Earnhardt Pushes For Drastic NASCAR Penalties

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, March 24 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr. wants NASCAR to nuke people like Austin Dillon. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

And Dale Earnhardt Jr. calls himself a human being. Turns out he’s a heartless, soulless monster.

Harsh words? Absolutely. But consider them against this backdrop: Earnhardt thinks that NASCAR Cup drivers who intentionally wreck others during races should be sentenced to do additional mid-week meetings with media from cities the host series races.

Oh, the humanity.

Those meetings are called Winner’s Circle appearances. They are designed to drum up support for upcoming races in the markets where they are held.

Often at those appearances, drivers are ordered into monkey suits. They fly in, are picked up at airports and ushered to places like miniature golf courses or arcades or amusement parks where, on their days off, they talk to reporters between artificial buffoonery.

It all can be uncomfortable for the reporters and degrading to the drivers.

It is, Earnhardt said Friday at California Speedway, site of this weekend’s Monster Energy Cup race, punishing.

When asked what NASCAR should do to drivers who settle matters on the track – which Austin Dillon did last weekend in Phoenix – Earnhardt brought out the nuclear option.

“I am serious, I would have sent him (Dillon) on a Winner’s Circle appearance somewhere,” Earnhardt said. “None of the driver’s like doing those.  And we complain about it to NASCAR all the time having to go to these tracks out of market and do these appearances.”

Dillon, apparently upset by contact with Cole Custer in the Xfinity Series race, laid some payback on him under caution late in the race.

NASCAR did nothing.

That left some in the garages – some of whom had been fined and reprimanded for similar actions in the past – wondering and wondering aloud.

Danica Patrick, for example. She was fined after dumping David Gilliland a couple years ago. Asked about Dillon getting a pass, she said,  “Give me my money back. I also got fined here last year for Kasey Kahne right-rearing me on the front straightaway at 215 miles an hour and I gave him this sign, and I got fined for that, too.”

Patrick went on to say she is not in favor of fining drivers for aggressive behavior as it makes for great TV.

Earnhardt, when asked about Dillon vs. Custer, started his answer with a mea culpa.

“I’m going to be a bit of a hypocrite because I’ve done a lot of these things.  I don’t think taking your car and running into somebody is the way to go.  In between the flags, I guess it’s OK.  If you dump a guy for a win that is just your choice.  I think in that situation you get handled by the court of public opinion and otherwise everything in between the flags is free game.

“But once the race is over you would prefer not to have any shenanigans going on, but I myself have been guilty of that in the past.  It’s not and it’s going to happen down the road and that is not … I don’t think we need to go out of our way to penalize Austin (Dillon) to send a message to him or anyone else, but to do nothing kind of bothered me a little bit.  To do nothing at all.”

But, send Dillon to a Winner’s Circle appearance? Have you no sense of decency, man?

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, March 24 2017


  • Debbie says:

    Thet don’t want to do anything to austin dillion because of who he is related to kyle busch & joey logano should be penalized just like matt kensith was something needs to be done about joey deliberately wrecking people I can’t stand to watch joey anymore

  • Janice Smelcer says:

    Dale Earnhardt “3” would pUT JR. over his knee or send him back to Military School!!!!!

  • I agree with you something should be done