed a couple of cars including one which held a driver already removing his safety gear. Apparently the sanctioning body does not want to remove a big name from the Championship Chase by taking a way points even though it has docked points for incidents like this in the past.
Regardless of why NASCAR just decided to levy a fine instead of taking away points does not really matter now. What does matter is that NASCAR will keep a sharp eye on Keselowski. Probation may have been meant as a warning shot across his bow in case he decides to point a huge race car at his opponents in anger again.
More Intense Chase
With the new Sprint Cup Championship Chase format it’s obvious that drivers are under a lot more pressure than past seasons. The bottom line for drivers in the chase these days is almost like having a win or go home mentality.
That type of racing is much more exciting for fans as this could possibly be called the most exciting Championship run in recent memory. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Senior Vice President, says maintaining safety is essential to the sport.
"These penalties are about maintaining a safe environment following the race," said Pemberton. "We knew that the new Chase format was likely going to raise the intensity level and we want our drivers to continue to be themselves. However, the safety of our drivers, crew members, officials, and workers is paramount and we will react when that safety could be compromised."
Hopefully the hit to the chequebook instead of a real penalty will be enough to get someone’s attention.