Thursday, April 21, 2016

Good Day Gone Bad: NASCAR Fines Stewart $35,000

Just hours after announcing that he will return to the sport this weekend at Richmond International Speedway, Tony Stewart was fined $35,000 by the sanctioning body for violating its personal conduct policy.  

Section 12.8.1 of the NASCAR rule book forbids disparaging the sport and/or its leadership.
Stewart criticized the sanctioning body yesterday for its handling of loose lug nuts. NASCAR declined to police the number of lugs nuts applied on pit stops last season, leaving the number of lugs (and their tightness) in the hands of race teams. Some teams have elected to omit lug nuts on late-race pit stops, leading to a number of loose wheels.

"With all the crap we’re going through with all the safety stuff, for them to sit there and sit on their hands on this one ... this is not a game you play with safety,” said Stewart yesterday. “And that’s exactly the way I feel like NASCAR is treating this. This is not the way to do this.
"We didn’t make the change to begin with,” he said. “It’s not our responsibility. That’s their responsibility. We did it for how many years in the sport – 50-plus years, 60-plus years? And now in the last two years… we don’t have to do that.
 "Last year, it started. This year, you see the problem getting worse. Well, if you see a problem getting worse like that, where’s the bottom of that trend going to happen? It’s going to happen when somebody gets hurt, and that’s going to be one of the largest black eyes I can see NASCAR getting when they’ve worked so hard and done such a good job to make it safe."
Stewart said NASCAR has generally done an admirable job of policing safety, but that "in this one particular area, they are totally dropping the ball and I feel like really made a grossly bad decision."
The three-time Sprint Cup Series champion said he believes the end result of NASCAR’s new leniency is driver injury.
"I guarantee you that envelope is going to keep getting pushed until somebody gets hurt,” he said. “You will not have heard a rant… as bad as what’s going to come out of my mouth if a driver gets hurt because of a loose wheel.”



  1. So... Kyle Busch can tell the truth and not get fined but Tony does...? Another case of Nascar consistently being inconsistent..

  2. Anonymous6:28 PM

    Tony is right. NASCAR allows less than 5 wheel lugs but if you don't fit the template oh my you are a cheater. Someone other than Brian france needs to run the sport before it becomes the NHRA, irrelevant and forgotten.

  3. I don't see how speaking up for your personal safety, the safety of your fellow drivers and fans, is disparaging to the leadership of the sport.

    To me, it seems that they have been called on the carpet, and are so completely inept at their jobs, that a fine is the only way they know how to respond. Don't address the actual problem, just make the guy pointing it out shut up. This is the Brian France era. This is the new NASCAR. And boy, is he doing a bang up job at alienating fans and drivers.

    I still listen to Sirius XM Speedway, but have yet to have seen a race since Talladega last season. I'll tune back in when LFK takes over for her brother. Maybe Ben can take over since he's not racing trucks anymore. Someone needs to get Brian out of the sport. And fast!

  4. Carol Jameson6:49 PM

    Before fining an owner, why not find out how the other owners feel about the non existent lug nut rule. Might find others who think the same as Tony but haven't given their opinion. I think what Kyle said about NASCAR was far worse than Tony's opinion.

  5. Man get's fined for speaking the truth very sad

  6. Anonymous8:19 PM

    Truth hurts, let's be thankful Tony has the balls to speak up. Is NASCAR going to wait until a spectator gets killed by a flying tire/wheel?
    -Bill Panzich

  7. I this NASCAR is over reacting. In my opinion Tony wasn't critical of NASCAR, he was voicing a concern about safety. I really love this sport, but there are times when NASCAR's biggest obstacle is themselves.

  8. I agree with Tony to a point. I worry about someone in the stands or infield with a loose wheel like at Indy a time back !

  9. If it saves even one life it would be worth the fine and I agree with him.Every week they push it a little further and someone will get hurt or killed.

  10. It's time for NASCAR to get out of the dark ages and go to an INDYCAR style single hub nut. It will eliminate loose wheels and keep pit road free of lugnut/projectiles!

  11. jfmcclure8:53 AM

    Tony is right and Nascar once again is wrong.

  12. Anonymous9:28 AM

    Tony is worried about the drivers. NASCAR should be worried what might happen if a tire comes off and goes into the crowd.

  13. Geosez9:53 AM

    He's ba-a-a-ck! :-)

  14. Jeremy10:22 AM

    NASCAR went easy on him. Usually he gets fined AND put on probation!

    But on this one, Tony is right and BF needs to swallow his pride and think about it a little bit more. IIRC, didn't NASCAR mandate a particular rim to be used because a similar (but different style) was separating in the center from the forces put on the rim? That's going back a few years... It doesn't make sense to NOT require all 5 lugs be tight to ensure that rim stays on the car. I'm not as worried about the drivers (although they are certainly in danger of injury too), but a loose wheel hurtling into the stands would be catastrophic for NASCAR (and obviously whoever it hit).

    Welcome back and Good Luck, Tony!

  15. One of NA$CAR's biggest stars makes a valid point and tries to help save lives and injuries, and NA$CAR fines him for it. How stupid is that?

  16. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Although I understand were Tony is coming from as an owner he has the ability to change that. First tell all your teams its 5 lug nuts no excuses and then get all the other owners to join in. It makes you wonder the owners are always crying about the money needed to race and how grateful they are to the sponsor yet they jeopardize their investment by not making the commitment to protect their investment.

  17. The sad part is that he is correct. My girl and I were talking about this very thing while we watched the last race.

  18. Cannot help but wonder if the fine was a result of not just this latest comment, but also the previous comment(s) calling out Brian France for not being in the garage enough, etc. Seems that every now and then the boss needs to snap somebody back hard enough to let the others know who is really in charge - just a thought.

  19. Let's apply the KISS principle, either go back to all 5 as in the past , or catch up to the present and use ONE lug like the other two major racing series. NASCAR hasn't been "Stock" in a long time.

  20. Dwayne in Memphis10:50 PM

    Leave lugnuts off and be unsafe - well, that's ok. TELL someone it's unsafe...that's $35,000. Makes perfect sense.

  21. Dwayne in Memphis2:39 PM

    And now that Brian France has clarified why Tony was fined, just so that's made abundantly clear...Kyle Busch openly claims (albeit on radio - and then reported EVERYWHERE) that NASCAR is fixing races. His fine? $10,000. The reason given? Failure to fulfill his post-race obligations. Say what you want about us fixing races, just show up at the media center, apparently is the message.

    Tony says the lugnut situation is fined $35,000 and Brian France offers the brilliant explanation that trying to imply that NASCAR doesn't care about safety attacks the integrity of the sport - therefore, $35,000 fine.

    Seriously, Mr. France, c'mon. $35,000 fine for lugnut safety issue comments. And $10,000 fine for post-race obligations - with a big NO comment on "NASCAR fixing races." I said it earlier, and I'll repeat it: Makes perfect sense.