You tell me. NASCAR has handed out two fines as a result of actions that occurred during in the Busch Series last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). Here they are:
1) Juan Montoya has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 because of an inappropriate gesture made during a practice session on April 19 at PIR.
Montoya was in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book.
2) Todd Brewer, crew chief for the No. 25 Ford driven by David Gilliland, has been fined $2,000 after it was found the No. 25 had unapproved, hollow jacking bolts.
Brewer was in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12.1A(8) (unapproved jacking bolts, hollow bolts). The violation was found during opening day inspection April 18 at PIR. -source Nascar.com
OK, I can understand why these penalties and fines were handed out, but can you see an imbalance between them? Juan flips the bird and gets put on probation and fined 10 grand under one section of the Rule Book, while the 25 team is obviously cheating to gain a competitive advantage and were in violation of 3 sections of the Rule Book and Todd only gets fined 2 grand and no probation.
A little more consistency is needed here. What is more important to NASCAR anyway? Hand gestures or cheating? It isn't like this is the first time hollow bolts have been used in competition this year and the violators have been caught. They knew this and still did it anyway. To me this is a much bigger infraction of the rules than telling someone they're "number one" with your middle finger.
You tell me, am I being too narrow minded here or what?
It is my understanding here that the probation Juan has is only for the Busch Series and does not carry over to the Cup end, so NASCAR could have been sending him, and other drivers prone to using non-regulation hand gestures, a message here. Still, I feel the message should be sent for blatant disregard of the rules (ie. cheating) and not for the use of the finger.
Photo Credits: I don't know, but if you do let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. I believe the Texaco picture was taken during his ARCA Talladega race last fall, but I'm not sure.
Juan has just signed on with Infield Parking. Visit him here.