Welcome to the sixth edition of Katie’s Komment’s, a place to find the latest NASCAR news and my opinion on it! All comments are my views only but feel free to leave your own!
Penske Penalties: After losing their appeal against the three board members, the Penske teams went to the Chief Appellate, John Middlebrook. Middlebrook cut their penalties down by quite a bit, especially when it came to the suspensions. What was once a six point’s race plus the All-Star Race suspension has now become a two point’s race plus the All-Star Race suspension. That means that the suspended Crew Chiefs and various other team members will be back for Dover. I really wasn’t surprised at the reduction of the suspension length. Although six point’s races really weren’t out of the question for a NASCAR penalty, it seems like whenever a team appeals, that is what gets reduced. I was a little surprised that the points weren’t reinstated for the No2 and No22 teams. When Johnson and his team appealed their penalties last season, the suspension and the points were reinstated. I guess Middlebrook thought that the Penske violations were a little more severe.
Kenseth Penalties: Penske wasn’t the only team that was facing the appeals court this week. Matt Kenseth and his team went against the board of three to try and get their penalties from Kansas reduced and reduced they were. The original fine still stands but everything else was greatly reduced. Kenseth will now be missing his Crew Chief for one race instead of six and his 50 points that he lost have been reduced to 12. His win and pole at Kansas have also been reinstated and now count towards the Chase and the Sprint Unlimited next season. When the fines were originally handed down, I was shocked at how severe they were. I understand that NASCAR hates when teams mess with engines, but this wasn’t deliberate. I think that the appeals board made the right decision by reducing the penalties and I am glad to see Kenseth back up in the point’s standings where he belongs.
Talladega Rain Delay: I want to start out by giving a HUGE shout out to each and every one of the broadcasters and reporters and cameramen that stayed out in the rain to bring us fans great coverage during the three and a half hour rain delay. The entire live broadcast, including RaceDay on Speed, lasted over nine hours. That is nine hours of continuous live television. As someone who has done a miniscule amount of live TV, it’s not easy. Those guys and gals did a great job throughout the entire race. But looking at the race, I was a little irritated, and I’m not talking about the commercials. With a rain delay that lasted almost four hours, restarting the race to finish the last 60 plus laps seemed silly. The race was well over halfway over and those last 60 laps were like a 60 lap shootout; a completely new race. Don’t get me wrong, I love that the David’s beat the Goliath s, I was cheering for an underdog to come out on top at Talladega, but the teams were racing the dark almost more than they were racing their competitors and to me, that’s not something that should happen. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
The Lady in Black that is Too Tough to Tame: Darlington Raceway is by far my favorite track on the schedule although I don’t really have a solid reason why. Maybe it’s the excitement of seeing who will be the first to earn the coveted “Darlington Stripe” or maybe it’s the excitement of racing at a track shaped like an egg! Jeff Gordon is making his 700th start at Darlington and it just happens to be one of his best tracks. He has seven wins and could quite possibly turn his 700th start in the Cup Series into his 8th win at Darlington. Bring on everything that is the Southern 500 because us NASCAR fans are ready for some of the best short track action all season.
That will be it for the sixth edition of Katie’s Komments and remember, if you don’t like mine, feel free to leave your own!